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Posts from the ‘Emerson TAC’ Category

Six Arguments that Make the Case for Case Control

In the U.S., the vast majority of refrigeration cases are controlled via circuit control. Yet, implementing individual case control leads to lower energy costs for retailers. At our 2014 Technology in Action Conference, we brought together three retail end users who are currently using case control in their supermarkets for a panel discussion on this topic. We addressed the benefits and challenges of installing case control, as well as asked the panelists to share their personal experiences with actual deployments.

During this discussion, a consensus emerged among the panel of retailers – each of whom is based in the Northeast region of the U.S., where there is currently a high concentration of case control stores. Each of the panelists shared that their companies are implementing case control in some way – as they remodel stores and build new facilities. As advocates for case control, they all agreed that its benefits and savings outweigh the potential challenges.

John Wallace (second on left) of Emerson Climate Technologies moderates a panel discussion on case control with retail end users (L to R): Steve Mitchell of King Kullen, Frank Vadino of Cold Technology and Kevin St. Phillips of Price Chopper.

John Wallace (second on left) of Emerson Climate Technologies moderates a panel discussion on case control with retail end users (L to R): Steve Mitchell of King Kullen, Frank Vadino of Cold Technology and Kevin St. Phillips of Price Chopper.

Below are six arguments – and some tips for successful implementation – from actual end users that make the case for case control:

  1. Case control installation is cost-effective. Installation with case control will be less expensive than the costs seen with a conventional mechanical valve store. With case control, you are able to drive down the electrical installation costs. Stores with conventional valves may also take longer to set up. Less time is spent on the case installation and set up with case control because a lot of the work can be done ahead of time; this allows the other store teams to work in conjunction with the case installation. You can set shelves, bring in groceries and burn off cooking equipment while the installation happens, rather than waiting until a case is full to the load line and environmental conditions are set.
  2. A kickoff meeting with prospective bidders is a crucial first step for a new project. When bidding a new project, it helps to ensure all parties involved understand the plan and specifications. A kickoff meeting allows you to sit down and explain the design methodology and how it differs from conventional systems. If you expect to see lower electrical installation costs, make sure you state this to the prospective bidders. It’s also important to have quality instruction documentation to support your project expectations.
  3. Training is critical when adopting case controls. Everyone involved needs to know how to use the equipment. Set up training for the mechanics so that they not only understand how the controls work, but also explain why you’ve elected to use case control. Making sure they understand the concept and getting the mechanics on board with case control can go a long way in helping them take ownership of the startup and maintenance of the equipment.
  4. When ordering new cases, have the controls mounted in the cases by the manufacturer. With high labor costs, you’ll see savings with ordering the controls already installed in new cases. You will still need to allocate time after the cases are installed to make sure that all connections are tight and the wiring is set up correctly, but opting for manufacturer installed controls will also allow for quicker installation.
  5. Use case controls to better manage your facility and your maintenance teams. Case controls provide a better level of visibility and control of your facilities. The data collected provides valuable information to help evaluate a problem and diagnose it properly. If something isn’t working correctly, technicians are able to call the supervision team, who has access to the system remotely, to help walk them through the issue. Technicians can also access system information on a smart phone or tablet while in the field. And, you can set restrictions to allow varying levels of access to the system information – or you can override the system, when needed. Electronic expansion valves can also help reduce truck rolls and decrease the inventory needed on technician trucks.
  6. There are different strategies for successful case control conversion. As case control is adopted by more retailers in the U.S., we’re seeing different approaches to case control conversion by various organizations. Some have opted to switch their stores to case control as they remodel, retrofitting the cases in any stores going through a remodel with electronic controls at that time. And for larger remodels, they may order new cases with the controls factory installed. Another method is to go into existing stores with conventional systems for an energy conversion project and retrofit the cases with electronic controls; this may be done with a controlled conversion, switching a few racks in a store at a time, or by converting the whole store. And with new builds, many opt to simplify the electrical construction by installing case control from the start.
John Wallace (far left) of Emerson Climate Technologies with retail customers (L to R): Frank Vadino of Cold Technology, Steve Mitchell of King Kullen and Kevin St. Phillips of Price Chopper.

John Wallace (far left) of Emerson Climate Technologies with retail customers (L to R): Frank Vadino of Cold Technology, Steve Mitchell of King Kullen and Kevin St. Phillips of Price Chopper.

For more information on Emerson Climate Technologies offering of case controls for supermarkets and convenience stores, please visit the XM Series Case Control page on our website.

John Wallace
Director of Innovation, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

Five Keys to Success for Convenience Stores Using Control Systems

I’ve recently written about savings opportunities and the benefits of control systems for convenience stores. To follow up on these previous posts, I’ve included my thoughts below on three features to look for in state of the art systems and the five keys to success for convenience store controls.

In creating our new small format control system, ecoSYS Site Supervisor, we learned more about the way people interact with the product, which ultimately changed our design techniques from engineering-centered to human-centered design. We spent a lot of time talking to people who actually use the product to better understand their interaction to create a system that works for them. This insight helped me shape my views around a state of the art control system.

Five Keys to Success for Convenience Stores Using Control Systems

What does a state of the art control systems look like? The three key features you want to look for are:

  • User interface: Ideally, the user interface is web-based, allowing facility managers the ability to view the technology anywhere, including on mobile devices. Customizable user interfaces and role-based user management give the person accessing the system a better user experience.
  • Alarm flexibility: Remote alarm notifications, through SMS and email, can signal a problem when a facility manager is offsite. Smart categorization for alarms is also beneficial, allowing the user to customize the alarms with names used by the organization.
  • Enterprise management: A web-based or server-based system provides the ability to capture data from all stores, which can be analyzed for operational performance. You can also view and control the systems in all stores across an enterprise.

Once you’ve identified the need for a control system within your enterprise, and you’re ready to implement controls, successful engagement with the system is even more important. Below are my five keys to success for convenience stores using facility controls:

  1. Think through who needs to interact with the system: Who would you like to have access to the control system – store personnel, on-site technicians, or maintenance and energy managers? Think about this first before deciding if access will be available for everyone.
  2. Standardize the system configurations: Make configurations for HVAC and lighting schedules, refrigeration control settings and additional monitoring points as similar as possible throughout all stores. There will always be some differences to account for, but standardization across an enterprise is helpful for everyone to understand the system capabilities and their actions.
  3. Determine how you want to handle alarms: It’s important to plan the way alarms will be managed before startup. Determine whether you will avoid nuisance alarms. Review thresholds and critical vs. noncritical alarms. Think through alarm notifications, schedules for off hours vs. peak hours, and the differences between HVAC and refrigeration alarms.
  4. Insure all data is used appropriately: Analyze the information collected through the system to identify problem areas. Alarms and other relevant data can be used to target maintenance and equipment replacement.
  5. Place a high importance on training: Do not underestimate the need for a thorough, simple training program for all people who will interact with the system. Set up training before the systems are installed, and schedule ongoing training as needed.

What have you found to be most successful? Please share your experience in the comments below.

John Wallace
Director of Innovation, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

Five Things Your Boss Wants You to Know About Commercial Air Conditioning Regulations

Did you know 20-40 percent of current 6-60 ton commercial package and split systems don’t meet new 2016 efficiency minimums? Your boss may not be aware of the changes coming, but it’s a fair guess that he or she expects their team of HVAC professionals to be current on upcoming industry changes.

Photo: (L to R) Bart Powelson and Karl Zellmer of Emerson, Richard Lord of UTC, Cindy Sparrow of Lennox, Frank Vadino of Cold Technology.

Photo: (L to R) Bart Powelson and Karl Zellmer of Emerson, Richard Lord of UTC, Cindy Sparrow of Lennox, Frank Vadino of Cold Technology.

At our Technology in Action Conference last month, we brought together industry leaders to talk about the effect of new air conditioning efficiency standards on contractors, manufacturers and our customers.

During the course of our lively discussion, five key points emerged:

  1. To understand new efficiency regulations on commercial air conditioning systems, you need to know how they are being measured. The ASHRAE 90.1-2013 standards include a 13-15 percent increase in Integrated Energy Efficiency Ratio (IEER) for air cooled package/split systems. IEER is a measure of part load efficiency using a weighted average of efficiencies at various system capacities and conditions.Rather than looking at EER, which had been the industry standard for decades, the regulations, which are expected to go into effect in 2016 are focusing on performance across a range of conditions, since typical systems spend most of their time running at 50-70 percent load capacity.
  2. The emphasis on part-load efficiency has a great side effect: improved comfort. When it comes to evaluating the performance of an HVAC system, regulatory agencies are focused on energy use, bosses usually care about costs, but let’s not forget that visitors to your store or building care mostly about comfort. Fortunately, the new efficiency standards can serve all three needs. A minimum standard measurement that more accurately reflects how systems run leads to more efficient equipment that will both save on energy use and cost, but also include capacity modulation that can lower humidity and maintain more consistent temperatures.
  3. Manufacturers and OEMs have your back and are developing the technology to support the new efficiency minimum standards. While you (and your boss) may be just now coming up to speed on the standards for 2016, many OEMs and manufacturers have been preparing for the new standards for years. Introducing capacity modulation with tandems and variable speed compressors will be the trend to improve part-load performance.
  4. Don’t forget to review rebates and voluntary standards. Voluntary standards like Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and the U.S. Green Building Council are pushing the upper end of the spectrum, creating guides and benchmarks beyond minimum standards.Be sure to impress the boss with your knowledge of energy rebates available on a national and state-by-state basis by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  5.  Training is key. Staying current on the latest developments in technology will be key to helping ensure equipment is running efficiently. Connect with OEMs and manufacturers for training on the equipment your team will be servicing and installing.

Bart Powelson
Director of Commercial Marketing, Air Conditioning Business
Emerson Climate Technologies

Technology in Action Conference — Keynote Speaker and Breakout Session Announced

Our Technology in Action Conference is now only days away, and anticipation is building toward our three-day commercial retail optimization event. Like last year, the many interactive panel discussions and breakout sessions will provide a perfect format for attendees to interact with the industry’s most experienced end users, expert practitioners and equipment manufacturers. As we come together to discuss the most pressing topics in retail refrigeration today, we’re confident everyone in attendance will leave with new perspectives to better optimize their facilities and more effectively navigate the changing regulatory and refrigerant landscapes.

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Jim Donald

To kick off this this year’s event, Jim Donald, former CEO of Starbucks and Pathmark Supermarkets and current CEO of Extended Stay America Hotels, will deliver the conference’s keynote address. Donald’s distinguished career in retail includes being named one the “Top 25 CEOs in the World” by The Best Practice Institute and one of Business Travel News’ “25 Most Influential Business Travel Executives of 2013.” Donald’s reputation for turning around financially ailing companies prompted Extended Stay Hotels to seek him out after the company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings in 2010. Under Donald’s leadership, the company recently launched a successful $565 million IPO. In his keynote address, Donald will share his experiences as a leader focused on innovation, quality, service, strong relationships within the community, and risk-taking with the freedom to fail.

Breakout Sessions — Covering a Variety of Topics

With multiple breakout sessions to choose from, attendees are sure to find topics that address their specific concerns and provide opportunities to learn from the experiences of their peers. Are you getting the most from variable capacity air conditioning systems? One breakout session will introduce variable capacity HVAC equipment and explore key technologies that enable variable capacity control and part-load efficiency improvements. Do you think of refrigerants as an expense, not an asset? Treating refrigerants as an asset adds new value to your organization. This breakout session discusses approaches to protecting the asset and monetizing it. Other breakout session topics include:

  • Improving store operations through enhanced facility processes
  • CO2 system design considerations (two-part session)
  • Geothermal HVAC and refrigeration systems
  • Improving store operations through enhanced facility processes
  • The good, bad and ugly of transforming existing properties into new grocery stores

If you’ve made plans to attend the conference April 14–16, we will see you soon! If you can’t make it this year, be sure to follow our live updates from the event on Twitter by following the hashtag #EmersonTAC.

Reggie O’Donoghue
Product Management, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

TAC Panels Make Sense of Refrigerants, Operational Visibility and Energy-Reduction Technologies

With our Technology in Action Conference only one week away, we’re eagerly anticipating a series of informative sessions that will allow attendees to interact with the industry’s leading retail refrigeration experts. Building on the success of last year’s format, we’ve once again designed the conference to encourage participation and foster lively debates about the most pressing topics in refrigeration today.

For this year’s theme, we’re adopting the Making Sense webinar platform, selecting topics that are closely related to refrigerants, operation visibility and energy-reduction technologies. And, we’ve once again invited a wide spectrum of experienced end users, expert practitioners and equipment manufacturers to facilitate these discussions and impart their knowledge.

Here’s a brief overview of our interactive sessions:

Discussion One: Optimizing Facility Operational Costs. Explore the landscape of available strategies, tools, services and equipment to help achieve operational cost effectiveness today. Panelists will discuss how these tools can help retailers achieve their facility’s cost reduction goals. Discussion points include:

  • Factors to consider when optimizing a facility
  • Optimizing project development and prioritization
  • Challenges to achieving facility optimization
  • Optimization strategies, tools, equipment and services

Discussion Two: The Case for Case Control. By shifting centralized control of refrigeration operation to individual cases, retailers can significantly reduce energy costs. Learn why case control has not been more widely adopted in the U.S., and explore the implications of case control installation and operation.

  • Installation cost savings and contractor considerations
  • Potential for energy savings
  • Maintenance and commissioning
  • Refrigerant usage

Discussion Three: The Impact of New Air Conditioning Efficiency Standards. Changes to regulations in 2015–2016 will increase the minimum efficiency levels of air conditioning equipment. Learn more about these regulations, review the available technologies, and discuss the implications for both air conditioning equipment and facility design.

  • Changes to the ASHRAE 90.1 standard (and the timing)
  • Importance of full-load and part-load efficiencies
  • Understanding the impacts of voluntary standards (ENERGY STAR™, Consortium for Energy Efficiencies, and others)
  • Equipment design implications (circuit design, variable capacity compressors, expansion valves, etc.)

Discussion Four: Refrigerants — An Asset or Liability? Changes in regulations that mandate refrigerant use are impacting refrigeration architecture in new and existing stores. Learn which refrigerants to use for retrofits and new system designs, in addition to these important discussion points:

  • Best practices in refrigerant management for existing stores
  • A new way of thinking about refrigerants (no longer just an expense item)
  • Establishing a plan to reduce global warming emissions (including R-22 and R404A retrofits)
  • Regulatory and political forces that will impact existing store refrigerant decisions

This event takes place April 14–16 in Point Clear, Ala. Visit www.emersontac.org to learn more. While at the event, we will be tweeting live discussion updates using the hashtag #EmersonTAC. We hope you will be able to join the conversations!

Mitch Knapke
Refrigeration Market Manager, Supermarkets
Emerson Climate Technologies

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