It certainly appears that impartial judges have taken a liking to the practical HVACR components frequently added on to freezers and coolers, which help the units run efficiently and accurately.

Three such products were among just 21 winners in the 2013 Kitchen Innovations (KI) awards, presented at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. (The show had more than 2,000 exhibitors, most with multiple products.) The nine-member panel included those involved in equipment selection from a range of businesses including Walt Disney Resorts and McDonald’s.

Kitchen Innovation Recognition

One winner was the KE2 Evaporator Efficiency controller from KE2 Therm Solutions. Designed as a controller for walk-in coolers and freezers, the KE2 Evaporator Efficiency controller was selected for the KI award for its energy-efficiency characteristic, communication capability, and ability to be used for new installation or retrofit of existing refrigeration equipment.

Manitowoc Foodservice’s Kolpak was lauded for its ArcticFox, an on-demand defrost control for walk-ins that activates only when needed, rather than on timers. The idea is to avoid unnecessary defrost cycles by as much as 90 percent to improve energy efficiency and temperature constancy, the company said.

Also, Master-Bilt, a Standex International Corp. Co., was honored for its Parallel Glycol Rack system. The refrigeration system uses a glycol loop that cools equipment in a food service kitchen or retail environment.


And there were many other new developments related to freezers and coolers at the show. A unit cooler from Turbo Air had blue anti-corrosion fins designed to increase the speed of the coil.

Also from Kolpak came an air shield designed to mount vertically to a walk-in door on the interior wall surface. The air-delivery system channels a barrier of refrigerated air that flows horizontally across the interior side of the door opening. The shield is automatically activated when the door is open and shuts off when the door closes.

Electronic controls for a blast chiller were the focus of Victory Refrigeration. The component allowed control of both blast chilling from 194˚F to 37˚ in 90 minutes; or shock freezing from 194˚ to 0˚ in 240 minutes.

Bally Refrigerated Boxes Inc. showed the SmartVapII electronically controlled system, an electric-defrost unit cooler. It is located in the evaporator and controls box temperature and all aspects of the electric defrost. It eliminates the need for a time clock and heater contactor usually located in the condensing unit. It’s also designed to make the wiring of the refrigeration system easier.

Continental Refrigerator’s griddle stands are for refrigerators and freezers. All models are front breathing and drawers are extendable and designed to hold 6-inch-deep pans side by side and provide 250 pounds of capacity. They have the option of right or left condensing units.


A variety of unitary equipment benefiting from such components was also featured at the event.

Master-Bilt showcased its Fusion Plus door line, which expanded Master-Bilt’s Fusion food service cabinet offering with a dealer line of door offerings for refrigerated and frozen product merchandisers that include swinging and glass doors. Features included increased pack-out space, LED lighting, a backlit graphic panel, noise-reducing technology, maximum-product display design, adjustable shelving, and a three-year parts and labor warranty.

Nor-Lake Inc. had both beer coolers and milk coolers on display. Regarding the latter, there was a new design to allow a 50 percent reduction in energy consumption. The durability was verified with a more than 10,000-cycle drop test. Also shown were glass-door back-bar refrigerators as part of the AdvangtEDGE line. Each unit included a forced-air HFC-134a capillary-tube refrigeration system.

Compact, full-size, under-the-counter, and refrigerated equipment stands were featured by Traulsen. The stands use an Intela-Traul microprocessor control for temperature maintenance. It maintains interior temperature from 0˚-5˚ in the freezer and 34˚-38˚ in the refrigerator, the company said.

Beverage-Air Corp. offered visitors a map of its booth, so they could easily navigate the number of new products on display. Sections included reach-ins, blast chillers, countertops, bar equipment, worktops, glass-door merchandisers, and food preparation tables. A couple of the new products were countertop refrigerators and freezers with cold-wall and forced-air design; and blast chillers and freezers with standard hold cycles.

Flash chillers in various high-efficiency configurations were shown by Vin Service SRL. The chillers were displayed in conjunction with the company’s glycol recirculation towers, ice tower flooded systems, and air-drawn towers for keg boxes.

Open-air merchandiser refrigerators were shown by AHT Cooling Systems USA. The company offered an interchangeable cooling-deck system that could be changed in 15 minutes, a tube-wire condenser, and fixed rollers to allow for ease of movement.

Hoshizaki America Inc. exhibited the HR24A, a compact under-the-counter reach-in refrigerator with ducted airflow for even distribution of the air throughout the cabinet.

A commercial refrigerator from Blueair Inc. included a digital temperature controller and self-diagnostic monitoring system.

Publication date: 7/8/2013

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