Plant Control Systems


Plant Control Systems

Plant control or factory automation with centralized control of an entire facility provide benefits not possible with only local machine controllers. The following is an example of plant control developed by Antronics.


Commercial Refrigerated Storage

Commercial refrigerated storage facilities are typically large plants with many cold storage rooms and one or more engine rooms. The continuous operation of the equipment required to maintain refrigerated storage conditions make it an ideal plant-wide computerized control application.

A centralized control system can monitor the demand and raise or lower engine room suction pressure dynamically to match the need for refrigerant. Centralized control also means that the computer can determine the optimum compressor loading to maintain the current suction pressure set point. This not only makes maintaining temperatures with a higher degree of accuracy easier, but also saves money by reducing electrical energy consumption.

Additional savings can be achieved matching discharge pressure set point to current atmospheric conditions (humidity and temperature) instead of using pressure switches. And like engine room compressors, condenser fans and pumps can be matched to meet load conditions. Adding variable frequency drives to condenser fan motors can increase savings even further.

With a centralized control system defrost times are easily coordinated to insure that water supply, water temperatures, and refrigeration loads are all managed as desired. Keeping track of refrigerant float valve activity on each refrigeration zone also makes it easier for operators to find and resolve flood back problems. Further energy savings can be realized by adding variable frequency drives to evaporator coil fan motors and letting the computer control them in conjunction with the back pressure regulators as temperatures move off of set points.

Having one place to view conditions throughout the plant, daily reports and historical data makes monitoring and maintaining this type of facility much easier.

Click here for a summary of these and other benefits of computerized control for refrigeration facilities.


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