Frigitek Refrigerator Motor Controller

Frigitek fan controller

Frigitek

The Frigitek is a product which can save substantial amounts of energy and cost in refrigeration systems. It features two-speed operation of the evaporator fans – high speed during cooling, and low speed when not cooling. It is designed to be easily retrofit into existing systems, and can be installed by anyone with skill in electrical installations.  It does not require a refrigeration specialist for installation.

Systems are available in single-phase and three-phase configurations, for both freezers and higher temperature systems.  Installation can be done by any competent electrician.  No modifications are made to the refrigerant system or the compressor system.   Frigitek Controllers are not VFDs.

 

Frigitek controllers are available in single-phase refrigerators and freezers, and are used in convenience stores and restaurants.

The three-phase Frigitek models are designed for industrial-size refrigerators and freezers.

Single-Phase models cover 120 Volt, 208-240 Volt and 480 Volt power, at up to 25 Amp capacity.

Three-Phase models are available for voltages from 208 to 480 Volts.  The modular design of the Three-Phase system allows one Controller to handle an unlimited number of evaporators.  Individual evaporators must be less than 20 horsepower.  

ECM models cover 120 Volt, and 208-240 Volt  power.  We now offer a line of ECM replacements for the older shaded-pole motors.  These ECM systems include a special controller featuring the Frigitek two-speed concept.   

Frigitek FAQ

What is the Frigitek? The Frigitek is an energy saving device designed for walk-in or industrial refrigerators and freezers.

How does the Frigitek work? The purpose of a refrigeration compressor and related equipment is to pump heat out of a box.  Often, more than 30% of that heat is generated by the evaporator fan motors.  Frigitek reduces this heat load approximately 75-80% by lowering the voltage to the evaporator fan motors when the box is not being actively cooled.  The result is a significant saving in operation costs.  The dramatic energy saving produced by the Frigitek have been confirmed by more than ten years of extensive laboratory and field testing and satisfied customers.

Won’t lowering the voltage to the fan motors cause the motors to overheat?  Lowering the voltage on a compressor motor, or any motor driving a fixed load, will cause the motor to draw excess current and overheat.

But, lowering the voltage on a motor with a variable load, such as a fan, will not cause the motor to draw more current.  This is because, as the motor power is reduced, the motor turns slower, and the slower rotation of the fan reduces the load which the motor must drive.  Thus the motor does not draw more current. Tests in our laboratory confirm that, when operating fan motors at lower voltages, they draw less current and produce significantly less heat.  This reduces the operating cost of both the fan motors and the compressor.

Where can I use the Frigitek? The single-phase Frigitek is designed to be used in walk-in refrigerators and freezers typically found in food-service businesses, florists, and markets.  Reach-in coolers with storage behind the doors can also benefit from the Frigitek.  Industrial-size coolers normally use the three-phase Frigitek.  Frigiteks are not applicable to HVAC systems, home air-conditioners, or small, stand-alone reach-in boxes.

Is the Frigitek safe?  The Frigitek does not interfere with the refrigeration cycle nor directly control the compressor, thus it cannot harm the compressor or any of the other equipment.  Because operation of the Frigitek causes the compressor duty cycle to be reduced, it can only have a beneficial effect on the equipment and should extend its life accordingly.

Will the Frigitek interfere with the refrigeration system? The Frigitek follows the thermostat’s cycling of the system to control the speed of the fans in the evaporator coils, and does not directly affect any other portion of the refrigeration system.  The refrigeration system continues to function normally.

How much will the Frigitek save?  While there are a number of conditions that affect the amount saved by Frigitek in any particular installation, typical energy and cost savings are in the 25-35% range.

What is my return on investment? The actual dollar savings resulting from use of the Frigitek will depend on the cost of electricity in your area.  For an electricity cost of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, typical payback time for a Single-Phase Frigitek is about 18 months; for a Three-Phase unit, about 12 months..

How long does it take to install? Installation time is typically about 45 minutes to one hour for Single-Phase systems, and may average two hours for Three-phase equipment.  Only qualified persons, familiar with electrical wiring, should do the installation of the Frigitek.

What is involved in the installation of the Frigitek? For installation information, see the appropriate Single-Phase or Three-Phase manual elsewhere on this website.

Does the Frigitek have a warranty?  A five-year warranty on all Frigitek equipment is found in the back of each owner’s manual.

Will the Frigitek cause icing?  The Frigitek will not contribute to any tendency for the evaporator coils to ice up. Because it operates the fans at high speed whenever the system is in cooling mode, the evaporator heat transfer characteristics are unchanged. In fact, the Frigitek has an Ice Sensor feature, which will continue to operate the fans at high speed if ice is detected in the coils.

Will temperature stratification become a problem?  Extensive testing, and actual customer experience, verify that there is more than adequate air movement to prevent stratification with the fans running at low speed under Frigitek control.

How long will the Frigitek last? The Frigitek should outlast your refrigeration system. Properly installed, there is no reason for it to fail under normal operation.

Are there any other benefits to using the Frigitek?  For certain applications, other benefits can equal or exceed that of energy savings. The reduced air movement extends the shelf life of perishables such as meat, fish, produce, pizza dough, and flowers, by slowing the dehydration process. In addition, the reduced running of the compressor will add to its lifetime, putting off the day that this expensive unit will need to be replaced.  And, in large industrial warehouses, the reduced fan noise contributes to a safe work environment.

What voltages are useable with the Frigitek? Single- and Three-Phase Frigiteks are available for all voltages in common use in the United States, including 480 VAC single-phase.

Can I use the Frigitek with pressure-controlled or CPC systems?  The Frigitek can be used on some pressure-controlled systems.  Contact Orion Energy Systems of Southern California for more information.

If you are interested in a Frigitek controller, visit our contact page!