Commercial refrigerator mavens needed
April 12, 2011 9:17 AM Subscribe
Designing a commercial refrigeration solution for a rustic retreat center.
posted by ottereroticist to technology (5 answers total)
I'm on a committee that's tasked with finding a better refrigeration solution for the kitchen of a rural retreat center. The kitchen is a semi-finished barn that is used by week-long gatherings of up to 300 people several times a year.
The current solution has involved a motley collection of home refrigerators plus a glass-doored commercial reach-in. The reach-in functionality is important, as it prevents cooks from having to stand there with the door open, "shopping" for ingredients as the previous coolth leaks away.
However, these units, all bought second-hand via Craigslist, have historically not lasted long, due in part (I think) to the inherent difficulty of assessing the quality of used refrigerators. Plus the ambient temperatures in the semi-finished barn range from the 30s at night in October to well over 100 on some July and August days, which I think shortens the lifespan of these units.
Once the refrigerator no longer works, the rural location makes it hard to get it fixed, and instead the broken fridge becomes a large piece of hard-to-dispose of trash. So a good solution will be robust under extreme temperatures and hard usage.
On to the questions:
Is a walk-in as the best solution for these conditions? Are walk-ins designed to be installed in non-temperature-controlled environments?
Is it possible to build a walk-in with used structural components plus a new or reconditioned cooling unit?
Can a walk-in include a reach-in section, or is there some other way to meet the need for reach-in capabilities?
Can you recommend a source that designs and sells commercial refrigeration solutions in Southern Oregon? (The site is near Grants Pass.)
Any other things to consider or useful online resources?