The Complete Guide To Glycol Refrigeration Solutions And Services

Glycol Refrigeration Solutions And Services refers to the definition, usage, benefits, and maintenance of refrigeration and chilling units that use the chemical substance known as glycol in order to chill and freeze products or cold rooms. Glycol refrigeration is a more modern and power-conscious form of technology that is potentially more eco-friendly as well, because it uses less energy while still retaining a powerful cooling effect and has less heat emissions, reducing the need for ventilation and air conditioning.

Glycol refrigeration uses a type of glycol called Propylene glycol that is mixed with water to create reliable and consistent temperature control in more than one system the unit is attached to. Glycol refrigeration is typically used strictly to store and maintain food and organic produce, but glycol substances can also be found in air conditioning and other cooling systems.

What is Glycol?

Glycol as a term refers to multiple different types of chemical substances, but the word itself most commonly refers to a sweet tasting class of organic alcohol compound that is sometimes referred to as antifreeze. When a business or product mentions using glycol, there are two subtypes that are most commonly being referenced, each with its own uses and benefits. The two subtypes of glycol are:

  • Ethylene glycol: Ethylene glycol is an antifreeze liquid that is most commonly used for brake fluids and other automobile cooling systems, manufacturing human made fibres, and HVAC systems. It is also used in chillers and air conditioners. It is more toxic than the other type of glycol and should be handled with care.
  • Propylene glycol: Propylene glycol is a type of glycol made from propylene oxide and has a much lower level of toxicity. Propylene glycol is the type of glycol most commonly used in cosmetics, oral hygiene products, foods and food storage. Propylene glycol is the type of glycol used for glycol refrigeration.

An additional subtype of glycol called polyethylene glycol is commonly used for skin creams, anti-foaming properties, treating constipation, and personal usage lubricants. It is made with ethylene glycol but is less toxic. However, it still should not be ingested outside of medications.

Is Glycol a Refrigerant?

Unlike Ethylene glycol, Propylene glycol is not a refrigerant, an antifreeze, or a coolant. Propylene glycol, also known as Dihydroxypropane or Trimethyl glycol, is a heat transfer fluid that is more commonly used for refrigeration than other types of glycol due to its lower toxicity, and because it’s easier to handle.

What is Glycol Refrigeration?

A glycol refrigeration, or a glycol chiller, is a cooling system for coolrooms made up of pipes that connect fridges, cabinets, or coolrooms to a chilling unit, which is usually located externally or separately, most commonly on the roof of the building. These pipes contain a mixture of water and Glycol, which will remove large amounts of heat quickly as it is spread. When this substance has absorbed this heat, it will return to the chilling unit to be cooled and once again spread throughout the pipes, maintaining a consistent cold temperature.

A Glycol refrigeration system is not suitable in or for creating temperatures under 1 degree celsius. 

Glycol Refrigeration Solutions

Glycol refrigeration is an innovative technology that is seeing increased usage across the world due to the many unique benefits the system offers such as greater energy management or easier repairs. The following are some of the many benefits and solutions found in using glycol refrigeration solutions and services

  • Energy Efficiency: A glycol cooling system cools faster than typical refrigeration, and stays colder for longer due to the glycol mixture. This results in less energy and power being used to maintain the cooling process.
  • Versatile in All Locations: The glycol substances used in the cooling system have a lower freezing point than water and can be used for longer and more consistently than water in low-temperature environments.
  • Fast and Reliable Temperature Control: Due to the glycol mixtures’ incredible heat transferring properties, a glycol refrigeration system has fantastic temperature control that will cool quickly, and remain at its set temperature reliably and consistently.
  • Reduced Wastage: Glycol is recycled within the system until the substance itself has to be removed from the pipelines. Glycol and antifreeze are also recyclable at facilities as well.

Is Glycol Toxic?

Ethylene glycol is toxic and should be handled with care. Propylene glycol is not as toxic and is typically safe for consumption when it is used as a food additive, however, it is not completely safe and consuming too much of the substance may be detrimental to a person’s health.