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Refrigerated rooms are a must for the catering industry or any organisations worried about huge scale food supply. They supply vital storage at optimal temperatures in order to keep food fresh, limit waste and to meet required safety requirements. Commercial cold rooms, however, are not simply limited to edible goods, as they have a much larger usage. They are needed to keep medical or laboratory supplies at the ideal temperature levels, and are also used by plant and flower suppliers.

Here is a guide to the types of options offered and the features a company might search for when choosing a refrigeration product for their company.

Modular Cold Rooms

Modular cold spaces are large scale, or industrial refrigeration spaces. They are extremely flexible as they are provided in flat-pack type and depending on the manufacturer, come in a number of hundred variations to suit specific requirements. Made up of standard sized panels, the floor, ceiling and walls can be quickly locked together to develop a refrigeration space tailored to specific needs and to match the space the customer has readily available. A modular room gives the consumer all the positive aspects of a customized refrigeration option, however without the added expenditure.

Modular rooms can freeze or chill at any temperature. They are mostly used for food storage, although they can be used for chemical and laboratory products and for cut-flowers, seeds and other natural produce.

Combi Cold Rooms

Some businesses, especially in the catering market, have to keep their stock at different temperature ranges (cooled or frozen for example). The solution is either to have different cold spaces, or have a combi space: a combination space with separate temperature level zones inside. These combi rooms use up less area than having separate cold rooms, so are best when area is at a premium.

Combi spaces are typically divided into 2 spaces. The external door usually results in the hottest of the spaces, typically the chiller zone. A door in the wall of the chiller zone results in the freezer area. Both spaces are managed by different refrigeration units for ease of use, safety and reliability.

Industrial Cold Rooms

Industrial cold rooms can be huge as they are designed to handle much larger quantities of goods. While combi and modular rooms are utilized mainly for personnel access, commercial cold spaces provide a solution for bulk storage. Industrial spaces may require vehicle access, such as fork lift trucks, to transport the items in or out. They may likewise require various design functions, such as pallet racking or larger doors because of the different access and storage demands.

Industrial cold rooms will be made to measure to fit a client's special demands and the space they have available.

Picking a Cold Room

When selecting a solution to keep your cooled and frozen stock cold, it is first vital to decide whether you need a walk in cold space, or whether the quantity of goods is insufficient for this. If this holds true, a large commercial refrigeration cabinet might supply the response and be a much cheaper alternative, also taking up less space.

The positive aspect of walk-in spaces is that goods are easily accessible and more visible to staff, The result is enhanced business efficiency and a reduction in waste as there are no unreachable items left in the back of the cabinet.

When it comes to choosing an item, another decision a business will need to make is how much insulation they require. The standard thickness is generally 80 mm, however designs can be bought with more than this.

Extra insulation is more expensive however the cost is off-set by higher performance of the space.
The thicker the insulation, the less heat enters into the room, so less power is needed to keep the appropriate internal temperature. This results in lower running expenses. The estimated payback period for buying an option with higher insulation is somewhere around 10 years. This makes it an expense reliable option as these products usually have a life expectancy of between 10 - 20 years.

Consider likewise whether you need an insulated floor. An insulated floor is needed for medium and freezer spaces, in order to keep products at the right temperature; however it is not always needed for a chiller room.

A floorless space is less expensive to set up, however the advantage of insulated flooring is higher energy performance which again means lowered running costs.

Nevertheless floorless rooms enable much better trolley access as there are no steps to work out. Trolleys can include cages used for milk, yoghurt and butter shipments, or trolleys used for plated meals.

The height of the room is also a factor to consider. The basic height is normally 2100 mm. Most personnel would discover it hard to reach stock kept above this height. However, if you do have a huge quantity of stock, cold rooms can be developed to a height of 2400 mm.

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