A cold storage room is a cost-effective alternative for storing large quantities of food or other perishables that need temperature control. They save money on electricity and use less energy than a series of separate refrigerators and freezers.
With an internal storage capacity that’s much larger than that of a refrigerator or a chest freezer, you can organize your products so that everything is visible and easily keep track of expiration dates on perishables.
We’ll walk through the steps to building a cold storage room that can serve to preserve perishable products while providing additional storage space. Finding a cold storage services company will be beneficial in accomplishing the steps of building a cold storage room.
Table of Contents
Step 1 – Determine the Purpose and Basic Requirements
Cold room storage serves many purposes where temperature-controlled rooms are essential, especially for complying with safety regulations. What you will store in your cold room will help you identify the required temperature range, necessary humidity levels, storage capacity, and any shelving or equipment needed.
They can help extend the shelf life of various products such as produce, flowers, and drinks and slow down spoilage or bacteria growth. Cold room storage also improves the hygiene and safety of stored perishables by making items visible on shelves. In the case of chemical and engineering processes, a temperature-controlled room allows workers to manipulate various chemicals at a safe temperature that will ensure there are no adverse reactions. Cold storage will maintain the required temperature consistently, allowing safe storage of products such as drugs, medicines, and biological goods.
Step 2 – The Plan and Design
To meet your needs, you can customize cold storage rooms to any shape or size. The most important consideration when designing your cold storage room is to have a storage plan. A storage plan includes understanding how to handle refrigerated items properly and considers storage temperature, consistent airflow, and the impact on the type of equipment used. It can maximize the space and design to meet your needs for safe storage efficiently.For the layout, you need to figure out the number of rooms, their dimensions, construction material, and type of doors, as well as the accessibility, ventilation, and drainage systems of the room. Keeping in mind the building location will save on costs, reduce fuel consumption and minimize the temperature deviation of your products. Building a cold storage room near the production site and drop-off or distribution points is best. You can install them temporarily or permanently anywhere if there is appropriate space and a power source.Before planning and setting up a cold storage room, consult a professional architect or engineer with cold storage construction experience. They can help you figure out the proper parameters for your cold storage room and ensure that they are working efficiently to reduce energy costs and increase the longevity of your cold room.
Step 3 – Obtain Proper Permits and Approval
Cold storage regulations differ based on location. You must submit license applications with applicable fees for all cold storage rooms to ensure they meet the local health and safety code definition of cold storage. Each step of preparing your cold storage room requires that you submit appropriate documentation to the authorities. This paperwork includes an application, license of the business, various construction permits, and building details. Refer to your local authorities for the necessary permits and approvals for construction.
Step 4 – Constructing the Cold Storage Room
For a cold room to be efficient and keep costs down, the insulation panels must have good heat insulation performance and high insulation properties. At the same time, they must be economical and practical to keep costs down. There are two different methods of assembling the insulation walls, slip joint and camlock, both of which are appropriate for medium to large-sized cold rooms. With their light steel structure, slip joints provide excellent thermal insulation, and you can easily customize their layouts.
Two galvanized steel sheets form a Cam Lock joint. This type of joint is energy-saving with good thermal insulation and a shorter construction period than a slip joint assembly.
Step 5 – Installation of Refrigeration System
There are two types of refrigeration systems, direct expansion, and indirect expansion. Most small cold storage rooms use a direct expansion system because they are simple, efficient, and require less maintenance. They cool the air inside the unit by circulating refrigerant through evaporator coils. One of the main drawbacks of the direct expansion system is uneven cooling due to the air’s movement leading to temperature fluctuations.Indirect expansion systems, however, are used more often for more extensive cold storage facilities. They offer better temperature control and stability using a secondary coolant called glycol in their evaporator coils. Consult a refrigeration expert to determine the appropriate refrigeration system for your cold storage room.
Step 6 – Electrical Installation
The second highest operating cost for a cold storage room is electricity. Finding a way to balance electricity costs and temperature stability is essential for cold storage room construction. Installation of the correct electrical system that is both energy efficient, can handle your refrigeration requirements, and keep maintenance costs low is also important.
Step 7 – Testing and Commission
Once workers complete construction, the cold storage unit must be evaluated via a performance qualification procedure to test the refrigeration system. Ensure that you thoroughly document this process to demonstrate compliance with regulatory authorities. The qualifications should demonstrate the equipment can maintain the required temperature range in all areas, is consistent within specified limits, and is reliable.
Step 8 – Maintenance and Monitoring
Ensure that your cold storage room operates efficiently with regular maintenance. This guarantees that the quality of the goods stored is safe to consume or administer.
Procedures you want to remember for cold storage maintenance include:
- Inspecting the refrigeration system
- Checking the electrical connections
- Keeping the facility clean
- Examining all the surfaces for a build-up of ice
Ongoing maintenance is vital to maintain optimal performance in your cold storage room.
The Bottom Line
Building a cold storage room is a daunting task. Even if you have an excellent knowledge of the inner workings of construction projects, it is best to consult a cold storage construction expert to ensure a successful and compliant project.