Air curtain interference, Energy consumption, Thermal performance, Refrigerated display cabinet, Experimental study
Vertical open refrigerated display cabinets (VORDC) used to display perishable food for sale in convenience stores and supermarkets are subject to human interference. Consumers and repository personnel pass in front of the VORDC and frequently remove or place food products on shelves. This movement affects the thermal performance of the VORDC. Each interference drags or breaks the air curtain resulting in the modification of the air flow and promoting the ambient air thermal entrainment that consequently changes the VORDC working conditions. This experimental study quantifies the products temperature and the energy consumption of the VORDC when there is an interference due to consumers passing in front of the VORDC. The tests were performed in a test room according to ISO 23953 using a robotic mannequin (MARIA - Mannequin for Automatic Replication of the Interference in the Air curtain) that systematically passes in front of the VORDC. Experimental tests are performed for translational velocity from 0.2 ms-1 to 0.8 ms-1, with 0.2 ms-1 steps and considering two conditions: mannequin moving towards and against the air flow of the test room. The results quantify the influence of MARIAâ€™s translational velocity in front of the VORDC on the products temperature and energy consumption. These results are part of a more complex evaluation of the air curtain interference by humans to be used in the development of new products on an industrial scale.