Hot Gas vs. Electric Defrost for Standard Commercial Refrige
Hot Gas vs. Electric Defrost for Standard Commercial Refrigeration Systems: An Energy Comparison (2020) - In commercial refrigeration systems used for supermarket refrigeration, eliminating significant ice and frost build-up on the equipment is sometimes necessary (Figure 1). In these systems, gas defrost systems were thought to be less expensive to operate from an energy standpoint because gas systems can utilize refrigerant from compressors that are already running. This paper highlights some of the significant variables involved with defrosting commercial refrigeration systems and provides insight into how much energy will be used in a typical electric system versus a typical gas defrost system.

Equipment factors that will be considered include compressors, pan heaters, and coil heaters. The result is a percentage increase or decrease in energy costs based on location. The systems compared are equipped exactly the same and located in 12 cities across the United States.

A trend exists in the refrigeration industry to move to a “demand defrost” system that activates only when the coil or system requires. As of the writing of this paper these types of systems have been available for about five years, but not enough data are available to prove them to be a consistent, reliable technology for commercial refrigeration systems.
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