Which Type of Refrigeration is Best? Ask DSCSE
To simplify the selection of refrigeration system, first, decide whether allowing the condensing unit to dump heat into the building is unacceptable. If it is, then a remote unit is the correct choice. Whether it is pre-assembled or pre-charged should be decided by evaluating the difference in cost of having it done in the field or at the walk-in plant.
If discharging the heat inside the building is not a concern then choosing a self-contained side mount or top mount refrigeration system versus a penthouse refrigeration unit should be decided by how important the space in the walk-in is to you. If space is important then a penthouse unit is the choice. If space is not a big consideration then a side-mount or top-mount unit may be the choice.
Contact DSCSE and we’ll get you the right type of walk-in refrigeration the first time.
Types of Refrigeration Systems
Remote systems are the least expensive systems to purchase. They consist of a condensing unit, evaporator unit, and miscellaneous parts such as an expansion valve, site glass, dryer, pump-down solenoid thermostat, and on freezers a timer and drain heater to install the system. They require the use of a licensed refrigeration installer since they are pumped down and charged with refrigerant gas on site. The installer will also charge for any other parts needed for the installation such as copper pipe, pipe insulation, connectors, and electrical. They are less expensive systems to buy with the walk-in but may cost more overall depending on what the going hourly rate is with the installer and the cost of the parts he provides. They also provide an advantage by allowing the condensing unit to be located outside the building. There the condensing unit can dump its heat without adding extra heat to the building and air conditioning systems.
Pre-assembled Remote Systems
Pre-assembled Remote Systems are the same as Remote Systems except all the parts are shipped installed on either the condensing unit or the evaporator coil. Pre-assembled Remote Pre-charged systems come with the condensing unit, the evaporator coil, and line set (copper pipes that connect the two units) charged with refrigeration gas. A licensed refrigeration technician will be needed to install the refrigeration system. These systems may or may not be less expensive depending on the cost of the system, the refrigeration service, and electronics service charges.
Standard Top Mount
Top Mount Systems are self-contained refrigeration systems. They come with all parts, copper lines, and refrigeration gases completely installed. A licensed refrigeration technician will be needed to install the refrigeration system. The only downside to these units is that the evaporator hangs down inside the walk-in taking up shelf space and head room in small walk-ins. Some units come with low-profile coils that help but do not eliminate this problem.
Side Mount Refrigeration System
Side Mount Refrigeration Systems are the same as Top Mount Refrigeration Systems except they are installed on one of the wall panels with bolts that go through the refrigeration plug and wall panel and are attached with nuts on the inside of the walk-in. They also require that a condensation drain hose be connected to a drain nearby. A licensed refrigeration technician will be needed to install the refrigeration system. One downside is that you lose shelf space where the evaporation unit extends inside the walk-in.
Saddle Mount Refrigeration System
Saddle Mount Refrigeration Systems come completely pre-assembled on a bracket that is designed to be mounted over the top of one of the wall panels. These systems must be installed on a panel with slots cut in the top to allow the bracket to go through the wall. These systems are hung over the wall before the installation of the roof. A licensed refrigeration technician will be needed to install the refrigeration system. These units also have the evaporator coil that hangs from the top of the panel but it is more toward the top and doesn’t interfere with the shelving as much as a side-mount unit.
Penthouse Refrigeration System
Penthouse Refrigeration Systems are like Standard Top Mount Systems except they do not have an evaporator coil sticking down inside the walk-in. The air inside the walk-in is drawn up through the evaporator coil located with the condensing unit on top of the walk-in to be cooled. A licensed refrigeration technician will be needed to install the refrigeration system. These systems sometimes seem higher in upfront cost but when all things are considered including the fact that they are factory assembled and don’t take up space in the walk-in it is less expensive in the long run.