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Fridge study plays down effects of door openings

FRANCE: As the doors/no doors debate continues, new research maintains that a closed display cabinet achieves lower product temperature and better temperature homogeneity, even with a high door-opening frequency.

A study by researchers from France’s National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA), the university-level institution AgroParisTech and Thailand’s technology institute KMIT investigated the influence of operating conditions on the thermal performance of a closed refrigerated display cabinet. This included the frequency of door openings, ambient temperature and percentage of occupied volumes.

The study, published in the International Journal of Refrigeration, is said to show that the product position in the cabinet is a determining factor of its temperature: a high temperature was observed at the front, particularly at the top of the cabinet, and a low temperature was observed at the back. 

Air infiltration due to door openings caused a product temperature increase at the front and a temperature decrease at the back. At a higher door opening frequency (more than 60 openings per hour per door), the product temperature at the level of the front middle shelf was the most affected. Both the ambient temperature and occupied volume also affected product temperature variations in the closed display cabinet.

However, the researchers maintain that in comparison to an open display cabinet, a closed display cabinet achieves lower product temperature and better temperature homogeneity, even with a high door-opening frequency.

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