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HVACR mobile applications

mobileThere are many useful mobile applications for HVACR contractors working in the field.  Most of these apps are free and work on different smart phones such as Android™, iPhone®, and BlackBerry®.

The Emerson PT Pro™ mobile app is an especially useful one that Emerson recently upgraded.  Instead of looking for your pocket pressure/temperature chart, pull up this free app next time you are checking superheat.  Simply select a refrigerant and enter a temperature (in C or F) and see what the saturated pressure (in Bar or Psig) is.  You can also enter a pressure and see what the saturated temperature is for that pressure.  The refrigerants included right now include R410A, R404A, R507A, R600 (butane), R717 (ammonia), R744 (CO2), R407F, R407A/C (liquid or vapor), R290 (propane), R134a, R22, and R12, just to name a few.

For example, let’s say that you have frost on the suction service valve of a Copeland Discus™ compressor that is running low temperature R404A.  Your customer is concerned that liquid refrigerant is coming back to the compressor and causing damage.  You can explain to him that frost on the suction line of a low temperature refrigeration system does not necessarily indicate floodback – it simply means that the suction temperature is below 32° F.  But you want to check the superheat just to be sure.

The temperature of the suction line a foot from the compressor is 20° F.  The refrigerant pressure is 30 psig.  Use the Emerson PT Pro app to convert this pressure to its corresponding temperature.  In the app, first select the refrigerant.  Put your finger on the picture of the refrigerant tank at the bottom and slide right until you get to R404A.  Then in the left top box enter “30” and make sure it says “psig”.  The corresponding temperature shows -2.7° F.  Since the actual temperature is 20° F, we have 20-(-2.7) = 22.7 ° F of superheat.  Good superheat at the compressor; no floodback.

Search “HVAC” in your preferred app store to find all sorts of useful free apps.  Let us know how you have been able to put them to daily use.  Your feedback will help us to improve our existing apps and think of new apps to add to your toolbox.

Rajan Rajendran, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering Services and Sustainability
Emerson Climate Technologies

Supermarket Refrigeration –System Changes, Present and Future

From an outsider’s perspective, the commercial refrigeration industry will not seem fast-paced compared to what is being read and heard about in other industries, like at Silicon Valley for example. However, the landscape is changing and will continue to change based on many key factors.

Knowing what the potential changes are and understanding why they are taking place will help HVACR professionals embrace the developments and be better equipped to handle them in the field.

Forces driving changes include …

…Cost

Many factors are at play as to why commercial refrigeration systems and refrigerants are changing. Foremost on retailers’ minds is always cost. Cost can come in many forms: first cost, energy cost and maintenance cost. Retailers must take a balanced approach to these cost drivers to get the overall best value, and the answers can be very different depending on facility location.

…Regulations

Regulations are also driving the market. Refrigerants that deplete the upper atmosphere ozone (such as R-22) and refrigerants that have relatively high GWP values (such as R-404A with a GWP of 3,922) have and will be looked at by agencies like the EPA. In order to curtail usage, other regions in the world have already implemented tighter leak requirements and taxes on the use of certain classes of refrigerant gases that are detrimental to the environment. Regulations will also impact system efficiency levels. A/C systems have been regulated for years with little energy requirements given for commercial refrigeration. Smaller systems (such as ice machines) have ENERGY STAR ratings, but bigger rack systems found in grocery stores have not been subject to energy standards. Regulations such as California’s Title 24 will change that over time.

…Sustainability

Also, there is a significant movement for retailers to become green and develop sustainability measures. The role of refrigeration is very prominent in terms of energy consumption and emissions that could potentially escape to the atmosphere, two very important sustainability measures. Today, retailing organizations may have a vice president of sustainability, a role that would not have existed 10–15 years ago. Companies release sustainability reports and join voluntary groups, such as the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership. This type of visibility leads to an increased interest in measuring results. The measuring of results leads to new programs to achieve desired outcomes.

To view a more in-depth discussion of the changes occurring in commercial refrigeration, including the introduction of electronics and the migration toward natural refrigerants, click on the following link:  http://www.rses.org/assets/rses_journal/0812_Supermarket.pdf.

After reading the article, I’d enjoy hearing from you. Has your company taken the plunge into natural refrigerants? Are you following the recent trend toward distributed and secondary loop systems? If you’re a contractor, have you experienced the benefits of the advanced electronics in troubleshooting problems?

Rajan Rajendran, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering Services and Sustainability
Emerson Climate Technologies

Based upon article in RSES Journal

The Top 10 States to Work in HVACR

One of the key challenges facing the HVACR industry is a shortage of qualified technicians. We thought it would be interesting to elevate this issue and create a list of top 10 states for HVACR, based on our conversations with contractors and HVACR students and instructors about what motivates young people to pursue careers in this industry.

Do you live in one of the top states for HVACR jobs, salaries, training or service calls?

Emerson’s Top States to Work in HVACR

  1. Top Places to Work in HVACRCalifornia
  2. Ohio
  3. Florida
  4. Texas
  5. Illinois
  6. New York
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. New Jersey
  9. North Carolina
  10. Georgia

We arrived at our ranking by drawing on HVACR salary and employment data from the U.S. Department of Labor; trade school locations recognized by the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation; heating and cooling degree days calculated at DegreeDays.net; residential home values from the U.S. Census, and certified contractors by state from North American Technician Excellence (NATE). We also looked at wholesaler locations, plus commercial service volumes from our ProAct™ Service Center.

We gave a few contractors an early look at our list, including frequent Climate Conversations commenter Mitch Byrne of  Northeast Cooling LLC in Illinois. He said: Commercial refrigeration service is in high demand due to all the businesses related to food service and the restaurants in the Chicago area. We may start off the day working in a max security prison and then end up working on a cruise ship docked at Navy Pier! You never know what the day will bring when working the trade in Illinois and that’s what keeps it interesting!

For more information and analysis on the Top 10 States to Work in HVACR, see our summary and press release.

Do you agree with our list? Want to make the case for another state? Be sure to share your comments here.

Cathy Billing
Marketing Communications Manager
Emerson Climate Technologies

On Intermodal Europe

I went to Amsterdam where I attended Intermodal Europe 2012, Europe’s premier event within the container transportation and logistics industry across road, rail and sea.

Held during a three-day period at the end of November, this year’s event provided me with an opportunity to liaise with representatives of many parts of the value chain within the container transport industry. It is great to understand a continued interest in making reefer container operations more efficient and at the same time securing constant care of the cargo. – Because we have to keep remembering what it is all about and why we are in this business – providing fresh and healthy produced perishables to all us, every day all, around the world.

With more than 100 exhibitors and thousands of attendees, Intermodal Europe 2012 featured panel discussions, case studies, economic outlooks and individual presentations from thought leaders from around the globe. Though for many good reasons this industry could be perceived as conservative, we experience a lot of great discussions in regards to benefits derived from extended connectivity and more integrated system solutions. Let us take an example – The value of knowing a temperature set point of is greatly enhanced by knowing the expected set point as well!  Sounds simple, but lack of such automation still causes human errors in shipping today.

To view and download any of the information from this year’s event, including my presentation titled, “How to Monitor Goods in the Intermodal Process”, simply click on the following link: Intermodal Europe 2012.

Did you attend Intermodal Europe 2012 this year? If so, I would be interested in knowing your impressions of the event. What did you enjoy? Simply leave your comment below.

Cheers,

Robert Svensson
Product Marketing Manager
Emerson Climate Technologies—Transportation Solutions

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