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Sustainable Refrigeration Solutions on Display at AHR Expo

Diego Marafon | Refrigeration Scroll Product Manager

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

Emerson is pleased to announce our participation in the upcoming AHR Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Jan. 31–Feb. 2. We will be exhibiting in booth C3106 in the Central Hall, where our latest advancements in sustainable refrigeration technologies and solutions for CO2, R-290 and A2L refrigerants will be on display.

As the commercial refrigeration industry continues the transition to refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP), CO2 (or refrigerant R-744), R-290 (or propane) and A2L refrigerants are poised to play ever-expanding roles. Over the next several years, food retailers will face new regulatory compliance challenges that will impact their refrigeration system choices. At the same time, many have stated corporate sustainability objectives that are driving them toward the implementation of more environmentally friendly refrigeration technologies.

For retailers considering sustainable refrigeration strategies, Emerson is committed to helping them make this transition as easily as possible. At AHR Expo, we will be highlighting some of the latest developments for each of these refrigerant categories.

CO2 with confidence

Our comprehensive approach to CO2 refrigeration systems focuses on the seamless integration of compression controls, valves and related components. Our knowledgeable CO2 specialists will be on hand to lend their expertise, consult with you about your refrigeration goals, and advise you on how to:

  • Transition to low-GWP CO2 refrigeration with confidence
  • Simplify CO2 system complexities with advanced controls
  • Deploy CO2 in various climate zones throughout the country

Among the complete CO2 solutions on display will include:

  • Copeland™ 4MTLS transcritical CO2 semi-hermetic compressor
  • Copeland ZOD subcritical CO2 scroll compressor
  • Lumity™ E3 supervisory control for CO2 applications
  • Vilter™ HPLD single screw compressor
  • Copeland variable frequency drives (VFDs), EVM series
  • Emerson valves and controls
    • CV (120 bar [EEV])
    • CS3 (120 bar [pressure switch])
    • OMC
  • Lumity CC200 case control

Visit our booth to learn how each of these components is designed to maximize CO2 system performance and simplify installation, commissioning and operation throughout the lifecycle.

R-290 ready

Our booth will also allow you to explore new opportunities for efficient, low-GWP R-290 refrigeration in self-contained units. Recent increases in charge limits have set the stage for wider R-290 adoption and the potential for larger capacities. We will demonstrate how Emerson is focused on reducing energy consumption through our fixed and variable speed R-290 compression technologies. Our AHR Expo product portfolio will include:

  • Copeland™ horizontal variable speed scroll condensing unit (AHR Expo Innovation Awards Finalist)
  • Copeland VFDs, EVM series
  • Copeland ZB*KAU fixed speed scroll
  • Copeland variable speed hermetic reciprocating compressor and drive
  • Copeland fixed speed hermetic reciprocating compressors
  • Copeland M-Line condensing units
  • 100RB Series solenoid valve
  • Copper spun filter drier
  • PS4 pressure switch
  • BVS ball valve
  • Dixell™ XRi Series variable speed controls

Exploring the potential of A2Ls

For those interested in emerging A2L refrigerants, we will explore the potential for higher charge limits and how their broad applicability will provide additional refrigerant alternatives in the near future. We will demonstrate how we’re developing low-GWP A2L solutions designed to help retailers meet strict regulatory standards by:

  • Enabling higher charges than R-290 in self-contained equipment
  • Supporting remote condensing unit refrigeration in retail applications
  • Qualifying A2Ls in reliable and efficient Copeland scroll compressor platforms

So if you’re planning on attending AHR Expo, be sure to visit booth C3106 in the Central Hall. We look forward to meeting you and exploring how we can help you to meet your sustainability goals.

Five Food Retail Trends Shaping the Store of the Future

Katrina Krites | Director of Strategic Marketing, Cold Chain

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

From convenience stores (C-stores) to small-format grocers to large supermarkets, the food retail landscape has shifted significantly in recent years. To survive, store owners and their service technicians have been forced to quickly adapt and implement new operational strategies. In a recent article that appeared in Chain Store Age, I explored five of the leading trends that food retailers will need to be aware of when navigating the road ahead and planning the store of the future. You can also view our formatted article here.

The pandemic created a seismic shift in consumer buying habits, driving many customers toward online, click-and-collect and home delivery for the first time. Although this shift was born out of caution, many consumers have grown to appreciate the lasting convenience of these digital business models. To meet the continuous demand, retailers have had to shore up their e-fulfillment capabilities — without compromising food quality and safety.

Implementing more sustainable operations has also become a higher priority, as environmental regulations call for the phasedown of high-global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants and improved energy efficiencies. As a result, retailers are closely weighing the impacts of their refrigerant choices, energy consumption and leak detection capabilities.

To adapt to these new market requirements and prepare for a future that will present unexpected challenges, retailers are seeking tools that help them to monitor and manage their operations — in individual stores and across their fleet networks. Modern building management systems (BMS) and supervisory control software are providing the technological foundation on which retailers can meet their myriad operational objectives and scale with future business changes.

With these key factors in mind, let’s look at the five trends shaping the food retail store of the future.

1. Focus on in-store customer experiences.
Creating comfortable, inviting and safe shopping experiences for customers will continue to be a differentiator for food retailers. A BMS is ideal for its ability to continually optimize in-store shopping environments for maximum consumer engagement and occupant well-being, such as preventing excessively cold temperatures in frozen food aisles or poor ventilation in food preparation areas.

A BMS can help store owners/operators to control store ambiance and energy consumption by automatically brightening or dimming shopping aisles, workspaces, shopping zones or curbside pickup stations. Make sure your BMS has advanced and easy-to-use scheduling features to help you optimize lighting.

2. Meet sustainability initiatives.
Meeting a wide range of rigorous sustainability targets requires an understanding of the total equivalent warming impact (TEWI) of HVACR and lighting systems. In refrigeration systems, TEWI accounts for the direct impacts of refrigerant leaks as well as the indirect impacts of a system’s energy consumption. Look for a BMS that will help you to achieve those goals by supporting advanced energy optimization and sustainability best practices, including variable frequency drive (VFD) management, suction group algorithms and effective leak detection programs.

3. Connect to data-driven insights.
Modern food retailers have an opportunity to leverage operational data gathered from connected devices, systems and technologies — also known as the internet of things (IoT) — for an abundance of real-time and historic insights into optimal store performance. A BMS can consolidate all systems, equipment and connected devices while enabling remote, web-based access to allow off-site technicians and staff to remotely monitor systems, troubleshoot and resolve issues. Look for a BMS that supports seamless connectivity with enterprise management software to extend your visibility and insights across a network of stores.

4. Preserve food safety and reduce waste.
The ability to maintain precise temperatures in refrigerated or frozen cases is imperative for maximizing freshness while minimizing food waste (shrink). A BMS controller should allow store operators to view their refrigeration assets from one place and continually monitor performance, temperatures and defrost schedules. By triggering alarms at the first detection of “out-of-tolerance” conditions, a BMS can enable operators and technicians to take the necessary actions to preserve food quality and prevent waste. Combined with enterprise management software, case-level data can be leveraged to generate a variety of food-related reports to validate temperature precision and support hazard and critical control points (HACCP) compliance standards.

5. Streamline energy management and optimization.
To meet sustainability objectives and address rising electricity costs, retailers will need new energy management and optimization tools. Traditional grocery store building envelopes will continue to evolve toward smaller store formats, and the introduction of e-fulfillment business models will also impact store energy profiles. For many operators, lowering energy consumption and/or qualifying for rebates and incentives will require energy retrofits, demand management and load-shedding arrangements with participating utilities. Because participation in these programs requires coordination and clear communications between facilities and utilities, operators will need connected infrastructures and BMS controllers to take advantage of these opportunities and fine-tune energy consumption within their building envelopes.

At Emerson, we are designing powerful BMS solutions that are built to scale with the lifecycles of modern food retail operations. The Lumity™ E3 supervisory control and its robust software provide the tools retailers need to optimize their critical systems today and adapt to meet their changing business models in the future.


Low-profile Compressors Deliver High Performance and Merchandizing Capacity

Julie Havenar | Director of Integrated Marketing, Cold Chain
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Self-contained refrigerated display cases have become essential fixtures in many food retail operations. Whether they’re used as spot merchandisers in larger stores, or as part of a distribution strategy in smaller-format outlets, these stand-alone systems offer merchandising flexibility while helping retailers achieve their sustainability goals. But checking all the boxes on an ever-expanding list of end-user preferences is no small feat for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In a recent article that appeared in HVAC Insider, I explored how low-profile compressors are helping self-contained OEMs to address equipment design challenges. You can also view our formatted article here.

Over the past decade, shifting retail market trends and environmental regulations have helped to drive the emergence of self-contained display cases. Not only are these multi-purpose fixtures used in a variety of everyday scenarios, but they have also enabled food retailers to comply with refrigerant regulations and support their broader corporate sustainability initiatives.

Meeting all these end-user requirements presents a unique set of design challenges for OEMs, including a mix of sustainability and practical considerations:

  • Utilize lower-global warming potential (GWP) A1 and A3 refrigerants
  • Achieve high-energy efficiencies and/or ENERGY STAR® certification
  • Maximize the available merchandising space

Balancing design considerations

The low charge refrigerant requirements of self-contained systems make them ideal candidates for R-290 —which has a GWP of 3 — as well also lower-GWP A1 refrigerants such as R-448A and R-449A. To Improve energy efficiencies or achieve ENERGY STAR certification, OEMs have deployed a variety of design strategies, including the use of large-capacity condenser coils. But these coils can take up precious merchandising space in the case itself and can leave less room for other key system components, including the compressor.

As a potential workaround, OEMs have adopted other design strategies such as placing the compressor and/or condensing unit on top of the case itself. Unfortunately, this strategy can create additional design drawbacks:

  • Increasing the overall size of the case
  • Limiting its aesthetic appeal
  • Creating higher noise levels throughout a store

Recent advancements in low-profile compression technology offer a potential solution. By reducing the size of compressors used in these self-contained applications, Emerson is helping OEMs to achieve their customers’ regulatory compliance and sustainability goals — without sacrificing performance, merchandising space or the design aesthetic of their display cases.

Keeping a lower profile

Today, Copeland™ leads the industry in the development of low-profile, fractional and smaller horsepower (HP) scroll and hermetic compressors — in fixed and variable speed options. Our low-profile Copeland hermetic compressor models are ideal for many smaller, medium- and low-temperature, reach-in units and display cases.

Fixed speed hermetic models are available in fractional ranges from ⅛ to 1¼ HP. Variable-speed models enable modulation from ⅛ to ⅞ HP and include an integrated variable frequency drive (VFD) with a smart controller to deliver additional energy-efficiency gains. Refrigerant options include R-448/449A and R-290.

Low-profile, horizontal Copeland scroll compressors deliver industry-leading reliability, efficiency and low noise levels. They are available in fixed and variable-speed models:

  • Fixed speed in ranges from 1 to 3 HP
  • Variable-speed models can modulate from ½ to 4 HP

Our variable speed horizontal scroll compressors are also paired with our advanced Copeland VFDs, EVM/EVH series, which provides a variety of additional performance enhancements:

  • Increased equipment reliability through proactive motor failure prevention
  • Decreased susceptibility to power issues
  • Reduced start/stop events
  • Full system integration with Lumity™ E3 supervisory control platforms

Low-profile Copeland scroll compressors are approved for use with A1 and R-290 refrigerants today and will be qualified for use with A2L refrigerants in the future.

Copeland variable speed compressors utilize brushless permanent magnet (BPM) motors, rather than traditional induction motors, to deliver the energy efficiencies needed to achieve ENERGY STAR certification. Variable-capacity modulation also provides advanced temperature precision a multitude of other reliability and performance benefits.

High performance in small packages

By delivering high performance in small sizes and fractional horsepower ranges, the Copeland low-profile compression portfolio helps OEMs to overcome design limitations and achieve their customers’ energy efficiency, sustainability and merchandising goals.

For those seeking a full condensing unit solution, Emerson works closely with OEM customers in the design and development of condensing units that utilize our low-profile Copeland compression technology. Whether you need fractional HP hermetic or larger-capacity, horizontal scroll compressors — in fixed and variable speed options — Copeland’s low-profile compression solutions and condensing units enable you to meet a wide range of design specifications.



Zero Zone Partners with Emerson for Warm Climate CO2 Solution

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Integration,

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

As environmental regulations and sustainability initiatives drive the shift toward refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP), food retailers are looking more closely at CO2 (refrigerant name R-744). But transitioning to a refrigeration strategy that utilizes CO2 transcritical booster systems will require technologies that maintain CO2 system efficiencies in warmer climates. In a recent article that appeared in R744, I explored how Emerson partnered with Zero Zone to develop a solution that overcomes these challenges. To view the full article, click here.

From an environmental perspective, CO2 is a natural refrigerant with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a GWP of 1 — making it a leading alternative to higher-GWP hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. Although these characteristics are appealing to grocery chain operators, their primary refrigeration system requirement is to providereliable cooling that supports food safety and freshness.

Overcoming high ambient temperature concerns

As a leading manufacturer of refrigerated display cases and refrigeration systems for food retail and commercial operations, Zero Zone set out to create CO2 transcritical booster systems that meet retailers’ sustainability and reliability goals. To help them develop a solution for a retailer’s outlet in Joplin, Mo., Zero Zone tapped Emerson — its long-time product development partner — for its deep experience in CO2 compression technologies and system components.

A key enabling feature is the use of an adiabatic gas cooler that is designed to operate in high ambient temperatures and keep the CO2 refrigerant below its critical point for as long as possible. The adiabatic gas cooler rejects the heat load from all the refrigerated cases within the CO2 transcritical booster system.

During warmer periods, air entering the finned heat exchangers is pre-cooled to a temperature approaching the wet-bulb temperature via wetted adiabatic cooling pads. This pre-cooling process dramatically improves refrigeration efficiency without having to spray water mist onto the finned heat exchanger surface.

Leveraging Emerson compression, controls and components

Another unique aspect of CO2 transcritical booster systems is their use of only R-744 for both medium- (MT) and low-temperature (LT) loads. Zero Zone’s CO2 rack refrigeration system features three Copeland™ CO2 transcritical semi-hermetic compressors, two Copeland ZO scroll compressors and one digital scroll compressor that provides 20–100% capacity control over system suction pressure. In addition, the lead CO2 transcritical compressor operates with the assistance of a variable-frequency drive (VFD) to enable variable-capacity modulation. Copeland’s CO2 compressors are designed to manage CO2’s high-pressure requirements and benefit from its thermodynamic properties.

To oversee the operation of the CO2 transcritical booster system — which includes managing 12 electronic case controls and optimizing the facility’s overall energy management profile — Zero Zone installed Emerson’s E2 supervisory control. The E2 facility control is part of Emerson’s portfolio of facility management and refrigeration control devices, including Emerson’s new Lumity™ E3 supervisory control with an integrated touch-screen display — which are designed to improve CO2 transcritical booster performance in multiple ways:

  • Controls the variable speed of the fans on the adiabatic gas cooler in response to operating conditions
  • Manages MT and LT compressors by controlling suction pressure variations to enable tight case temperature control and lower energy consumption
  • Controls the temperature difference on the gas cooler and provides visibility into the operation of the high-pressure controller, enabling the monitoring of gas cooler and flash tank pressures, as well as the operation of high-pressure and bypass valves
  • Provides complete oil management control of all CO2 refrigeration compressors
  • Communicates with and captures information from individual case-control units
  • Provides complete control of building HVAC and refrigeration systems, and supports the retailer’s energy and maintenance reduction strategies
  • Enables access from anywhere (mobile, tablet or PC) via a web-based user interface (UI)

The system also utilizes Emerson’s CO2 high-pressure controller, which provides a variety of system management functions, including:

  • High-pressure and flash gas bypass valves directly based on the gas cooler outlet temperature, as well as the pressure of the receiver
  • Subcritical and transcritical modes of operation based on temperature input
  • High-pressure valve to control constant sub-cooling during subcritical operation and ensure optimum efficiency during transcritical operation
  • Communication with the E2, which allows users to manage and monitor all aspects of the high-pressure controller

All the Emerson controls are designed to integrate seamlessly with each other and with the system’s electronic expansion valves (EEVs), enabling real-time visibility to various aspects of refrigeration system status.

Preparing for wider CO2 adoption

Today, the retailer’s Joplin store is operating efficiently and effectively on the CO2 transcritical booster system provided by the Zero Zone and Emerson partnership. This installation is a proof-of-concept for how manufacturers are overcoming end-user concerns over CO2’s operating pressures, maintenance levels and energy efficiency. Emerson CO2 technologies helped to ease those concerns for Zero Zone and their retail customers.

As we expect to see a significant increase in CO2 system adoption in the U.S. over the next few years, Emerson is committed to supporting our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and end-user partners to drive further CO2 system innovations.


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