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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.

 

Copeland™ Horizontal Variable Speed Scroll Compressor Recognized as AHR Award Finalist

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

The Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor (1 to 4 HP) has been recognized as a finalist in the annual AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) Innovation Awards. This competition honors the most inventive heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) products, systems and technologies. For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users of self-contained, reach-in coolers and freezers, display cases and walk-in coolers, the Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor delivers an ideal combination of sustainability, reliability and design flexibility.

Balancing the sustainability equation

Today, smaller-format food retail market trends and environmental and energy regulations are driving the transition toward more distributed refrigeration architectures. As more operators deploy flexible self-contained display cases, they also seek lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant options and energy-efficient equipment that supports their corporate sustainability objectives.

Meeting these evolving requirements can present significant design challenges for OEMs of self-contained systems. One of the leading strategies for achieving high energy efficiencies or ENERGY STAR® certification relies on the use of large-capacity condenser coils, which can reduce available merchandising space in a display case. As a result, OEMs often place compressors on the top of a case — thereby increasing its overall size, limiting its aesthetic appeal, and creating higher noise levels.

The low-profile Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor solves these known design challenges while delivering significant sustainability, energy efficiency and performance improvements. Available in capacity ranges from 1 to 4 HP, this innovative variable-speed compression solution is ideal for use in a wide variety of self-contained commercial refrigeration applications.

To help end-users comply with refrigerant regulations and/or meet sustainability objectives, the Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor is approved for use with the next generation of lower-GWP refrigerants, including A1 (R-448/49A) and A3 (R-290) which have already been approved, as well as A2Ls in the near future. The recent R-290 charge limit increases approved by Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) UL 60335-2-89 standard should also set the stage for the use of larger-capacity, R-290 based, self-contained display cases.

In addition, the Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor combines brushless permanent magnet (BPM) motors with our advanced Copeland variable frequency drives (VFDs), EVM series to help OEMs meet the energy efficiency standards set by the Department of Energy (DOE) — even achieving its ENERGY STAR certification.

Benefiting end-users and OEMs

The Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor enables larger capacities in a smaller footprint while delivering proven scroll benefits and the many advantages of variable capacity modulation, including:

  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Improved compressor reliability
  • Precise load matching for higher refrigeration performance
  • Lower noise levels

BPM motors and advanced Copeland VFDs combine to achieve the following performance enhancements:

  • 15% energy reduction compared to an equivalent fixed-speed scroll, per Emerson lab simulations
  • Increased equipment reliability through proactive motor failure prevention
  • Decreased susceptibility to power issues
  • Reduced start/stop events
  • Seamless integration with supervisory control platforms, such as Emerson’s Lumity™ E3 supervisory control

This recent recognition by the AHR Innovation Awards is a validation of our commitment to helping OEMs and end-users address modern refrigeration challenges. The Copeland variable speed horizontal scroll compressor helps OEMs to meet low-profile equipment design challenges while allowing end users to adopt sustainable refrigeration strategies.

As refrigerant regulations evolve, refrigeration architectures will continue to leverage self-contained, distributed systems and utilize lower-GWP refrigerant alternatives. By integrating a Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor in their self-contained, reach-in coolers and freezers, display cases and walk-ins, OEMs can significantly improve system energy efficiency and performance

Digital X-Line Series and Lumity™ E3 Supervisory Control Earn Awards

Carmem Valle Pereira | Product Manager – Condensing Units,

             HVACR Technologies

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

Two of Emerson’s refrigeration technologies were honored with recognition by the 2021 Dealer Design Awards program sponsored by The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration (ACHR) News magazine. The Copeland™ digital outdoor refrigeration unit, X-Line Series was awarded a gold rating in the Refrigeration and Ice Machines category. The Lumity™ E3 supervisory control took home a bronze award in the Commercial Controls category.

Now in its 18th year, the Dealer Design Awards program recognizes exceptional manufacturing of HVACR technology as well as product designs that benefit HVACR contractors. This year, the awards program received 117 entries, which were judged by an independent panel of contractors.

For the gold: The Copeland digital outdoor refrigeration unit, X-Line Series

Designed specifically for small-format operations, the digital X-Line Series is a compact condensing unit solution that provides refrigeration for multiple fixtures while delivering precise temperature control and significant energy savings. With 20 to 100% capacity modulation, proven Copeland digital scroll technology, large-capacity condenser coils, variable-speed fan motor control and smart controls, the digital X-Line Series is a superior solution for convenience stores (C-stores), small-format food retailers and restaurants.

Standard features include multiplexing capabilities, onboard diagnostics, connectivity, installation flexibility, ultra-quiet operation and corrosion resistance. In addition, expanded refrigerant approvals provide operators with multiple options for selecting a lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant that helps them to meet their sustainability and operational objectives. Many of the X-Line unit’s innovations — including faster, simpler setup, more diagnostics and better communication capabilities that improve reliability and reduce equipment downtime — are the result of direct customer feedback.

Bringing home the bronze: The Lumity E3 supervisory control

Launched in February, the Lumity E3 controller is the next generation in facility management and refrigeration controls. The E3 controller is powered by Emerson’s Lumity supervisory control software to provide food retail and foodservice operators with comprehensive control of critical facility systems. In addition to an intuitive, user-friendly and web-accessible interface, it offers customizable graphs and summary pages; smart alarms to detect, prioritize, troubleshoot and resolve issues; and a performance meter to fine-tune the performance of refrigeration fixtures and equipment.

The Lumity E3 controller’s simplicity provides operators with powerful control to manage and optimize energy use throughout a facility via built-in algorithms which support demand response, curtailment and load shedding programs. The E3 controller was designed to empower contractors and operators across a wide range of skill levels, helping them to work more efficiently, decisively and tackle the challenge of skilled staff shortages. And finally, the E3 controller is engineered for adaptability, providing operators with greater flexibility to revamp their store designs or expand their operations.

Our commitment to innovation

Both the digital X-Line Series and the Lumity E3 controller embody Emerson’s commitment to helping our customers attain greater temperature stability and certainty, improve food quality and safety, minimize equipment failures, curb energy use, and achieve regulatory compliance. The awards underscore our causes to lead our customers through complex technical, regulatory and economic challenges and deliver sustainable solutions that improve efficiency, reduce emissions, and conserve resources.

We are honored to be recognized by the 2021 Dealer Design Awards program and will continue to engage with contractors and end-users to identify ways to further improve our products and solutions.

Multiply the Advantages of Multiplex Refrigeration Systems

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

The challenges that drive refrigeration system requirements in supermarket and restaurant applications have evolved significantly over the past several years. As operators respond to changing consumer behaviors and a shifting regulatory environment, multiplex refrigeration systems — where one condensing unit services multiple fixtures — are emerging as a refrigeration system of choice. In an article recently published in RSES Journal, I discussed the many advantages that multiplex refrigeration systems offer, including lower operating costs, improved temperature control and greater potential to satisfy environmental initiatives.

Building the business case for multiplex systems

In today’s ever-expanding selection of refrigeration technologies and architectures, supermarkets and restaurants have no shortage of options to choose from. However, not all strategies are created equal. As operators confront new and dynamic competitive pressures, their business requirements need to be carefully paired with a refrigeration strategy that can best meet their current and future needs.

System reliability will always be a primary requirement for any refrigeration system. But changing consumer behaviors are putting pressure on profit margins and driving demand for greater flexibility. And environmental regulations, combined with corporate sustainability goals, are creating urgency for greener technologies.

Multiplex refrigeration systems are rapidly emerging as a leading option that can satisfy all of these requirements. Multiplex systems are refrigeration systems that use minimal outdoor condensing units (OCUs) to provide cooling for multiple fixtures, including display cases, walk-in coolers, freezers and ice-making heads. Instead of the traditional one-to-one relationship of OCUs to refrigeration fixtures, multiplex systems expand this relationship to one-to-many, providing operators with greater flexibility in terms of system design.

Emerson’s Copeland™ digital outdoor refrigeration unit, X-Line Series is designed to allow operators to multiply the advantages of multiplex architectures. Many operators experience a variety of refrigeration challenges that multiplex systems are particularly well-suited to address, including:

  • A need to scale back refrigeration fixtures and/or refrigeration loads
  • Refrigeration units or loads that are oversized for the application
  • Excessive compressor cycling that negatively affects system performance
  • The imperative to improve food quality and extend shelf life by maintaining tighter temperature control
  • Constraints that prevent the installation of multiple fixed-capacity OCUs

And when the multiplex system is designed to use digital compression technology — like the Copeland™ digital scroll compressor — these advantages quickly add up:

Greater energy efficiency: Digital compression technology allows for variable-capacity modulation to precisely match individual load requirements. Whereas traditional fixed-capacity condensing units run at 100% all the time, digital compressors regulate capacity from 20–100% to meet true energy demand. This is a tremendous energy- and cost-saving benefit for busy foodservice and grocery store applications, where demand can vary throughout the day.

Reduced refrigerant charge: In addition to improving energy efficiency, multiplex systems reduce a system’s overall refrigerant charge by as much as 50%. Modern systems also support the use of lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant alternatives. As a result, multiplex systems can help operators to reduce their total equivalent warming impact (TEWI), which is a plus for attaining regulatory compliance and bolstering corporate sustainability initiatives.

Improved temperature control: Digital compression technology allows for tighter control of suction pressures and eliminates large pressure swings while maintaining setpoint temperatures at a much tighter tolerance. Even with the frequent opening of refrigerator, freezer and case doors, temperatures remain constant, thus safeguarding food quality and safety.

Enhanced reliability and protection: With digital compression technology, variable-capacity modulation can take place without cycling the compressor on and off. This limits the in-rush of currents that drive up energy use while reducing the wear and tear of short cycling. With fewer OCUs to commission and maintain, operators can expect to make fewer service calls.

Advanced visibility: Building management and supervisory platforms have become foundational to maintaining operational efficiency and reducing the risk of food loss. Modern multiplex systems have built-in controls to seamlessly connect with these platforms to enable real-time monitoring, remote diagnostics and supervisory functions. In addition to simplifying commissioning, this gives operators and contractors the ability to make system changes (such as changing a setpoint or accessing fault codes) on any web-enabled devices, rather than on the face of the controller.

Smaller footprint, bigger savings

The ability to support multiple fixtures with fewer OCUs provides operators with greater flexibility to do more within a smaller physical and environmental footprint. And with digital compression technology, operators can reduce the risk of catastrophic system failure and extensive food loss.

Emerson is committed to helping food retailers and restaurants get more from their refrigeration strategies. From our next-gen Copeland digital X-Line series to our Lumity™ E3 supervisory control, we provide the technologies to optimize operations, increase equipment uptime, safeguard food quality and safety, achieve sustainability goals, and decrease operational and maintenance costs.

 

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