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Posts from the ‘Solutions Spotlight’ Category

Recycling Program Contributes to Supply Chain Sustainability

Ashley Ramirez | GO Green Coordinator

Cold Chain Digital Solutions at Emerson

Throughout the perishable food supply chain, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives are driving companies to implement more sustainable practices in all aspects of their operations. Often, this means uncovering issues with existing processes and selecting preferred business partners that help to support a greener supply chain. Emerson is committed to being such a partner.

For customers that use our GO real-time loggers and trackers to monitor the temperature and location of their perishable shipments, we offer a full-service, easy-to-use and free product recycling program called GO GreenSense™. Although efforts to improve sustainability are now considered standard business practices for many companies, our GO GreenSense recycling program has been operational for nearly a decade.

Since most GO real-time loggers and trackers are intended for one-time use, the GO GreenSense program was designed to recover reusable materials from undamaged devices — such as plastic shells, and electronic components — and either recycle them in new products or dispose of them properly in an environmentally friendly fashion.

Why going green matters

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lithium-ion batteries and devices containing these batteries should not be disposed of in household garbage or recycling bins. Instead, they should be taken to a certified battery recycling facility or some other household hazardous waste collection point.

Because lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density in a relatively small physical profile, they have become commonplace in modern electronic devices, including Emerson’s GO real-time trackers. These batteries are composed of critical raw materials — such as cobalt, graphite and lithium — which are considered both economically and strategically valuable resources. But when these batteries are disposed of in the trash, those resources are squandered.

What’s more, if a battery or its containing device is disposed of in the trash or placed in a municipal recycling bin along with other household recyclables such as plastic, paper or glass, it may become damaged. Therefore, lithium-ion batteries should be recycled only at certified battery electronics recyclers.

Since the mass production of plastics began six decades ago, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. According to a study conducted by National Geographic, most plastic materials end up as trash. A few of the study’s eye-opening conclusions include:

  • Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade
  • Only 12 percent of total plastics produced have been incinerated
  • 91 percent of all global plastic are not recycled
  • More than 40 percent of plastics are used only once

How GO GreenSense works

Emerson implemented the GO GreenSense recycling program to help facilitate the free and easy return of GO real-time tracker and logger products for proper battery and component recycling. For interested customers, we provide eco-friendly return boxes and the appropriate pre-paid postage labels. Customers can then simply place units in a return box and ship them back to Emerson.

Since GO real-time trackers use lithium-ion batteries, we provide Emerson-branded return boxes that have a “Lithium-ion battery” warning label pre-printed on them. Returned trackers are shipped via FedEx to minimize the potential for damage to the lithium-ion battery during shipping. Simply place the GO real-time trackers and the return form in each box, attach the pre-paid label, and ship via FedEx.

GO real-time loggers use lithium coin batteries that contain less than 0.1 grams of lithium metal per cell. Thus, they can be sent via USPS without the need for a warning label. Simply complete the logger return form, place in provided box with pre-paid shipping label and follow the standard USPS shipping conventions.

Upon receipt, Emerson inspects each returned device and then processes any recyclable components. Emerson hopes to be able to recycle more than 2 million devices this year.

To learn more about GO GreenSense and participate in our GO real-time tracker and logger recycling program, simply contact Emerson Cargo Solutions at +1 877 998 7299 or email us at GoGreen@Emerson.com. We look forward to helping you shrink your carbon footprint by easily recycling your temperature monitoring and tracking devices.

 

 

 

Simplify Refrigeration Merchandising Strategies

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Strategy

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

Dynamic food retail market trends continue to reshape the physical layouts of grocery stores. In the never-ending quest to keep consumers engaged, retailers are rotating display cases, placing featured items in high-visibility areas, and/or redirecting shopping flows. At the same time, shrinking store footprints are forcing operators to explore distributed refrigeration architectures. In a recent E360 article, we explored how flexible refrigeration strategies are helping retailers adapt to modern food retail merchandising challenges.

In traditional store layouts, products have historically been categorized into relatively fixed aisles and locations.  But as retailers try to tailor store environments to consumers’ shopping preferences, these fixed aisles are being more frequently supplemented by a steady rotation of seasonal produce and specialty items.

As the trend toward urbanization drives more retailers to open smaller stores in existing metropolitan facilities, operators simply don’t have the space to support centralized direct expansion (DX) refrigeration. And while larger stores still rely on these DX refrigeration systems, many are starting the process of decommissioning portions of their systems for a variety of reasons:

  • Ensure reliable refrigeration performance
  • Comply with environmental regulations
  • Hit corporate sustainability targets

These dynamic factors are combining to significantly impact refrigeration equipment architectures.

Shifting to distributed strategies

Enabling merchandising and architectural flexibility requires making the shift from centralized DX systems toward one of many available distributed architectures. Distributed simply refers to the practice of distributing refrigeration condensing units (CUs) throughout a store to support various case loads. This can be achieved by integrating the CU into the refrigeration case itself, or by placing it within close range of cases.

Let’s look at a few of the leading distributed refrigeration options in the food retail space.

Micro-distributed (self-contained) — For retailers seeking maximum merchandising flexibility, plug-and-play, self-contained cases can be repositioned throughout a retail store. To meet applicable safety standards, units are currently factory-charged with up to 150g of R-290. However, a recent update to the UL 60335-2-89 safety standard has set the stage for R-290 charge increases depending on whether the unit has an open- or closed-door design:

  • 500g for open appliances without doors or drawers
  • 300g for closed appliances with doors or drawers

Although additional regulatory approvals and appropriate safety considerations will be needed to implement these higher charges, the potential for larger capacity self-contained R-290 units is now on the horizon. Multiple units can be placed on a shared water loop to remove condenser heat from a store. However, this scalable approach may limit mobility due to piping and installation requirements.

Outdoor condensing units (OCUs) — Recent advancements in modern technology have expanded OCU flexibility. Rather than using a fixed-capacity compressor — which provides a one-to-one relationship between a CU and a refrigeration fixture — digital compressors can now enable variable-capacity modulation and the ability for one OCU to support multiple fixtures.

The Copeland™ digital outdoor refrigeration unit, X-Line Series, continually modulates its capacity to precisely match the refrigeration loads of multiple fixtures. Instead of one fixed CU running at 100 percent capacity, regardless of demand, the digital X-Line delivers scalability from one to multiple units with just one OCU. Variable-capacity modulation advantages include:

  • More precise temperatures
  • Effective load matching
  • Improved energy efficiencies

Distributed scroll booster — Well-suited for new stores, retrofits and replacements, the Copeland scroll booster offers a unique balance of simplicity, sustainability and flexibility. By utilizing a low-pressure, zero glide A1 refrigerant (R-513A) for both low-temperature (LT) and medium-temperature (MT) circuits, this system is designed to:

  • Offer a familiar servicing profile
  • Scale from one to multiple refrigerated display cases or freezers
  • Eliminate the high discharge temperatures and compression ratios typically found in LT systems

The Copeland scroll booster enables the use of systems with smaller refrigerant charges and lower-GWP refrigerants (R-513A = 573 GWP), while delivering improved energy efficiencies and high reliability.

The Copeland indoor modular solution — This plug-and-play refrigeration package is designed to support larger self-contained cases by integrating all key system components within the unit itself:

  • Low-profile, Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor maximizes case merchandising space and delivers superior energy efficiencies.
  • Integrated refrigeration circuit simplifies system design and architecture.
  • Electronic controls provide seamless supervisory control platform integration.

In addition, the Copeland indoor modular solution can enable a distributed refrigeration system to scale from one to multiple units — with multiple cases connected to a shared water loop.

Please visit our website to learn more about Emerson’s solutions for flexible and sustainable distributed refrigeration solutions, please visit our website.

Optimize Supermarket Energy Efficiency and Performance With VFD Retrofits

Joe Summers | Senior Product Manager – Scrolls & Drives
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

The use of fixed-speed (or fixed-capacity) refrigeration systems and HVAC rooftop units (RTUs) is a common strategy in the U.S. food retail sector. If you went into the machine rooms of most grocery stores, you likely would find centralized, direct expansion (DX) refrigeration systems with parallel racks of fixed-speed compressors. On the rooftops, you would find RTUs with air-handler blowers running continuously at full speeds. Varying the capacity of these critical units relies on mechanical throttling techniques that consume energy, cause excess equipment wear, but never quite achieve the desired load matching. In a new white paper, Emerson explore how operators can retrofit these systems with variable frequency drives (VFDs) to deliver significant energy efficiency and performance improvements.

For the most part, the potential uses for VFDs in the food retail sector have been largely unexplored. Simply put, VFD retrofits allow operators to convert existing fixed-speed equipment — such as compressors, fans or pumps — to enable variable-capacity modulation. Benefits include:

  • Reduced energy consumption and electricity costs
  • Improved load matching, temperature precision and performance
  • Extended equipment reliability lifespan

VFDs in refrigeration systems

The inability to match the refrigeration capacity to fluctuating evaporator load demands is a known limitation of parallel rack systems with fixed-speed compressors. Systems are designed and specified to accommodate peak-load conditions and provide reliable cooling during the hottest days of a year — i.e., they’re essentially over-sized for lower load conditions and cooler periods.

Widely varying load requirements, ever-changing ambient conditions and variations in defrost cycles can create undesirable fluctuations in case temperatures. Compressors are constantly switching off and on to try and adapt to these changing demands, which can accelerate wear on system components, increase the potential for food quality issues, and consume excess electricity.

VFDs give operators and service technicians an effective method for alleviating fixed-speed compressor motor challenges and achieving the benefits of variable-capacity modulation. By retrofitting a VFD to the lead compressor in every parallel compressor rack, each lead compressor can then modulate the capacity of the entire rack. This enables fixed-speed compressors to handle the base load, while leveraging the VFD-equipped lead compressor to manage fluctuations in demand. Compared to a traditional fixed-speed approach, this results in:

  • Reduced cycling on/off strain and an extended life of the lead compressor
  • Smoother and almost constant system suction pressure
  • More consistent evaporator (case) temperatures and humidity conditions

Validating VFD ROI in HVAC case study

In HVAC RTUs, air-handler blower capacity is also designed to handle the peak cooling conditions of the installation’s summer season. But as building loads fluctuate widely throughout the year, HVAC systems often operate at only a fraction of their design capacity. Thus, air-handler blower fans run continuously at full, fixed speeds, regardless of load requirements. Technicians often use a mechanical throttling technique to help reduce airflow, but this results in increased energy consumption and a reduction in the equipment’s lifespan.

Retrofitting a VFD onto an existing fan motor allows it to modulate capacity based on varying load requirements — full speed during peak-load periods and slower speeds when less load is required. In this HVAC RTU application, variable-capacity modulation delivers a fast return on investment (ROI) via a non-linear, speed-to-power ratio. By slowing down a blower motor fan speed by 25 percent of its normal operating rate, it’s estimated that facility operators can reduce energy consumption by 50–60 percent.

Emerson validated this principle recently by installing Copeland™ VFDs on a food retailer’s existing rooftop HVAC air-handler blower motors in 78 of their stores. Results included:

  • Reduced energy consumption by 52 percent
  • Saved more than $800,000 in electricity costs
  • Equivalent to adding $10M in sales at an 8 percent margin

Retrofit with Copeland VFDs

Emerson is committed to helping food retailers and technicians to simplify the retrofit process in HVACR applications and improve equipment reliability, performance and efficiency. Copeland VFDs, EVM/EVH Series are designed to reduce the costs and complexities of VFD implementation:

  • The Copeland EVM Series is ideal for chillers, medical refrigeration, display cases, walk-ins and reach-ins.
  • The Copeland EVH Series is designed for large, centralized racks (including CO2), HVAC applications, advanced chillers and industrial refrigeration applications.

Learn more about applying our VFD solutions to your HVACR operations by visiting our webpage.

Simplifying CO2 Refrigeration

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Strategy

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

Interest in CO2 transcritical booster systems is growing rapidly within the U.S. commercial refrigeration industry. In recent years, many supermarkets have tested the waters with CO2 system trials in select stores. Others have already made CO2 the foundation of their long-term refrigeration strategy. But with sustainability goals becoming higher priorities, we expect up to 800 new CO2 transcritical booster systems to be installed in the next 3–4 years.

Although CO2 (refrigerant name R-744) offers a variety of sustainability and reliability benefits, a lack of familiarity with the nuances of CO2 technology can make it seem complex to end-users and service technicians alike. I recently spoke with R744.com about how Emerson is helping to alleviate these concerns by simplifying the applications of CO2 refrigeration systems.

Smart controls to make it easier

To help facilitate these increased adoption levels, Emerson recently launched the Lumity™ E3 supervisory control, designed specifically for CO2 applications. As the successor to our venerable E2 controller system — which is already used in CO2 transcritical booster systems globally — this next-generation refrigeration and facility control device offers native CO2 functionality to better manage a wide spectrum of CO2-specific capabilities:

  • High-pressure system and valve control
  • System start-up and shut-down protocols
  • Hot-gas and liquid injection modulation (de-superheating)
  • Adiabatic gas cooling control
  • Parallel compression management

R-744 refrigerant and CO2 refrigeration system properties are unique and need their own specific control logic and programming requirements. Within the Lumity E3 controller for CO2, we’ve integrated machine-learning algorithms and other native programming that will make CO2 systems easier to own, operate and troubleshoot — while still providing the customization options end-users need to tailor controls to their store requirements. The E3 controller platform is also web-enabled to support remote monitoring and servicing via smartphone, tablet or other web-enabled browsers.

We are also launching a new Lumity CC200 case controller, which includes a specific model for CO2 system cases. This device integrates seamlessly with the E3 supervisory control platform to provide key case-level functions, such as:

  • Demand defrost control
  • Management of up to three evaporator coils with three stepper motor or pulse width modulated (PWM) electronic expansion valves (EEVs)
  • Integrated evaporator pressure regulating (EPR) valve

The CO2 versions of these control products are currently being field-tested and will be available globally later this year. Upcoming E3-CO2 functions include mechanical subcooling and ejector control. Also, hot-gas defrost will be added to the E3-CO2 platform to support the North American trend of using hot-gas defrost — rather than traditional electric defrost — in industrial and commercial CO2 transcritical booster applications.

The upcoming E3-CO2 model is designed to enable current E2 end-users to easily replace their control device when it becomes available. End-users of the standard E3 controller will have the option to upgrade it to the CO2 version.

Expanded CO2 compression capacities

To further support increased CO2 adoption in supermarkets, Emerson will be expanding the capacity of our current Copeland™ 4MTLS transcritical CO2 semi-hermetic compressor lineup. Within months, we will be launching a new option that delivers our largest displacement in the 4MTLS product line — with 330,000 BTU at 20 °F.

In addition to our transcritical CO2 semi-hermetic lineup, we offer Copeland ZOD subcritical CO2 digital scroll compressor products designed to exploit the characteristics of CO2 refrigeration in low-temperature (LT) applications. And, since all lead and parallel compressors in CO2 transcritical booster systems require a variable frequency drive (VFD), we also leverage the new Copeland EVM/EVH Series VFDs in these CO2 system applications.

In Europe, Emerson recently launched Copeland transcritical CO2 scroll compressors for the food retail market. We expect these to be available for use in U.S. markets within the next 18 months. Later this year, we will be launching a new CO2 test lab that will enable us to fully examine the use of these scroll compressors in CO2 transcritical scenarios.

To learn more about how we’re helping to simplify the use of CO2 refrigeration, please visit our CO2 resources webpage.

 

 

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.

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