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[New Webinar] Setting the Stage for A2L Adoption in Commercial Refrigeration

Joe Summers | Senior Product Manager – Scrolls & Drives
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

As we examine the next generation of lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant alternatives, emerging A2L refrigerants are poised to play much larger roles in commercial refrigeration. Offering a combination of high performance and lower-GWP ratings (below 300 and 150 GWP), A2L refrigerants fill a much-needed niche within a potentially broad range of equipment classifications. In the next installment of our Journey to Lower-GWP Refrigerants series, which will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT, Jennifer Butsch, Emerson’s director of regulatory affairs, Mike Hill, Emerson’s systems solution architect, and I will provide an overview of A2L refrigerants and discuss their drivers for adoption.

From original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to retail end users, stakeholders throughout the U.S. commercial refrigeration supply chain are exploring the potential of A2L refrigerants for their future refrigeration portfolios.

Recent updates to refrigerant safety standards have addressed concerns about the A2L “lower flammability” classification, providing guidance for the safe use of A2L refrigerants in foodservice and food retail applications. Our free E360 Webinar, Setting the Stage for A2L Adoption in Commercial Refrigeration, will explain how this update is the first key milestone along the path toward further regulatory approvals, which will likely include the listing of specific A2L options by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and subsequent revisions to building codes.

Compared to legacy refrigerants, A2L alternatives introduce new application caveats and considerations, including variances in GWP levels and performance characteristics. Our webinar will explore these nuances and examine a few of the emerging A2L refrigerant options that Emerson has selected for testing in our compression portfolios. We’ll also discuss which commercial refrigeration applications are most likely to utilize these new A2L options and share anecdotes from our research and development (R&D) efforts.

From a safety management perspective, our webinar will demonstrate the importance of leak detection sensors and supporting control architectures, including some of the A2L-rated solutions that Emerson has developed. We’ll also discuss other risk mitigations in the recent safety standard updates, including considerations for refrigerant charge limits, lower flammability limits (LFLs), and the use of safety shut-off valves (SSOVs).

So be sure to join us on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT for our Setting the Stage for A2L Adoption in Commercial Refrigeration E360 Webinar. Attendees will learn:

  • The latest updates to A2L safety standards, regulatory approvals and expected timelines
  • An overview and comparison of leading A2L refrigerant options
  • The importance of proper control architectures and A2L leak detection strategies
  • How Emerson’s OEM and retail customers are leveraging our A2L testing capabilities

Register Now

New Webinar Series: The Journey to Lower-GWP Refrigerants

Kurt Knapke | Vice President of Solutions Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

The transition to refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP) is impacting stakeholders throughout commercial refrigeration and AC supply chains. Over the next few years, the phasedown of high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) — and subsequent phase-in of lower-GWP refrigerant alternatives — will transform system architectures, affect equipment design cycles, and influence corporate sustainability decisions. In a new six-part webinar series, Emerson will examine multiple angles of the lower-GWP refrigerant transition to help stakeholders make informed decisions and take steps to achieve their operational and sustainability goals.

Whether you’re an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), end user, service technician or design consultant, your transition to lower-GWP refrigeration will be unique. For many U.S. stakeholders, this transition may not have been a top priority until very recently. But for operators in states like California — who face compliance with California Air Resources Board (CARB) refrigerant rulemaking — you’ve likely already taken significant strides in this journey.

With the passing of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, the prospect of a nationwide, federal HFC phasedown is now on the horizon. The AIM Act restores the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to phase down HFC production and consumption through sector-based controls. At the same time, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives are prompting many companies to commit to short- and long-term decarbonization targets. Combined, these factors are driving commercial refrigeration and AC sectors toward the use of lower-GWP refrigerants.

Among the next generation of alternatives are proven natural refrigerants — including CO2 (or R-744) and the A3 propane (or R-290) — and the emergence of a new class of synthetic A2L options. Although each of these refrigerants deliver significant GWP reductions, they introduce new performance characteristics, system architectures and operational caveats that differ from traditional HFC systems. Selecting a lower-GWP refrigerant for a new or retrofit application will require aligning end-user preferences with a variety of application, installation and operational considerations. Unlike previous generations of refrigeration technology, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to system design using these lower-GWP refrigerants.

For our Journey to Lower-GWP Refrigerants webinar series, we took all these factors into consideration and developed a framework that will help to inform the next steps on your refrigerant journey. From regulations and safety standards to refrigerant-specific applications and operational caveats, you’ll find answers to help you navigate the road ahead. Make plans to join us in the coming weeks for these informative sessions:

  • Regulatory Update: The Latest in Refrigerant Rulemaking and Safety Standards: view on demand Rapidly evolving refrigerant regulations are reshaping the commercial refrigeration and AC industries. Learn about the regulations that will impact you and find a path forward on your journey to lower-GWP refrigeration.
  • Preparing for Emerging Refrigerants and CARB Compliance: view on demand The global phasedown of HFC refrigerants has officially arrived in the U.S. Explore how emerging low-GWP refrigerants — such as CO2, R-290 and A2Ls — can help you to comply with CARB mandates and new federal rulemaking.
  • Setting the Stage for A2L Adoption in Commercial Refrigeration: Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT Offering low GWP and lower flammability, A2L refrigerants are poised for wider adoption in U.S. commercial refrigeration. Discover the path to A2L approval, explore leading options, and learn about safety best practices.
  • Navigating the CO2 Refrigeration Landscape: Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT — U.S. food retailers are evaluating CO2 for their next-generation refrigeration strategies. Review CO2’s unique performance characteristics, learn how to optimize system performance in various climates, and explore our fully integrated CO2
  • Applying R-290 in Commercial Refrigeration Applications: Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT — Used in low-charge, self-contained systems, R-290 plays a key role in many end users’ low-GWP refrigerant strategies. Learn how updates to safety standards pave the way for higher R-290 charge limits and increased application potential.
  • The Role of A2L Refrigerants in Commercial Air Conditioning: Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT — Low-GWP A2L refrigerants are poised to play an expanded role in the commercial AC sector. Learn how to manage the transition, review the latest regulatory and building code updates, and explore safety management and risk mitigation strategies.

We all have key decisions to make to enable the successful transition to the next generation of lower-GWP refrigerants. We hope this webinar series helps to equip you with the information you need to move forward on your journey with confidence.

Register Now

A2L Emergence: What’s Next for U.S. Commercial Refrigeration?

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | Global Vice President, Environmental Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

The emergence of A2L refrigerants is a topic of many conversations taking place among U.S. commercial refrigeration stakeholders. As the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant phasedown proceeds, A2L refrigerants are among the emerging alternatives capable of achieving needed reductions in global warming potential (GWP). From a regulatory perspective, the process of approving A2Ls for use in commercial refrigeration is well underway. However, the A2L “lower flammability” classification will require A2L refrigeration equipment and installations to follow the guidelines defined by the safety standards governing the use of flammable refrigerants. In an article published by Engineered Systems, I explored these regulatory developments and discussed the current and future potential of A2Ls in the U.S. commercial refrigeration sector. To view the full article, click here.

Establishing a framework for A2L use

As we await the regulatory approval of A2Ls in U.S. commercial refrigeration, it’s important to remember that A2Ls are already approved and deployed in commercial refrigeration applications in Europe and other global regions. These installations have proven to be safe and reliable while filling the growing need for low-GWP refrigeration. They also serve as proofs-of-concept for U.S. food retailers seeking to comply with regulatory mandates or transition to next-generation refrigeration technologies.

Today, U.S. regulatory bodies are actively working to establish a framework for A2L use. Recently published updates to the 2nd edition of UL 60335-2-89 provide product and/or equipment guidelines for the use of A2Ls in self-contained and remote commercial refrigeration equipment. On the application side, ASHRAE 15 is also being updated via Addendum L to align with the revised UL 2-89, which would allow for the expanded use of flammable refrigerants in commercial refrigeration applications.

These key steps will help to give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the safety information it needs to proceed with its A2L refrigerant approval process. Finally, building codes will need to be updated to enable A2L use. All this is to simply say that the regulatory wheels are in motion to soon support the approval and/or safe use of A2L refrigerants.

Understanding the relative flammability of A2Ls

The precedent for the use of flammable refrigerants in U.S. commercial refrigeration has already been set with the natural refrigerant (hydrocarbon) propane (or R-290). With its A3 “higher flammability” classification, R-290 has commonly been used in lower-charge, distributed applications, such as self-contained, stand-alone units and display cases. R-290 also has a long history of use in commercial refrigeration and is considered a known commodity.

In contrast, A2L refrigerants are relatively new, and very few food retailers in the U.S. are familiar with them. A2Ls are composed of various blends of hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerants and select lower-GWP HFCs. These chemical compositions can produce lower degrees of flammability while delivering low-GWP ratings below 300 and 150 GWP. To clarify the flammability differences between A2L and A3 refrigerants, consider the following metrics:

  • Lower flammability limit (LFL) — The LFL of A2Ls is roughly eight times higher than R-290. Thus, A2Ls are less likely to form flammable concentrations, which potentially allows for larger refrigerant charges and/or larger refrigeration applications.
  • Minimum ignition energy (MIE) — A2L MIE is much higher than R-290, which has a very low MIE. This makes A2Ls potentially safer to use with electrical components.
  • Burning velocity (Su) and heat of combustion (HOC) — Su and HOC are much lower in A2Ls than R-290, which results in a much lower severity of ignition events.

UK retailer helps to prove the case for A2Ls

ASDA, a leading food retailer in the UK, was recently recognized as the first retailer to adopt an all-A2L refrigeration strategy. In 2019, the company successfully completed its transition from a centralized HFC-based architecture to a distributed A2L approach. Moving to a distributed, remote system design also helped ASDA to lower refrigerant charges and limit the potential for refrigerant leaks — which not only minimizes safety risks, but it also ensures that systems are operating at full capacity and efficiency.

A key element of ASDA’s A2L strategy was to gradually upgrade its older HFC cases with newer versions that were also rated for A2L compatibility. Laying this groundwork at the case level helped them to transition from their previous centralized HFC systems to their next generation of A2L distributed refrigeration plants. Their A2L display cases utilize a modular leak detection alarm system that’s integrated with the case controller. If leaks are detected, the system activates an alarm that triggers a shut-off valve, which stops refrigerant flow and helps to ensure operational safety.

As A2Ls become available for use in the U.S., this strategy serves as a potential example for how U.S. retailers might make a similar refrigerant transition in their stores.

To learn more about Emerson’s A2L-rated compressors and leak control systems, please visit the A2L section of our website.

 

 

 

Copeland™ Mobile App Wins a Gold Dealer Design Award

Jeff Lichty | Director – Product Management

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Emerson is thrilled to announce that our Copeland Mobile smartphone app took home the gold at the 2022 ACHR The NEWS Dealer Design Awards. These awards recognize products that assist contractors with the installation, maintenance and servicing of installed equipment in the HVACR industry. The recently overhauled Copeland Mobile app received the top honor in the contractor services and software category.

Everything contractors need at their fingertips

Originally launched in 2014, the gold-winning Copeland Mobile app underwent a complete redesign and functionality upgrade in early 2021. Copeland Mobile — which is available for free in the Apple and Google Play app stores — provides on-the-go access to 30 years of air conditioning and refrigeration product specifications available in the Copeland online product information (OPI) database. Contractors simply can scan the barcode on any compressor to pull up its product specifications, access application engineering manuals, or quickly troubleshoot and diagnose an issue.

With Copeland Mobile installed on their smartphones and/or field devices, contractors can quickly check the availability of replacement compressors, condensing units or service parts from local Copeland authorized wholesaler locations — even cross-reference non-Copeland models for suitable replacement suggestions. Built-in HVACR calculators help contractors to select the correct products for their customers’ air conditioning and refrigeration applications.

For real-time, on-the-job support, Copeland Mobile’s live chat feature connects contractors with Emerson’s support agents and Copeland technical specialists — 24 hours a day, five days a week. Contractors can even use Copeland Mobile to help them track open projects with its jobsite commissioning feature. In addition, the handy warranty look-up capability quickly gives contractors the information they need to determine if a compressor or condensing unit is still under warranty.

In summary, the winning combination of these comprehensive features brought home the gold award:

  • View product specifications and application engineering manuals
  • Cross-reference Copeland products
  • Troubleshoot and diagnose Copeland compressors
  • Check the availability of local replacement products
  • Chat with Copeland technical specialists
  • Track open projects
  • Look up product warranty status

Supporting the next generation of HVACR technicians

Among the many challenges facing the HVACR industry today, perhaps none is more urgent than addressing the growing shortage of qualified service and maintenance technicians. According to recent statistics, 80,000 HVACR technician jobs are currently unfulfilled — representing 39 percent of the total industry workforce. At the same time, the industry is losing an estimated 20,000 technician jobs per year due to the retirement of an aging workforce and/or predictable career attrition rates.

Emerson created the Copeland Mobile app with this industry challenge in mind. Whether you’re a new or experienced contractor, we know you’re stretched thin working with fewer resources while being expected to perform at the same high-quality service level. Copeland Mobile is designed to provide easy access to the resources and tools that you need when you need them most. Whether it’s real-time alerts or on-the-go access to product, installation and service information, Copeland Mobile helps technicians to provide the best possible support to their HVACR customers.

To learn more about Copeland Mobile, please visit the apps section of our website. Search the app library on your device for a free download of this award-winning app.

[New Webinar]: Preparing for Emerging Refrigerants and CARB Compliance

Kurt Knapke | Vice President of Solutions Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

After years of speculation and uncertainty, the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants has officially arrived in the U.S. Retailers in California were among the first to be impacted, as the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) recent mandate went into effect as of Jan. 1, 2022. For stakeholders in the rest of the country, it’s no longer a question of “if” but “when” federal refrigerant mandates will impact them. In our next E360 Webinar, Katrina Krites, Emerson’s director of strategic marketing, and I will explore the roles that emerging refrigerants play in achieving both CARB and federal refrigerant compliance. The webinar will take place on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.

As the refrigerant transition sweeps across the country over the next several years, food retailers are busy determining which alternative refrigerants will form the bases of their future refrigeration strategies. Unlike the previous generation of commercial refrigeration equipment, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will solve most retailers’ requirements. Corporate sustainability goals are also informing the evaluation process, as many companies seek to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and improving refrigeration system energy efficiencies.

Regardless of the motivation, these critical equipment and architecture decisions should not be taken lightly, as they can impact retail operations for 1–2 decades.

Among the most likely emerging refrigerant alternatives include proven natural refrigerants — such as CO2 (or R-744) and the hydrocarbon R-290 (aka propane) — as well as a new group of synthetic A2L options. Although these HFC successors offer the necessary GWP reductions, they introduce new performance characteristics and system architectures designed to address a wider variety of store formats and retailer requirements.

Phasing in the next generation of low-GWP refrigerant alternatives

Our next E360 Webinar is designed to help food retailers in California and throughout the U.S. align their refrigerant choices with their company’s long-term operational and sustainability goals. In addition to providing an overview of each emerging refrigerant’s operating characteristics and likely equipment options, Katrina and I will also explore strategies for achieving CARB compliance and preparing for soon-to-be implemented federal mandates. Attendees will learn about:

  • The continued growth of CO2 transcritical booster systems in North America
  • The expanding potential of R-290 due to charge limit increases per recent safety standards updates
  • How to prepare for the emergence of low-GWP A2L refrigerants, and how their lower flammability classification impacts system design and safety management
  • Strategies for achieving CARB compliance by evaluating total GHG emissions across a retailer’s entire fleet of stores in California
  • Aligning refrigerant choices with architecture recommendations in an ever-expanding range of food retail store formats

If you’re ready to phase out HFC refrigerants and start phasing in your next generation of lower-GWP alternatives, then register now. This informative and free webinar will take place on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.

 

 

 

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