Commercial Refrigeration Systems

I.     Course Prefix/Number: AHR 201

       Course Name: Commercial Refrigeration Systems

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

An entire refrigeration cycle, from compressor discharge to compressor suction is covered.  Refrigeration circuit problems are also evaluated as part of troubleshooting procedures in the laboratory. Construction of various components such as evaporators, compressors, and metering devices is included in this course.

IV.   Learning Objectives

1.    After instruction and training the student will recognize any type of equipment used in Commercial Refrigeration and relate to its applications.
2.    Knowing the application and product to be stores students will calculate the size and layout the commercial system needed to cool that product to design conditions.
3.    Given a specific application the student will lay out and design the best method for controlling and maintaining said system at design conditions.
4.    After calculating the system load and application students will learn how to layout and size system piping.
5.    Students will identify application and use of all commercial controls including defrost systems, winter operations controls, capacity reduction controls, system protection controls and other accessories controls.
6.    Using refrigeration tools students will develop fine tuning procedures, i.e. charging, adjustment of system components, system check-out.
7.    Using wiring diagrams students will trace and describe electrical control circuits used in commercial refrigeration.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Technical Material

1.    Course Introduction
   A.    Course objectives
   B.    Textbook introduction
   C.    Lab familiarization
   D.    Commercial refrigeration opportunities

2.    Review of Basic Refrigeration Theory (Book 1 Copeland and unit 19 Whitman)
   A.    Refrigeration cycle applied to commercial
   B.    Refrigerants used in commercial
   C.    Compressors, evaporators
   D.    TXV's – types and application

3.     System Components (Book 2 & Chapter 12)
   A.    Compressors (book 2 & Cooper text, ch. 3 and ch.5)
   B.    Condensers (book 2)
   C.    Evaporators (Cooper Text ch. 4)
   D.    Control devices (book 2 & Cooper text ch. 8)
      1.    refrigerant (book 2 & Copeland manual)
      2.    electrical (book 2 & Cooper text ch. 9-10)
   E.    Refrigerant piping and accessories (book 2 & Cooper text ch. 7)

4.    Refrigeration Systems (Cooper text ch. 8)

5.    Refrigerant Equipment (Cooper text ch. 12)
   A.    Single deck meat cases
   B.    Frozen food & ice cream cases
   C.    Five deck dairy casers
   D.    Multi deck frozen food & meat case
   E.    Produce cases
   F.    Self service ice cream machines
   G.    Ice machines
   H.    Ice flakers
   I.    Walk in coolers
   J.    Dual temperature display cases
   K.    Ice bank milk coolers

6.    Methods of Defrosting and Other Control Circuits (Cooper text ch. 13)
   A.    Hot gas
   B.    Electric
   C.    Brines and water
   D.    Air
   E.    Time clocks and electrical hook ups
   F.    Termination thermostats

7.    Special Refrigeration Components and Capacity Control Devices (Unit 23,
    Whitman/Johnson text)
   A.    Cylinder by pass unloaders (book 4 sec. 21 and Copeland handout)
   B.    Hot gas by pass

8.    Commercial Refrigeration Load Calculations
   A.    Heat loads and load factors (Cooper text ch. 18 & book 4 Copeland text)
   B.    Heat transmission load
   C.    Air infiltration
   D.    Product load
   E.    Supplementary load
   F.    Running time vs load
   G.    Equipment selection
      a.    Sizing the condensing unit
      b.    Sizing the evaporator

9.    Proper Piping and Pipe Sizing (Copeland text, book 4 & Cooper ch. 7)
   A.    Suction sizing
   B.    Discharge sizing
   C.    Liquid line sizing
      a.    finding needed sub cooling
   D.    Good piping practice

10.    Refrigeration Accessories  (Book 4)

11.    Understanding Refrigeration Control Circuits  (others)

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, class discussions, Lab demonstrations and Audio/Video as available.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students are required to complete all assignments and lab work. All quizzes, tests and homework assignments and assigned lab work sheets.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Cooper, Commercial, Industrial & Inst. Refrig., Prentice-Hall
Refrigeration Manual (Fund. of Refrig.) Pt. 1, Copeland
Refrigeration Manual (Refrig. Load) Pt. 3, Copeland
Refrigeration Manual (Refrig. Sys. Components) Pt. 2, Copeland
Refrigeration Manual (Sys. Design) Pt. 4, Copeland

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

An average of two tests and unannounced or announced quizzes.  All lab projects must be completed before the final exam.  Three absences lowers one letter grade.  Six absences result in an “F” grade.
1-4 4 Safety p. 7
2-10 10-2 Charge a system using scales p. 49
3-21 21-1 Check operating Pressures and Temp. on Evaporator while System is under Excessive Load p. 127
4-22 22-2 Chart Air - Cooled Condenser Performance of a Low Temperature System p. 137
5-22 22-3 Evaluate a Water - Cooled Condenser Operating Pressures and Temperatures p. 137
6-26 26-1 Application of Refrigeration Systems p. 175
7-7 7 Adjust the Evaporator Pressure Regulator (Handout)
8-24 24-2 Troubleshoot a Refrigerated Cooler with TXV p. 157
9-9 9 Sequence & Operation of Electric Defrost System (Handout)
10-10 10 Check the Operation of a Hot Gas Defrost System with a Pump Down Cycle (Handout)
11-11 11 Identify Special Refrigeration System Components (Handout)
12-25 25-2 Adjust CPR Value (Crankcase Pressure Regulator) p. 171
13-13 13 Compare 4 Refrigerants used for Different Applications of Refrigeration Systems (Handout)
14-26 26-2 Describe 2 Ice Making Mat hoods and take Temperatures and Pressure Readings p. 177
15-23 23-2 Measure Compressor Efficiency for Low and Med. Temperature Systems p. 149
16-26 26-1 Application of Refrigeration Systems p. 175
17-17 17 Wire a Commercial Control Systems (Handout)
18-18 18 Change Out Valves in a Semi-Hermetic Compressor (Handout)
19-19 19 Set Low Pressure Control of a TXV Med. Temp. System (Handout)
20-20 20 Calculate 2 Load Calculations (Handout)
21-9 9-1 Refrigerant Recovery p. 41
22-23 23-1 Compressor Operating Temperature p. 145-148

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at