Skip to content

Posts from the ‘DOE Compliance’ Category

How to Comply With DOE Standards on Walk-In Coolers and Freezers

Julie_Havenar Julie Havenar | Product Manager – Condensing Units

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

In 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) passed its final rule on new energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers (WICFs). The ruling mandated new efficiency requirements on WICFs with dedicated condensing systems in both low- and medium-temperature applications. With enforcement of these requirements now having taken effect, I recently published an article for Contracting Business that explained the implications of the DOE’s ruling. View the full article here and read a summary of it below.

Per the ruling, 20–40 percent energy reductions are now required on WICFs smaller than 3,000 square feet manufactured after the following enforcement dates:

  • January 1, 2020, for WICFs with medium-temperature dedicated condensing systems
  • July 10, 2020, for WICFs with low-temperature dedicated condensing systems

Now that enforcement dates are here, industry stakeholders are tasked with verifying that they are achieving compliance with the DOE’s WICF rule.

Who and what does the ruling apply to?

The ruling directly applies to anyone manufacturing, producing, assembling or importing to certify WICF components. From a refrigeration system standpoint, compliant components refer to dedicated and packaged condensing units (indoor and outdoor) used in both new and retrofit applications, including:

  • Condensing units that are assembled to construct a new WICF
  • Condensing units used to replace an existing, previously installed WICF component (retrofit)
  • Condensing units used within packaged systems

Other components — such as unit coolers (evaporators), doors, panels and lighting — are also within the jurisdiction of the DOE’s WICF ruling.

Contractors and wholesalers can still use and stock condensing units that were manufactured before the DOE enforcement dates for retrofit purposes. All newly manufactured condensing units must be compliant if intended for use in applicable WICF applications, as defined by the DOE’s ruling.

How can you measure efficiency and achieve compliance?

The DOE uses a metric created by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) called the Annual Walk-In Energy Factor (AWEF) to evaluate a WICF system’s energy efficiency. This AWEF calculation is based on “a ratio of the total heat, not including the heat generated by the operation of refrigeration systems, removed, in Btu, from a walk-in box during a one-year period of usage for refrigeration to the total energy input of refrigeration systems, in watt-hours, during the same period.”

Per the DOE, there are several WICF equipment classes below the 3,000 square foot limit that must meet or exceed the minimum AWEF ratings based on capacity and application (e.g., medium- or low-temperature, indoor or outdoor). Condensing unit manufacturers and WICF original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must follow approved AWEF testing and certification procedures to meet or exceed the DOE standards.

How will the ruling impact you?

From OEMs and wholesalers to contractors and end users, the DOE’s WICF ruling has broad impacts throughout the industry. Because the DOE WICF ruling impacts both new and retrofit equipment, every segment of the commercial refrigeration supply chain will need to understand its implications. Here’s what you need to know:

  • OEMs — need to complete the engineering design cycle, testing and certification to sell new compliant equipment.
  • Contractors — must understand that if they replace a condensing unit with one manufactured after the DOE enforcement dates, it must be an AWEF-compliant unit. However, units manufactured prior to the DOE’s enforcement dates already in inventory may still be used.
  • Wholesalers — must be prepared for changing inventories and begin to carry only AWEF-compliant condensing units that were manufactured after the 2020 enforcement dates for the relevant WICF applications.
  • Design consultants — must be well-versed in the regulatory impacts to advise end users in the selection of energy-compliant, sustainable systems.
  • End users — need to select future-proof equipment that aligns with their long-term refrigeration strategies.

How is Emerson helping OEMs?

As a manufacturer of condensing units for a wide range of refrigeration applications, we manufacture WICF condensing units that have been certified as meeting the DOE’s minimum AWEF requirements. Compliance data is listed in our condensing unit AWEF product literature.

For WICF OEMs, using certified condensing units will help them meet the compliance requirements in one of their primary refrigeration system components. OEMs should be able to combine an Emerson AWEF-compliant condensing unit with any AWEF-compliant unit cooler in order to achieve compliance in a dedicated system.

So if you’re an OEM of walk-in coolers and freezers, you now need to manufacture WICFs that meet the DOE’s minimum AWEF standards. If you’re not sure how to proceed with this compliance process, you may consult with Emerson’s Design Services Network to expedite your product development, design and testing processes.

With our breadth of products, expertise and resources, we can help you achieve compliance and develop sustainable refrigeration strategies for your customers — and our future.

 

When the Regulatory Push Comes to Shove

donnewlon Don Newlon | V.P./G.M., Refrigeration Marketing

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

This blog originally appeared in one of our E360 Outlook edition. Click here to read the issue in its entirety.

It’s been than more than two years since the Department of Energy (DOE) announced its final rule on energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. At the time of its 2014 announcement, many industry stakeholders expressed their objections to this standard, claiming that it was founded on insufficient premises and nearly impossible to meet.

The industry’s most substantial objection resulted in a formal petition submitted to federal court— one that consolidated the opinions of the American Heating and Refrigeration Institute, some of its member companies and the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers. In August, the Appeals Court ruled in the DOE’s favor, effectively quashing any hopes that the ruling would be amended or delayed. Any lingering questions about the implementation of the DOE’s new efficiency standard have been laid to rest.

epa

All stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment released after March 27, 2017, will need to achieve up to 30–50 percent reduction in energy consumption. Some OEMs have already cleared this hurdle. But, if you are an OEM who thought this deadline wouldn’t come to pass, and you have delayed research, design, development and testing of new products, you are no doubt feeling a new sense of urgency. The regulatory push has come to shove.

That’s why the “Countdown to Compliance” feature story in this issue is devoted to addressing this imminent deadline — not only what it means to OEMs, but also evaluating its larger impacts on the industry. In our Helix Highlight article, we’re also introducing a new simulation model for ice machines that can help OEMs with rapid prototyping and allow them to virtually test the efficiency impacts of system design and component changes.

It’s important to remember that the March 2017 compliance date is just the first in a series of regulatory milestones in the journey that lies ahead. We know there will soon be changes in acceptable refrigerants, and we’re well aware of the subsequent energy minimums to be enforced on other classes of commercial refrigeration equipment. The next several years will be full of challenges. Each regulation will need to be approached with specific technologies and strategies to achieve compliance.

Our commitment to helping our partners prepare for each step along the path to compliance is stronger than ever. To Emerson, it’s about more than seeking fresh approaches to system designs; it’s about helping the industry confidently embrace a new era of refrigeration. Regardless of where your company may be on its journey toward compliance, we have the resources and the willingness to help.

Countdown to Compliance

By Ani Jayanth, Manager, Marketing—Foodservice, Emerson


This blog is a summary of the article Countdown to Compliance from our recent edition of E360 Outlook. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

With the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2017 energy efficiency deadline now visible on the horizon, foodservice OEMs will be the first to feel the brunt of the regulatory storm targeting commercial refrigeration.

For the last several years, the refrigeration industry has been forced to come to terms with a dynamic and often uncertain regulatory environment. On the one hand, the DOE is mandating significant new energy efficiency improvements. On the other hand, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is phasing out the use of widely used high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants while sanctioning a growing list of acceptable substitutes via its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. The convergence of these two regulatory fronts has created the perfect storm: a once-in-a-generation occurrence that promises to permanently reshape the commercial refrigeration landscape.

This tectonic shift in our industry is creating unprecedented challenges for every segment of the commercial refrigeration supply chain, from OEMs, wholesalers and contractors to design consultants and end users.

Foodservice equipment manufacturers find themselves at the leading edge of this transition. March 27, 2017, is the DOE’s energy reductions compliance date for stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment — an average of 30–50 percent reductions, as measured in kWh per day. Affected equipment architectures include: remote condensing commercial refrigerators and freezers; self-contained commercial refrigerators and freezers with and without doors, as well as open display cases. This means that all new equipment manufactured after this date fall within the purview of this rule. And with the EPA’s decision to phase out commonly used refrigerants, like R-404A and HFC-134a in 2019, OEMs must factor this key design consideration into their engineering equation.

What’s at stake for OEMs?

Important considerations:

One design cycle or two? — When it comes to achieving DOE and EPA regulatory compliance, OEMs face a critical design choice: approach each regulation as a separate engineering effort or combine compliance into a single design cycle.

Compressed design cycle — Regardless of the design cycle decision, OEMs will need to allot sufficient laboratory and testing time to make the necessary design adjustments to achieve DOE compliance and to secure requisite UL, ASHRAE and NSF certifications.

Civil penalties — The details around how the DOE will enforce the ruling remain to be seen, but past performance indicates that they will be prepared to issue civil penalties. After March 27, 2017, equipment manufacturers who are still offering reach-in units that don’t comply with the DOE rule may be subject to these penalties.

Peer scrutiny — As many OEMs will be making significant investments in design changes to achieve compliance, those who are neglecting or avoiding these efforts will likely be subject to the scrutiny of their industry peers. In other words, the industry will also police itself.

Registration in DOE compliance database — It’s important to understand that the DOE maintains a database of commercial equipment for compliance called the Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS). Please see: https://www.regulations.doe.gov/ccms. This database is essentially a record of the baseline energy consumption of equipment prior to making the mandated design changes to achieve new energy efficiency levels. Manufacturers who have not listed their equipment in this database may be subject to civil penalties.

Market pressures — Because design consultants and end users are already seeking refrigeration units that comply with DOE and EPA regulations, OEMs who fail to bring viable products to market may face significant business risks.

epas-final-rule

The first steps in a larger journey

While many consider the March 27, 2017, DOE deadline on commercial refrigeration equipment the first significant regulatory milestone, it’s important to remember that it’s one of the first steps the industry must take on this journey for compliance. Among the challenges that still lie ahead:

  • 1, 2018: DOE new efficiency targets on automatic commercial ice makers
  • 1, 2018: EPA delisting R-404A for remote condensing unit architectures
  • 1. 2019: EPA begins phasing out R-404A, R-507A, R-410A, R-407A/C/F and HFC-134a in stand-alone units
  • 1. 2020: DOE new efficiency targets for walk-in coolers and freezers

There are many miles ahead of us in this journey, and for many in the industry this is uncharted territory. Emerson is committed effectively navigating this shifting regulatory landscape and helping guide the industry toward the next generation of refrigeration technologies and equipment architectures. Through continued collaboration and innovation, we’ll work with you to create systems that are both economically and environmentally viable.

 

 

New E360 Webinar Explains How to Meet 2017/2020 Energy Regulations

In the last several years, our industry has seen the introduction of numerous energy efficiency and environmental regulations. While many stakeholders had hoped these new standards would not be enforced, the compliance dates for these rulings are rapidly approaching. Among the first of these is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) rule on energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. The rule, which took effect on May 27, 2014, has a compliance date of May 27, 2017.

Despite industry objections via a formal petition submitted to federal court, this minimum efficiency ruling on stand-alone, self-contained equipment will be upheld. And with subsequent deadlines on ice machines and walk-in units planned for 2018 and 2020, stakeholders throughout the industry are evaluating the impacts to their businesses.

But the DOE is only one factor in this regulatory equation. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rulings and proposals regarding acceptable refrigerants will also be taking place during the same time frame. Keeping track of these rulings, understanding how they interact, and making sense of their far-reaching implications is no small task.

9145-e360-webinar-facebook-1200x630-nature-emr-logo

Our next E360 Webinar will tackle this challenge head on, focusing both on the near-term compliance deadline of March 2017 and what to expect over the next several years. The Webinar will be presented by Brian Buynacek, senior refrigeration engineer and marketing consultant, and Ani Jayanth, foodservice marketing manager, on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 2–3 p.m. EDT.

In the Webinar, Buynacek and Jayanth will lay out a regulatory road map and present compliance strategies. Between now and 2020, there are nine legislated requirements that the refrigeration industry will need to deal with. Five of these come from the EPA, with the remainder falling under the DOE’s jurisdiction. The Webinar will address the implications of these compliance dates, starting with a focus on the first major hurdle — the 2017 DOE energy standard for stand-alone equipment, such as reach-in refrigeration units typically used in restaurants and convenience stores.

The Webinar will take a look at data that speaks to the industry’s level of preparedness, including the number of end users and manufacturers who are either already actively pursuing measures to ensure compliance or making plans to meet these dates. As achieving regulatory compliance becomes a component in most retailers’ business plans, many are officially stating an environmental goal of moving to a new refrigerant with much lower global warming potential. In fact, we’ve estimated that 83 percent of the industry’s top 50 retailers are testing refrigerant alternatives via pilot programs in field sites.

As much as 62 percent of manufacturers are engaged in lab testing to prepare for DOE regulations, and more than half of end users and manufacturers have a plan in place to meet compliance dates. What this also means is that many are still seeking guidance on how to become better prepared, but many are unfortunately not ready to address these challenges.

Whether you use or manufacture reach-ins, walk-ins, ice machines or rack systems, achieving compliance will require different strategies for each refrigeration equipment class. The Webinar will detail what’s required for each class as well as explore the implications that changing system designs will have on manufacturers and end users.

Register now and be sure to save the date for this timely discussion.

 

Time Is Running out for Foodservice OEMs to Meet DOE Compliance

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) final rule on stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment goes into effect on March 27, 20171, requiring on average a 30–50 percent2 reduction in energy consumption. Foodservice OEMs who are still offering non-compliant equipment after March 2017 face the potential for DOE civil penalties. But the 2017 DOE deadline isn’t the only regulatory challenge facing OEMs. Less than two years later, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SNAP delisting ruling3 will phase out the common refrigerants R-404A and HFC-134a in the same class of equipment. This perfect regulatory storm is presenting foodservice OEMs with unprecedented system design challenges.

DOE_Compliance

The timing of these two regulations is forcing OEMs to make a difficult choice: either deal with each regulation separately or combine efforts to comply into a single design cycle. Here’s what foodservice OEMs need to know about the convergence of DOE and EPA regulations:

  • OEMs must act now to comply with the DOE energy reduction mandate on reach-in, stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment — on average 30–50 percent
  • EPA is phasing out R-404A and HFC-134a in reach-in equipment on January 1, 2019, in favor of low-global warming potential refrigerants
  • All equipment not listed in the DOE compliance certification management system (CCMS) may be subject to civil penalties
  • Design consultants and end users will soon be seeking DOE- and EPA-compliant units; non-compliant OEMs may assume significant business risks
  • OEMs must choose: one design cycle or two
  • Completing the engineering design cycle will take time

Emerson Climate Technologies Has the Expert Resources to Ensure Compliance

If you’re an OEM who has hasn’t begun to think about DOE compliance, we are here to help guide you through this rapid transition. No two systems are alike, and we understand that achieving compliance is more than just changing the engine under the hood — it’s about looking at the efficiency of the whole system, from doors, lighting and insulation to controls and compressors.

Our Design Services Network offers the certifications and accreditations to ensure your equipment is compliant, including:

  • UL and EPA approved as a third party test lab
  • Fully accredited with ISO 17025
  • Approved by the California Energy Commission

For years we’ve been developing the next generation of DOE- and EPA-rated and certified components across our complete product portfolio. We have specific products that meet these requirements, including: Copeland Scroll™ line expansions to include smaller displacements, horsepower and capacities; high-efficiency hermetic and semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors in fractional horsepower that deliver double-digit energy efficiency gains; and condensing units designed to maintain existing stand-alone footprints. We have the breadth of products, knowledge and resources to help you address each regulation separately or combine compliance into a single design cycle.

It’s not too late to comply, but the clock is ticking. We’re ready to help you make the right decision for your business, so let us know how we can help you achieve compliance and answer your questions.


References:

  1. https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2010-BT-STD-0003-0104
  2. http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-US/About_Us/industry_stewardship/E360/Documents/Atlanta-Presentations/how-to-meet-wicher-jayanth-021516.pdf
  3. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/snap_regulatory_factsheet_july20_2015.pdf
%d bloggers like this: