We do commercial refrigeration Perth! We pride ourselves on the service we provide throughout the Perth area. The thing about commercial refrigeration Perth is that it is such an essential part of surviving, surrounded, as we are, by a hot desert where food will go rotten in a heartbeat and become a threat to everyone’s health if it is not prepared, packed, stored and offered for sale correctly. Not a pleasant prospect. That is why the ongoing training and development of each of our refrigeration mechanic Perth is such an essential contribution to the well-being of everyone, not just our clients but everybody. Every day thousands of people will use a retailer supported by a commercial refrigeration service Perth.
Refrigeration Perth is a part of our daily life here in hot WA. Where would we be without the ability to provide the local population with the food and drinks they need to keep healthy, fit and happy? As humans we have developed our senses, mostly our sense of smell, to tell us when something is not right about our food and drink, but by then it is too late. We need the food to be fresh before we cook it, let alone get ready to bite into it. We have all come to reply upon access to fresh, clean, bacteria-free food and drinks, and that can not happen without proper refrigeration. Industrial refrigeration Perth is therefore not simply an essential part of the local economy, but vital to the health and vitality of our families and friends, including our four-legged friends.
Planned and regular maintenance and commercial refrigeration repairs Perth are vital to the businesses of our clients and in turn to the success of their customers. Whether it is time-critical refrigeration repairs Perth northern suburbs or advising new customers about install refrigeration panels Perth, our refrigeration mechanic Perth will happily provide excellent, cost-effective and essential advice during your installation phase, and then our engineers will keep your business running smoothly and coolly.
The development of efficient refrigeration and cooling systems has transformed the way we live around the world. Pretty much everyone in the developed world has a refrigerator at home and we all rely on being able to buy fresh, healthy food from supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and food producers. The history of commercial and industrial refrigeration developed in tandem with the development of the home refrigerators, driven by our natural desire to provide healthy food for our families.
Food preservation techniques stretch back at least fifteen thousand years and probably a lot longer. Fish, fruit, meat and spices were often left in the sun to dry which would preserve them for some time. Humans the world over would also preserve food using salt, certain spices, fermenting processes, smoking or pickling in brine. These techniques, however, also change the tastes, textures and flavours of the foods and not always to everyone’s liking. To a certain extent it also destroys some of the vital nutrition present in fresh products. In colder climates our forefathers would use naturally forming ice, where it was available and accessible. Pasteurisation did not arrive until Louis Pasteur developed the process in 1864 and before this serious illness and death was common. Back in the “colonial” days there was often widespread sickness and death caused by what was euphemistically called the “summer complaint” when food became infected with harmful bacteria in the hot summer months.
Some ancient techniques used by the Mesopotamians, and copied much later in the 1800s by Europeans, Americans, both north and south, and the Chinese involved building an “ice house”. These were structures built low into the ground and then insulated with straw or wood to keep the ice blocks cold. Many of these were circular constructions with spiral access corridors going round and down in an effort, often very successful, to keep warmer air out of the centre. There are ancient writings describing how ancient Greek, Roman and Hebrew civilisations used similar methods using natural snow and ice. The Egyptians, about three thousand years ago, were able to make ice by constantly wetting earthen pots full of water during their cold, desert, winter nights.
During the 1600s in Italy, and the Chinese two hundred years before that, had discovered that when salt-water (brine) evaporated it absorbed heat and thus a pot placed in brine would stay cold. In America “springhouses” were food and ice storage houses built in such a way that a local stream would be diverted to keep the roof and sides constantly cold.
It was not until a Scotsman, Dr. William Cullen, working at the University of Glasgow in 1748, started to experiment with evaporating liquids in a vacuum, that true artificial refrigeration was discovered. He did not develop this system, however, being content simply to demonstrate that it could be done. The first functioning refrigerators were produced in 1805 by the American inventor, Oliver Evans and by a journalist, born in Scotland, who used it to keep his beer cold. A French monk, the Abbé Marcel Audiffren, can make the claim for developing the first domestic refrigerator.
Using the Abbé’s ideas in 1877 the first commercial refrigeration system was developed by Ferdinand Carre to be used on The Paraguay, a cargo ship designed to carry frozen meat from Argentina to France. General Electric by 1911 were selling domestic refrigerators for a thousand US dollars each: more expensive than the average car.
Commercial refrigeration was slow to develop because there already were in many countries established businesses which used natural ice gathered from their localities. It was the “Ice King” Frederick Tudor and his partner Nathaniel Wyeth, both from New England, who commercialised the natural ice industry when Mr. Tudor developed new ways of insulating the ice and cutting it into regular sized blocks for more efficient handling and cooling. In 1879 there were thirty five commercial natural ice businesses in the USA, by 1909 this number had grown to over two thousand. The quantity of ice consumed by humans in 1907 was fourteen to fifteen million tons. The problem with this method is that no-one could remove the bacteria from leaves, twigs, dead animals and bacteria that might be in the ice and this method was eventually recognised as a major health problem. The ongoing world industrialisation, with its accompanying sewage and pollution problems, simply exacerbated the problem.
It was during this time, particularly in the brewing and meat storage and distribution industries, that commercial refrigeration began to establish itself. Prompted initially by the large influx of beer-loving German immigrants, controlled refrigeration enabled the brewers to produced beer of consistent quality all year round and the meat businesses did not need to worry about the warmer summer months. By 1900 Chicago led the world in the refrigerated meat packing business using refrigeration systems not only in their factories and warehouses, but also in their delivery and transport vehicles as well. Animals could now be brought for slaughter and packing year-round; quality and hygiene improved at a pace to satisfy the ever growing demand for meat. Of course, with more efficiently cooled preparation areas, storage locations and delivery vehicles, the health of people in general improved enormously as well.
The railway industry was also playing its part in this improvement. As early as the 1840s natural ice would be packed at each end of a railway wagon and the air would pass over the ice into the storage wagon, thus cooling what was there. In the early days this was mostly fish and dairy products, but as the meat industry expanded there was an equivalent rise in meat transportation by rail. This then expanded into fruits, with Californian grapes, Florida oranges, plums, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries and such like being delivered fresh to distributors and ultimately to benefit consumers.
There were, however, problems to overcome along this path of rapid development. Sulphur-dioxide and methyl chloride were among the early chemicals used and caused some deaths. Ammonia was also used and posed serious a danger to workers’ health. As early as 1928 Frigidaire discovered the efficiency of using synthetic refrigerants called halocarbons or CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons, now banned because of the damage they caused to the earth’s ozone layer). The company was in those days a part of General Motors and, lacking a manufacturing facility of its own and realising this was a benefit that should be shared by all, allowed its patents to be used by everyone. There followed a wholesale switch to using what was perceived in those days to be a “safe” refrigerant.
The refrigeration business then underwent an even more rapid expansion into more diverse industries not associated with food. Woollen goods and fur manufacturers were able to control insect attack, particularly moths, by reducing the temperature in their warehouses. Garden nurseries and florists were able to extend the shelf-life of their perishable offerings. City morgues also became easier on the nose and were able to preserve dead bodies much longer and more hygienically.
The metalworking industry was able to temper cutlery products more efficiently and iron foundries were able to remove moisture from air channelled into blast-furnaces, which helped to increase their production and improved the quality of the final product. The oil businesses’ refineries benefitted, the chemical industries, and many other manufacturers: sugar mills, bakeries, chocolate factories as well as the more predictable industries such as hotels, restaurants and other hospitality businesses.
In Australia, the Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating Inc. (AIRAH) was founded in 1920 and is still going strong today from its offices in Melbourne. Their stated aim is “to promote the science and practice of refrigeration, air conditioning and heating and provide a specialist membership association for air conditioning, refrigeration, heating and ventilation professionals.” Recognised by government and industry, the organisation is especially noted for the professionalism of its members in a broad range of engineering expertise which benefits all of us as well as improving our natural environment. Paul Sulc (Labour) is listed in the register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia, he worked as a fitter in the refrigeration industry from 1984 to 2006. His mother, Mary (nee Bateman), was the first female refrigeration mechanic in Western Australia.
As you have read here today, Industrial Refrigeration Solutions (IRS) is part of a fine heritage that has grown out of a very ancient human need to care for themselves and their families. We are the latest in a long line of people and companies that constantly endeavour, and indeed succeed, to enhance the quality of life for everyone. The assistance we can provide across a broad spectrum of industries helps secure a safer workplace, a cleaner workplace and helps produce better, cleaner, purer products.
Refrigeration may seem to some a lacklustre industry, but it has a history of improving the world for all mankind and will continue to do so far into the future.
Call us today with whatever cooling need you have in mind and find out how our essential and ongoing maintenance programs and refrigeration repairs Perth WA make sure that supermarkets, food and drink producers and distributors, plus a host of other businesses benefit from our professionalism and expertise. IRS Refrigeration companies Perth are the unsung heroes who make sure we and our families can continue to live the healthy life we all enjoy.
Enjoy your next beer or chilled wine, it has come a long, long way.