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View Subscription Details: Letter ( 10/11/2017 ) - HTML Format

Floating Condensing Pressure

 

Various companies promote floating condensing pressure as an effective energy savings measure. How effective is it? Floating condensing pressure consists of two steps: lowering condensing pressure and actual floating. Typically, lowering condensing pressure can provide 90-95% of energy savings. Actual floating can give us just 5 - 10% of the savings. Why does this happen? Lower condensing pressure reduces energy use by the compressors, while floating condensing pressure reduces energy use by the condensers. Typically, the nominal power of condensers is about 10% of the compressors power.

How low can the condensing pressure be reduced? Every refrigeration plant can operate at condensing pressure below 100 psig. I have seen some plants operating at condensing pressure as low as 60 psig. There are definitely several barriers to operate a plant at low condensing pressure but every barrier has a solution. If your refrigeration plant operates at minimum condensing pressure 100 psig or higher, find an expert who will help you reduce this minimum and the energy efficiency of your plant will significantly improve.

Actual floating of the condensing pressure can only be activated during short periods of the year.  During summer, no floating is possible because condensers typically run at full capacity to keep required condensing pressure. During winter, no floating is possible because refrigeration plants operate at minimum allowable condensing pressure. During fall and spring, floating can be activated when condenser capacity exceeds optimum. However, floating will never be activated if a refrigeration plant has undersized condensers. 

 

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