Choosing a Kolpak 120 Refrigeration System

Kolpak's walk-in refrigerators stand apart from the competition in a number of ways, from their rugged construction to the ease with which they're installed. Another key advantage of Kolpak walk-ins isn't obvious when you look at the equipment: the refrigeration systems they're built with.

Every Kolpak walk-in, from the company's pre-engineered PolarPak units to its custom line, includes a Kolpak 120 refrigeration system, one of the most sophisticated in the industry. Among its many benefits, the Kolpak 120 is designed to operate satisfactorily in ambient temperatures of -20 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, hence the name. Each system in this series comprises two main components, the condensing unit and evaporator.

Condensing Unit

The surface area of Kolpak's condensing coils is greater than that of most comparable equipment, and its fan blades are larger to provide energy-efficient cooling and quick temperature recovery. While traditional systems employ capillary tubes to control the flow of refrigerant, the Kolpak 120 uses a line-mounted pressure switch that provides greater accuracy. That allows the equipment to perform at its peak capacity in all circumstances, including high ambient temperatures. High pressure switches are also less prone to developing leaks than capillary tubes, so Kolpak condensing units may provide a longer service life than competing equipment.

Evaporator Assembly

As with its condensers, Kolpak walk-in evaporators don't use the capillary tubes that competing models often do. Instead, thermostatic expansion valves precisely meter the amount of refrigerant that flows into the evaporator based on a number of factors, so the equipment can operate efficiently around the clock. Electronically-commutated motors power the evaporator fans, consuming a tiny amount of electricity and creating very little heat compared to traditional fan motors. Solenoid control switches provide reliable operation and are easy to maintain.

Choosing a Kolpak 120 System

If you decide that a Kolpak walk-in is the right choice, you have three models of 120 condensing unit to choose from:

  • PCL - Pre-charged with line sets and quick-connect fittings. Choose the PCL system with line sets if you need a remote condenser located as far as 40 feet away from your walk-in. When you order the equipment, you can choose a 10-, 20-, 30-, or 40-foot run of refrigerant line.
  • PC - Pre-charged condensing unit with 50-foot line run. Choose the Kolpak PC condensing unit if you need a remote condenser that exceeds the 40-foot run limit of the PCL model.
  • PR - Preassembled, remote with no refrigerant charge. Choose the PR condensing unit if you have a unique installation requirement that will require a refrigeration professional to come to your site and provide the appropriate refrigeration charge. This may be the case if you're unsure of where to install your equipment or if your condensing unit will be located more than 50 feet away from the walk-in.

PolarPak Pre-engineered Walk-Ins

PolarPak is Kolpak's offering of pre-engineered, quick-ship walk-ins. These walk-ins include their own flush-mounted version of the 120 refrigeration system. That flush-mounted setup, along with PolarPak's ease of assembly, make one of these walk-ins a great choice for operators who need a simple walk-in quickly, without waiting on the lead times that custom boxes generally require.

Kolpak Installation Requirements

Kolpak 120 units are valued for the ease with which they're installed. The systems' condensing units are attached to a single, heavy-duty base that makes components easy to mount and access for service and maintenance. The equipment's electrical box is easy to access for connection and maintenance work, as well. Here are a few of the critical steps involved in getting a Kolpak walk-in up and running.

  • The condensing unit must be installed in a suitable area that will provide the proper airflow and ambient conditions.
  • The evaporator assembly must be secured to the inside of the walk-in and must be free of obstructions such as shelving units.
  • Refrigerant lines must be run between the two components, and the proper valves must be open to allow refrigerant to flow between them.
  • You'll need an electrician to run circuits to both the evaporator and condensing units.
  • The equipment's defrost timers are shipped loose and must be installed and configured by a qualified technician.