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ACCA Industry Partners Forum

Air-Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is a non-profit association that serves more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the HVACR community who work together to promote professional contracting, energy efficiency, and healthy, comfortable indoor environments. On May 1st at the association’s Industry Partners Forum, I spoke on the topic of “Refrigerants – Get Ready for the Future, But What Is It?”.

The topics that I covered at the presentation include: the proliferation of refrigerants and the global issues and regulations driving this growth; the currently available refrigerant options as well as those still in development; an evaluation of AC and refrigeration systems as they relate to available refrigerants; and the Life Cycle Climate Performance approach to the overall environmental impact of refrigerants.

To learn more about current refrigerants and possibilities for future refrigerants, click here.

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

What’s Behind the Door?

Retrofitting open display cases with doors

The short answer is ENERGY! Most retailers recognize that refrigerated display cases with doors use a lot less energy than open display cases.  The Better Buildings Alliance recently published a useful guide on retrofitting open refrigerated display cases with doors.  Adding doors to open cases greatly reduces cold air loss, which results in a 50-80% load reduction and significant system energy savings.  Additional benefits include increased shopper comfort, increased product life, and reduced product losses.  Retailers initially feared that adding the glass display doors would hurt the merchandising effort, but the vertical display has in many cases improved merchandising.

The refrigeration load will drop significantly after adding doors, so it makes the most sense for the existing refrigeration system to modulate to adjust to the lower load at all outdoor ambient conditions.  Controls on the anti-condensate (anti-sweat) door heaters will ensure that extra energy is not wasted here.  The retrofit process is a good opportunity to make additional energy upgrades to the cases, including lighting and fan upgrades.

The complete 33-page guide can be download for free from: Guide for the Retrofitting of Open Refrigerated Display Cases with Doors

Refrigerated Display Case with DoorsThe report breaks down best practices and guidelines for conducting case retrofits by project stage, from initial planning through project completion and system monitoring. The guide highlights the following areas of the process:

  • Retrofit Planning
  • Case Modification and Door Retrofit
  • Refrigeration-System Reconfiguration
  • System Performance Evaluation
  • Monitoring and Follow-Up

The ACHR NEWS has also taken note of this report on retrofitting display cases with doors.  They recently published the first of a five-part series providing a guide for retrofitting open refrigerated display cases with doors. This first part provides an introduction and background on the topic. The second part of this series, which will be published in June, will focus on retrofit planning. The July installment will deal with case modifications and door retrofits. The August article topic will be refrigeration system reconfigurations. The final installment in September will deal with system performance evaluation.

In this case, you can’t tell what’s behind the door until you put one on!

Craig Raney
Director of Marketing, Refrigeration
Emerson Climate Technologies

Monitoring Compressor Health

The U.S. shale basin production growth has raised the demand for new infrastructure investments for gas processing capacity.  As more natural gas processing plants come online over the next few years, they must be flexible enough to deal with changing demands and richer gas streams.

Gas Processing PlantThese new gas processing plants must not only be flexible, but also efficient.  Machinery health is monitored to prevent costly unplanned downtime or failures.  But newer plant control systems also enable compressors to precisely match required process conditions and run much more efficiently.  Both of these factors point to screw compressor technology.

Most natural gas produced from wells contains water and various other hydrocarbons which need to be removed from the gas stream by processing plants before being injected into transportation natural gas pipelines. Such is the case with most shale gas produced today, which contains heavier gas constituents. These high BTU liquids often have greater value as a separate value stream in liquid form, rather than as part of the natural gas being sold.

Midstream Business magazine recently interviewed Emerson Climate Technologies to discuss the new types of rotating equipment technology for gas compression and process refrigeration applications.  To learn about trends in wireless plant technology, plant-wide distributed control systems, and packaged refrigeration systems for midstream gas processing plants, read the entire article.

Mark McCormick
Director Gas Compression
Emerson Climate Technologies

Low-GWP Refrigerant Alternatives Being Evaluated

AHRI has posted nine final test reports for its Low Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP). The reports contain drop-in test results of low-GWP refrigerants in several different types of systems:

  • Chillers
  • Commercial ice machines
  • Residential heat pumps
  • Bottle coolers
  • Trailer refrigeration

This Low-GWP AREP was started over two years ago.  The alternative refrigerants are not ranked, however.  The goal of the program was simply to identify potential refrigerant replacements for high GWP refrigerants (such as R404A, R134a, and R410A) and present performance of these replacements in a consistent and standard manner.

All of the details of the AHRI Low-GWP AREP can be found at:

Emerson Climate Technologies makes sense of refrigerant options in a new presentation:

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

Innovative and Energy-Saving Ideas Mark a New Era in the Building Industry for India and Southeast Asia

Revealed through outstanding entries in The Emerson Cup – India and Southeast Asia awards, the region is positioned as one of the leaders in creative energy-saving concepts.

The practice of green building results in a range of environmental, economic and social benefits. It helps countries save precious resources, businesses to reduce operating costs, enables people to live in healthier, more environmentally sustainable homes, and much more. In countries like India and parts of Southeast Asia, the construction industry is one of the largest economic activities contributing to development today, witnessing tremendous growth in the building and construction sector. Fast rising income levels are leading to lifestyle changes for various sections of the society. While this is a healthy trend, it is putting enormous demand on resources – like energy, water, materials, etc.

Fortunately, India, Thailand, Indonesia and some of the other Southeast Asian countries realize that it is increasingly important to adopt energy-efficient solutions in construction. The HVACR industry makes a significant contribution to the green building movement with opportunities for improvement in energy efficiency and indoor air quality. The Emerson Cup – India & Southeast Asia annual awards organized by Emerson Climate Technologies to recognize outstanding innovations and energy-efficient design in the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry, receives a high level of entries from this region every year revealing that it is ahead of the curve in green energy thinking.

The Emerson Cup 2012 award ceremony, celebrating its 5th anniversary, was held on October 31, 2012 at Hyderabad city, Andhra Pradesh, India during the 10th Indian Green Building Congress (IGBC). The winning entries displayed impressive innovations in building design and HVAC. The Emerson Cup 2012 had four award categories – New Building, New Building – with Emerson Technologies, Retrofit Building, and Students (Engineering & Architecture).

Energy Commission Diamond BuildingEnergy Commission Diamond Building (Putrajaya, Malaysia) won the Excellence Award under the New Building category for some of its unique features. Designed by Primetech Engineers Sdn Bhd, this building enjoys chilled water supply from gas district cooling. With OTTV fairly low at 35 W/m2K, it is getting renewable energy from photovoltaic, uses recyclable materials, and applies radiant cooling with thermal mass storage, leading to powering up this new structure with less than 10% of its development cost! They also have a rain water harvesting provision that saves more than 70% of water usage.

Hotel Jaypee Vasant ContinentalAnother highly innovative project that won an Excellence award was the retrofitting of Hotel Jaypee Vasant Continental (New Delhi, India). With water cooled screw chillers (capacity: 285TR X 3), this 30-year old hotel optimizes air-conditioning systems within the prevailing constraints. Various energy saving measures were implemented for the best energy efficiency without compromising guest comfort. This project is enjoying an attractive ROI ranging as low as 1-3 years.

Holy StadiumOne of the projects that stood out was the Holy Stadium (Indonesia) that won the Excellence award in the New Building – With Emerson Technologies category. This building has a 1,152HP package system installed with Copeland Scroll™ compressors. Some of the key project highlights were – 25-30% heat gain reduction by using passive design concept “shell and core building”; Jet nozzle installed to cool the occupant area; Air-ducting eliminated by 80%; Total cooling load reduced by 20%; Applied active heat-pipe air-conditioning with scroll compressor.

The Emerson Cup 2012 also awarded a Special Mention to a special sample project called ‘Prana’ by renowned architect Sharukh Mistry of Mistry Architects that was highly appreciated by the independent judging panel for its uniqueness. According to Mr. Mistry, Prana is a beautiful name which means “Life Energy, Life Force – the magic that we take for granted”.  Prana is a green initiative by the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers to showcase the latest green technologies like scroll chillers and radiant cooling. In this project, an Earth Air tunnel system is demonstrated, where 72 meters of underground piping is helping this home-office draw cooled fresh air from the ground underneath through air ducts that are hardly visible. It has rain water harvesting facility and low water toilet fittings. Part of the power is being generated through solar PV cells of 3KW.

There have been many such winning entries at The Emerson Cup awards over the course of last five years. Detailed case studies can be viewed at: or

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