For the majority of commercial retailers, an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach drives the selection of conventional refrigeration system architecture — one that centrally controls cases out on the floor, away from the rack house or refrigeration room in the back of the store. From start-up and installation to day-to-day operations and maintenance, these tried-and-true systems offer retailers a degree of predictability. But an increasingly competitive environment has forced them to seek alternatives to the status quo and look for innovative ways to reduce energy and operational costs in their refrigeration systems. As a result, many retailers are opening their eyes to the benefits of case control configurations that deliver optimized control at the individual case level.

Case control architecture enables control of all refrigeration case elements — such as lights, fans, anti-sweat heater, defrost and electronic expansion valves (EEV) — to deliver precise optimization across the entire refrigeration system. Compared to traditional, centrally controlled systems, case control is a flexible refrigeration method that’s capable of supporting a variety of configurations from simple to complex, including:

  • Basic temperature control
  • Superheat control via EEVs
  • Electronic suction regulator (ESR) control

Because of its built-in flexibility, case control has earned a reputation among retailers for being challenging to configure and set up. Today, modern case control technology simplifies setup through adaptive algorithms that essentially eliminate configuration challenges at startup.

Modern case control refrigeration systems promise many benefits to commercial retailers, especially when combined with EEVs that enable low condensing operation and enhanced energy efficiencies. Reduced startup costs and maintenance activities, combined with improved operational visibility for troubleshooting and trend analysis, are some of the reasons case control warrants a closer look.