What is the difference between medium temperature and bi-temperature equipment in different contexts of use?
Taking into account the various options for food and beverage refrigeration solutions for commercial establishments, it is not uncommon to have doubts about which is more suitable. In this article, we present a comparison between two types of equipment that are widely used – medium temperature and bi-temperature equipment.
To understand the main differences between them, we will demonstrate how each one behaves in different contexts of use. Thus, you will be able to understand which is the most suitable according to your need. After all, one cannot be considered better than the other, just more or less efficient for different purposes.
Temperatures and operating modes
While medium temperature solutions work only with positive temperatures (between 2 ºC and 8 ºC), as well as domestic freezers, bi-temperature have the versatility to be programmed to maintain negative temperatures in conservative mode or positive in refrigerator mode.
Using the thermostat, you can select one of two modes of operation for bi-temperature equipment:
- Conservative Mode: temperatures between -18 ° C and -22 ° C;
- Refrigerator Mode: temperatures between +2 ° C and +8 ° C.
However, the temperature variable is not the only difference between these two types of equipment. It is necessary to pay attention to the type of refrigeration that each one uses.
With ventilated refrigeration, in medium temperature solutions, the products are cooled more uniformly throughout the interior of the equipment, without the direct contact of the products with the cold walls. Thus, it is possible to achieve and maintain the desired temperature more efficiently.
With static refrigeration, used in bi-temperature equipment, the refrigeration of each item is based on the gradual exchange of heat between the cold generated on the internal walls of the equipment and the products packaged inside.
To learn more about the two types of cooling (static and ventilated), read our article on the topic here.
The types of refrigeration are very relevant when choosing the right equipment for your business, as they have a direct impact on the quality and conservation of different products, as you can see below.
Medium temperature and bi-temperature equipment in different contexts of use
As for the types of products
If the conservator’s purpose is the exclusive supply of products that cannot come into direct contact with the cold walls – as in the case of fruit and vegetables, for example – a medium temperature conservator is undoubtedly the most appropriate. This is because ventilated refrigeration will not affect the quality of the products.
Drinks (water, soft drinks, isotonics), dairy products, cold cuts, and fresh meats are also perfectly packaged in medium temperature conservators.
As we have already said, the main benefit of bi-temperature conservators is their versatility: in them, it is possible to choose between two modes of operation (conservator and refrigerator). However, as it is not indicated to use the intermediate range of bi-temperature equipment, the ideal is not to insert products with different temperature needs.
That is, if you need to conserve soft drinks, you must select the ‘Refrigerator’ mode – which is not suitable, for example, for fruit pulps, as they would melt. In the same way, selecting the conservative mode would preserve the pulps, but freeze the soft drinks.
As for practicality at the place of use
In addition to the types of products to be stored, it is interesting to analyze some other characteristics of the equipment in relation to the place of use. The defrost system is the first one.
In bi-temperature conservators (static refrigeration), the defrost is manual, which requires manual labor and time for each cleaning of the equipment. Whenever the layer of ice on the walls of the equipment exceeds 1 cm in thickness, it will be necessary to defrost manually so that the equipment maintains its efficiency and operating performance.
In the case of medium temperature conservators (ventilated refrigeration), the Defrost system ensures that there is no accumulation of ice, facilitating cleaning and routine maintenance. This contributes to the fact that the medium temperature equipment, for the most part, has a glass door and is chosen more frequently for use as exhibitors.
Another characteristic to take into account is the format of the conservator (horizontal or vertical), either in bi-temperature or medium temperature equipment.
- Vertical: occupy less usable space on site and make it easier for customers to choose products. For this, they have adjustable shelves, built-in handles, and leveling feet system, with cover option glass or plate. They are mainly used for preserving ice, frozen products, or beverages in the sales areas (glass door versions), or even for stock and conservation, in the plate door version.
- Horizontal: with greater product storage capacity, they have a plate or glass cover, with ergonomic handles and balanced hinges (only in the plate door version) to facilitate opening. They may have an internal partition for better organization of the items, in addition to a rotation system to facilitate movement, widely used in ice cream parlors, bars, and restaurants.
As we have seen, the two types of equipment meet different needs. While medium temperature conservators are more efficient in maintaining positive temperatures and automatic defrost, bi-temperature ones are multifunctional and, therefore, useful when it is necessary to change the operating mode (Conservator or Refrigerator).
In this sense, our solutions offer the following advantages:
- internal and external sheets in pre-painted galvanized steel;
- thermally cut frame for greater efficiency in maintaining temperature;
- environmentally friendly polyurethane insulation