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The Big Green Chill – Progressive Grocer

AndrePatenaude_Blog_Image Andre Patenaude | Director, Food Retail Marketing & Growth Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

This blog summarizes an article from Progressive Grocer, entitled “The Big Green Chill.” Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Sustainability initiatives and energy-efficient practices are asserting themselves as top priorities in the minds of food retailers and foodservice professionals. Suppliers like Emerson have acknowledged this trend and have begun developing technologies and solutions that can assist with furthering these initiatives and help our customers work toward a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly future.

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Retailers can implement sustainability initiatives through the use of precise temperature and pressure controls, which allow for a true steady state of operation. These can help better enable the benefits of lowering condensing temperatures to improve the efficiency of the entire system when combined with an electronic expansion valve.

Because of an increase in competitivity in the foodservice, supermarket and transport industries, customers are seeking products and solutions which provide them assurance that operators are maintaining the highest quality of perishable food items from farm to fork.

Retailers can also utilize Emerson Copeland Scroll™ digital compressors to improve “green” operations. They have digital modulation capabilities that allow for infinite capacity adjustments within specific modulation ranges. This means that instead of having to cycle on and off to match capacity, these compressors are capable of adjusting their output to precisely match a load.

Emerson’s supervisory controls are other tools that retailers can use to manage major refrigeration, lighting and HVAC systems. Supervisory controls grant powerful energy-efficient temperature and condition management capabilities through a user-friendly, dashboard-style interface that puts critical information at the users’ fingertips.

Looking ahead, the growing adoption of newer control technologies and the upgrading of older refrigeration systems will continue into the future as two primary means of achieving sustainability and energy efficiency. The combination of new systems with enhanced digital controls will serve as a way of further realizing energy efficiencies and additional cost savings.

Along with energy-efficiency improvements, retailers are simultaneously evaluating other sustainable practices such as: the use of natural refrigerants, implementing refrigeration leak detection, deploying advanced demand-reduction methods, and exploring energy storage potential and considering how to incorporate natural refrigerants.

More retailers are likely to challenge their previous decisions in these areas and learn about entirely new architectures in store controls, refrigeration systems and HVAC units that are capable of meeting overall sustainability challenges.

For more information, read the full article here.

Using Site Supervisor to Boost Business

Reggie O'Donoghue_Blog Reggie O’Donoghue | Director of Electronics, Product Management
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Convenience store managers are tasked with juggling several different responsibilities at once, sometimes feeling like focusing on one aspect of the business leads another to falter. Keeping customers happy calls for offering new, fresh food options, a comfortable and welcoming shopping environment and more. Managing sustainable performance of HVAC, lighting and refrigeration systems requires operators to determine ways they can incorporate new technology and systems without forking over an arm and a leg in installation costs.

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Emerson’s Site Supervisor is here to assist with the balancing act. Site Supervisor is a facility control platform that can help retailers improve operational efficiencies and maximize food quality through innovative and constant monitoring that can be accessed at the palm of a retailer’s hand. Using equipment controls and sensors, operators can monitor key metrics within the building, and utilize IoT technologies to connect buildings to cloud-based services, providing remote access to equipment from off-site.

With consumer expectations becoming more and more diversified, as well as the demand for fresh, ready-to-eat food options, maintaining temperature compliance from refrigeration systems is a top priority. Up until now, this meant that store staff were required to continuously monitor and report on equipment conditions and operation. Now, with Site Supervisor, these tedious tasks can be automated and, more importantly, made reliable. With Site Supervisor feeding valuable data to store managers, these managers can focus more on assisting customers and building relationships.

Managers can also set up priority alerts that provide nearly instant visibility of unsatisfactory operating conditions; and can make timely corrective actions that provide detailed information about the incident. Managers and servicers can view this information on a convenient and easy-to-navigate drill down screen on their mobile device, tablet or laptop. That means issues can be resolved quickly, remotely and efficiently. Managers can then take the data provided by Site Supervisor to develop a more proactive prevention process, adjusting operations to prevent future incidents. Retailers can also pair Site Supervisor with Emerson’s ProAct services to gain even more operational insight.

All of this data can be hosted through Emerson’s cloud-based services or through local, on-site hosting. With the ability to control, monitor and optimize operations at your fingertips from a platform that is easy to install and navigate, managers can better balance their daily operations and optimize their store functions. Continuous alarm diagnosis and issue resolution can help turn a stressful situation into a learning opportunity, with the issue being resolved quickly and a bank of data provided to help prevent it in the future.

For more information on Site Supervisor, view this short video.

National HVAC Tech Day

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | V.P., System Innovation Center and Sustainability

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Summertime has arrived, bringing with it warmer temperatures and sunshine. The kids are home from school. Vacations are in the works. Everyone seems to be in a better mood — until your air conditioning unit fails, causing both temperatures and tensions to rise in the house.

Situations like this happen to everyone at some point in their lives and help to remind us that our homes, businesses, etc. aren’t cooled by some form of magic; they’re cooled by a piece of machinery that needs to be installed and, in cases like this, fixed by an HVAC technician.

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It’s easy to take things like air conditioning for granted. But it only takes one incident, like the one mentioned above, to bring us back down to Earth and help us appreciate not only the advancement of cooling technology but the HVAC technicians who help keep the AC running when we need it the most.

It’s crucial on this National HVAC Tech Day that we appreciate everything that HVAC technicians do to make our lives a little more comfortable. It is also an opportunity to address the elephant in the room regarding an alarming national trend: the industry’s HVACR technician shortage.

This problem is particularly concerning in the field of commercial refrigeration, where an aging workforce with tribal knowledge of more complex refrigeration systems threatens to leave a vacuum of qualified service technicians. It is estimated that by 2022, the U.S. will need 115,000 HVACR technicians to fill industry jobs[1].

One solution that we’ve discussed at length is encouraging our nation’s youth to take advantage of apprenticeship programs. These programs are typically funded by outside resources, eliminating student loans. In addition, due to the shortage, students are essentially guaranteed employment and a fast track to leadership upon finishing their apprenticeship program.

Conversely, for those students taking the traditional college education route, there are more than 44 million student loan borrowers, with each accumulating an average debt of $37,1721 — with no guarantee of a job or steady salary upon graduation.

The technician shortage reminds us on National HVAC Tech Day how important this vocation is. Take the time to thank a technician for their hard work and dedication in a rather underappreciated industry. It’s also a good day to raise awareness among younger students seeking an alternative to a four-year degree who desire job security and the ability to make a difference in people’s lives.

[1] https://www.achrnews.com/articles/136053-amending-the-apprentice-act?v=preview

The Human Equation of Facility Management

Michael Newman Michael Newman | Director, Human Centered Design

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

With growing industry interests in facility management and how building automation can benefit facility managers, we decided to shed a spotlight on the topic at our 2017 E360 Annual Conference. To hear more about today’s trends and how you can apply them to your facility, click here.

The human Equation of Facility Management

In the past, facility management was often a service that companies would handle in-house. As many companies have ever-expanding footprints, they’ve found it more challenging to manage the facility aspects — which has resulted in more outsourced facility management. Studies show that approximately 14 percent growth is expected in residential and commercial building population, meaning more buildings need to be managed. And let’s not forget that as outsourced facility management is in the upswing, there is a requirement to manage more contracts on a much broader scale with ever-decreasing resources, compounding the situation. The market is growing increasingly complex, and facility managers are facing an array of new issues. These include:

  • Generating more cost savings
  • Managing environmental concerns
  • A shrinking amount of necessary resources
  • The growing technician shortage

Building automation can help alleviate these problems. With the goal of efficient response, operators need to build the abilities to recognize problems, sensory processing, perception, decision-making and response capabilities into systems. If buildings can gather all of this information and feed it back to facility managers, these managers will have a more holistic understanding of the performance across their entire operation.

However, this data and information are useless if they can’t be interpreted or used correctly. As facility management becomes more complex, it’s important to focus designs and algorithms that are user-friendly, easy to understand and logical. One way to keep facility managers from experiencing information overload is to work toward automating management systems, allowing the technology to fully interpret the situation before setting off an alarm or alerting an operator.

The goal of building and system automation is not to replace humans. As technology evolves, so do our jobs. Automation simply allows operators to interact with new systems and gain access to extensive data. Automation allows for predictive and preventative maintenance, enabling the system to analyze data and predict exactly when and where it will need maintenance.

This kind of software allows us to more efficiently concentrate our efforts on problems and helps eliminate complexity, surfacing what’s important when it matters. For a more comprehensive look into facility management and building automation and what trends could be on the horizon, be sure to watch the full presentation here

Recommissioning to Boost Energy Savings

Commissioning and/or recommissioning your site could completely change the way your business operates and save you thousands of dollars — all while also providing environmental benefits. Make sure to watch the full video here for a more detailed analysis.

AndrePatenaude_Blog_Image Andre Patenaude | Director, Food Retail Marketing and Growth                                                        Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

A few years ago, Emerson paired with Darren Cooper and the Renteknik Group to assist a supermarket chain in determining which parts of their business were costing them the most, both financially and in terms of energy use. The project’s objective was to recommission a 20-year-old system by adding an adiabatic-type condenser and variable-capacity compressors, in this case Digital Discus™ compressors.

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It’s important to first understand the goals of commissioning and decommissioning. In simple terms, commissioning is a quality-oriented process designed to ensure that a building, facility or system is designed, constructed and operated to meet the owner’s project requirements (OPR). Recommissioning refers to the process of commissioning a building that has already been commissioned to verify that its systems are still functioning according to their original designs.

The test site is located in southern Ontario and was built in 1991, occupying 42,000 square feet. An emerging industry trend is taking advantage of incentive programs associated with energy efficiency. At the time, Ontario’s incentive program offered 10 cents per kilowatt/hour saved; currently, the incentives are even higher.

After building a kilowatt consumption profile based on averages taken for each ambient condition, we began recommissioning with a focus on low- or no-cost service and maintenance. Then, we began the second phase of the project and determined just how poorly the system’s old condensers were performing.

What we discovered was that the supermarket had developed some unconventional workarounds. To keep the condensers cool during warmer months and prevent overheating, facility operators were spraying them with garden hoses. We determined that the easiest and most efficient way to solve this problem was to install an adiabatic system with misting nozzles to keep the condensers cool without having to run massive amounts of water through the garden hoses. We had an ambient temperature sensor set at 73 degrees Fahrenheit with a contactor on a fan that would activate the mister if a condenser reached a temperature warmer than that threshold.

The final phase of the project involved upgrading to variable-capacity digital compressors, which would allow for better load control and energy savings. In total, the site saw energy consumption reduced by about 30 percent, generating massive cost savings as well as reducing CO2 emissions. These three phases also resulted in less downtime and less potential spoilage of product due to equipment properly operating. In fact, nuisance alarms at the site were reduced by about 66 percent. In terms of the bottom line, the site cut its operational annual expenses by about $35,000 and, with incentives, payback can be achieved in less than a year.

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