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Countdown to Compliance

By Ani Jayanth, Manager, Marketing—Foodservice, Emerson


This blog is a summary of the article Countdown to Compliance from our recent edition of E360 Outlook. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

With the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2017 energy efficiency deadline now visible on the horizon, foodservice OEMs will be the first to feel the brunt of the regulatory storm targeting commercial refrigeration.

For the last several years, the refrigeration industry has been forced to come to terms with a dynamic and often uncertain regulatory environment. On the one hand, the DOE is mandating significant new energy efficiency improvements. On the other hand, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is phasing out the use of widely used high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants while sanctioning a growing list of acceptable substitutes via its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. The convergence of these two regulatory fronts has created the perfect storm: a once-in-a-generation occurrence that promises to permanently reshape the commercial refrigeration landscape.

This tectonic shift in our industry is creating unprecedented challenges for every segment of the commercial refrigeration supply chain, from OEMs, wholesalers and contractors to design consultants and end users.

Foodservice equipment manufacturers find themselves at the leading edge of this transition. March 27, 2017, is the DOE’s energy reductions compliance date for stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment — an average of 30–50 percent reductions, as measured in kWh per day. Affected equipment architectures include: remote condensing commercial refrigerators and freezers; self-contained commercial refrigerators and freezers with and without doors, as well as open display cases. This means that all new equipment manufactured after this date fall within the purview of this rule. And with the EPA’s decision to phase out commonly used refrigerants, like R-404A and HFC-134a in 2019, OEMs must factor this key design consideration into their engineering equation.

What’s at stake for OEMs?

Important considerations:

One design cycle or two? — When it comes to achieving DOE and EPA regulatory compliance, OEMs face a critical design choice: approach each regulation as a separate engineering effort or combine compliance into a single design cycle.

Compressed design cycle — Regardless of the design cycle decision, OEMs will need to allot sufficient laboratory and testing time to make the necessary design adjustments to achieve DOE compliance and to secure requisite UL, ASHRAE and NSF certifications.

Civil penalties — The details around how the DOE will enforce the ruling remain to be seen, but past performance indicates that they will be prepared to issue civil penalties. After March 27, 2017, equipment manufacturers who are still offering reach-in units that don’t comply with the DOE rule may be subject to these penalties.

Peer scrutiny — As many OEMs will be making significant investments in design changes to achieve compliance, those who are neglecting or avoiding these efforts will likely be subject to the scrutiny of their industry peers. In other words, the industry will also police itself.

Registration in DOE compliance database — It’s important to understand that the DOE maintains a database of commercial equipment for compliance called the Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS). Please see: https://www.regulations.doe.gov/ccms. This database is essentially a record of the baseline energy consumption of equipment prior to making the mandated design changes to achieve new energy efficiency levels. Manufacturers who have not listed their equipment in this database may be subject to civil penalties.

Market pressures — Because design consultants and end users are already seeking refrigeration units that comply with DOE and EPA regulations, OEMs who fail to bring viable products to market may face significant business risks.

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The first steps in a larger journey

While many consider the March 27, 2017, DOE deadline on commercial refrigeration equipment the first significant regulatory milestone, it’s important to remember that it’s one of the first steps the industry must take on this journey for compliance. Among the challenges that still lie ahead:

  • 1, 2018: DOE new efficiency targets on automatic commercial ice makers
  • 1, 2018: EPA delisting R-404A for remote condensing unit architectures
  • 1. 2019: EPA begins phasing out R-404A, R-507A, R-410A, R-407A/C/F and HFC-134a in stand-alone units
  • 1. 2020: DOE new efficiency targets for walk-in coolers and freezers

There are many miles ahead of us in this journey, and for many in the industry this is uncharted territory. Emerson is committed effectively navigating this shifting regulatory landscape and helping guide the industry toward the next generation of refrigeration technologies and equipment architectures. Through continued collaboration and innovation, we’ll work with you to create systems that are both economically and environmentally viable.

 

 

Using Facility Data to Provide Value to Retail Customers

I recently wrote an article featured in HVACR Business on how connecting equipment to a building management system gives retailers a competitive edge. Below are the highlights:

Food retail facilities generate a significant amount of data, with information on key building systems, including HVAC and refrigeration equipment, which can provide an extensive picture of their operations. But, each of these facility systems has its own reporting practices so aggregating and mining the data can be difficult.

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling better information management and improved diagnostics and control of HVACR systems for retailers.

HVACR contractors can use connected technology to their advantage to provide better service. A simple, centralized control platform allows users at all organizational levels to track facility data across multiple sites, providing real-time views into refrigeration, HVAC and lighting systems enterprise-wide.

Regardless of size, food retail stores will continue to be populated with legacy equipment and new generations of devices functioning on different operating systems. By connecting the equipment through IoT, HVACR contractors can remotely upgrade these systems with software, reducing time for taking equipment down or swapping out pieces. Technicians will not have to be onsite to make adjustments, resulting in an improved user experience.

Contractors can also leverage remote monitoring services to assist in troubleshooting and management of equipment for retail customers. Monitoring centers – like the ProAct Service Center – can remotely process, triage and resolve alarms around-the-clock. Their experts can assess equipment performance to provide timely information on energy expenditure, maintenance costs, refrigerant leaks and shrink causes.

Working with food retailers to adopt a solid IoT plan allows real-time troubleshooting and diagnosis of HVACR system issues. Once the connected equipment is installed, retailers will be able to cost-effectively monitor, diagnose and remedy issues quickly while also maintaining uptime, which is critical to meeting customer expectations and building a positive brand reputation.

 You can read the full HVACR Business article here.

 For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

Paul Hepperla
Vice President, North American Solution Sales
Retail Solutions
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

New E360 Webinar Breaks Down Latest Rulemaking on Acceptable Refrigerants

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final ruling in 2015 marked a sea change in the way our industry looks at refrigerants. The ruling began a phase-out initiative of hydrofluourocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with a high global warming potential (GWP). Concurrently, the EPA also identified acceptable, lower-GWP refrigerant substitutes to take their place. While the impacts of this ruling were far-reaching, retail food refrigeration in the supermarket and foodservice industries was among the first markets to be affected.

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But this was by no means the end of the story. In September, the EPA ruled on additional changes to refrigerant status through its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. This latest revision includes an HFC refrigerant phase-out schedule in cold storage refrigeration and some AC applications.

From high-GWP phase-outs to change of status notices for acceptable natural and synthetic refrigerants, these regulatory changes have at times been difficult to unravel. Throughout the HVACR industry, stakeholders have been tasked with formulating appropriate strategies to deal with them. Emerson has been committed to not only understanding these changes, but also helping our customers and the industry stay out in front of them.

Our next E360 Webinar, entitled Making Sense of the Latest Rulemaking on Acceptable Refrigerants, will continue those efforts. Dr. Rajan Rajendran, vice president of system innovation center and sustainability, will moderate this important Webinar, taking place on Tuesday, November 29, at 2 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. PST. Rajan will review the EPA’s 2015 final refrigerant rule and provide needed perspective on its latest SNAP ruling. He’ll also explain the amendment to Section 608 of the Clean Air Act and talk about the various global efforts to phase out high-GWP HFC refrigerants — from the EU’s F-Gas initiative and Montreal Protocol meetings to Environmental Canada’s recent proposal and the California Air Resources Board pollutant reduction strategy.

To give attendees insights into the status of new refrigerant availability, refrigerant manufacturers — including Honeywell’s Dr. Samuel Yana Motta, Chemours’ Dr. Barbara H. Minor and Arkema’s Matt Ritter — will discuss their respective company’s efforts to develop lower-GWP substitutes that would be acceptable for use in a variety of applications. Finally, Emerson’s Shane Angle, vice president and general manager of air conditioning, will explain how the latest SNAP change of refrigerant status will impact AC chillers.

In summary, the broad range of information covered in this important Webinar includes:

  • Change of status on refrigerants per the latest SNAP ruling
  • Revisions to Section 608 leak detection ruling
  • Global regulations to limit high-GWP refrigerants
  • Development of new acceptable refrigerant substitutes
  • SNAP’s impact on AC chillers

Register now and save the date: Tuesday, November 29, at 2 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to help define your refrigerant strategy.

C-Store Technology Gets Convenient with the Internet of Things

I recently wrote an article for Convenience Store Decisions discussing how convenience stores can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected technology to improve operations.

Just as the Internet has revolutionized the everyday lives of consumers, IoT is transforming operational performance for convenience stores. Convenience store retailers grow more agile with the use of IoT because they can access and analyze data insights to improve operations.

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As convenience store retailers expand their foodservice offerings to increase revenue, store environments are becoming more complex. By integrating all facility systems under one platform, retailers can optimize store operations, reduce energy consumption, lower equipment downtime and decrease maintenance costs.

The move toward IoT and more intelligent, connected stores can be beneficial to convenience store retailers in these three ways:

  1. Equipment control and monitoring
    Utilizing connected facility technology, a convenience store operator can remotely monitor critical equipment across an entire chain of stores. This performance data enables improved equipment, maintenance and energy efficiency. Retailers receive real-time alerts of potential problems that can help reduce maintenance costs and avoid equipment failure.
  1. Efficient, accurate equipment updates
    By connecting equipment with the latest facility management technology, convenience stores can remotely upgrade their systems with the latest software, even in the case of legacy equipment.
  1. Safeguarding fresh foods
    Connected store equipment can provide real-time temperature monitoring and other important data to maintain food safety and quality, which is becoming more critical with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Intelligent connected facility technologies are already installed in many retail environments – using building controls for lighting and HVACR, in the back of the house and within the foodservice areas. Integrating the data from all facility systems through IoT enables stores to improve operational efficiency and enhance equipment performance.

You can read the full article online here.

For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.


Paul Hepperla
Vice President, North American Solution Sales
Retail Solutions
Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions

Accelerating Collaboration: The Future of Connectivity

Rajan Rajendran
Vice President System Innovation Center and Sustainability
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions


One of the key principals we are pursuing in our new facility, The Helix Innovation Center is the concept of looking at questions from unusual angles. So when we had the chance to pose a challenge to a diverse group of University of Dayton students, we asked them to tackle the subject of connectivity.

The program, part of the Collaboration Accelerator 2.0 brought together UD students majoring in mechanical and civil engineering, marketing, communications, visual arts and international studies, plus a recent Sinclair Community College graduate, to find creative solutions to real-world challenges.

The 11-week internship program culminated in an immersive experience that included an “idea file” that explores the true origin and “soul” of connectivity.

The students took a broad view, presenting connectivity as an element of mankind’s psychological needs. We were encouraged to think about the various forms connectivity has taken on over the last century. And how our human desire for connectivity is a factor of time, fear and efficiency.

The ideas, concepts and materials presented by these students are helping fuel our ideation sessions at The Helix and helping us take a new approach to some of the industry challenges we are tackling.

See the collaboration in action:

 

What industry challenges are you facing? Comment on this post and let’s leverage this form of connectivity to think creatively about new approaches to tackling them.

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