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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

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