Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Technology’ Category

HVACR Professionals Weigh-In on Electronic Technology

Last week’s post, “Electronics Get the Job Done,” discussed how the HVACR industry is experiencing a shift from mechanical to electronic technologies, and specifically cited the transition from mechanical pressure switches for refrigeration system controls to electronic controls. While these types of changes directly impact technicians in the field, they are not the only ones noticing how advanced technologies, such as Emerson Climate Technologies’ Electronic Unit Controller, are helping them in the field. Contractors and wholesalers, too, are benefiting from the technology.

The June issue of Contracting Business explored how the transformation is affecting the industry, using testimony from HVACR professionals provided by Emerson Climate Technologies. Below, several individuals share their experiences:

  • John Semeyn, owner, Midwest Refrigeration Supply Co.

    John Semeyn

    John Semeyn, owner, Midwest Refrigeration Supply Co., explains the importance of wholesalers preparing their counter staff to assist contractors through the transition. “Emerson’s support during the transition from mechanical pressure controls on its condensing units to electronic pressure controls (their electronic unit controller) has played a critical role in training our people. They provide training videos on their web portal and social media outlets such as YouTube. We also offer instructor-led training opportunities for contractors for this and other new technologies, which helps ensure a smooth transition,” said Semeyn.

  • Joe Gallego

    Joe Gallego

    Joe Gallego, special projects manager, Bay State Cooling,
    shared how electronic controllers for refrigeration have changed the way contractors do business. “Productivity and profitability are closely tied in this field, so we make sure our installing technicians are properly trained. We offer in-house training on electronic controllers through a combination of factory training materials and simulated real-world, hands-on training,” said Gallego.

  • Steve Wright, president of Wright Brothers Inc.

    Steve Wright

    Steve Wright, president of Wright Brothers Inc., explained how generations share how they help technicians overcome the challenges associated with the technology change. “We depend heavily on external organizations such as the local RSES chapter, ACCA, and ASHRAE to support education and training initiatives. We also rely on manufacturers such as Emerson to conduct product-specific training for our team. It’s imperative that technicians are exposed to such resources and organizations to continue gaining knowledge and comfort with the changing landscape,” said Wright.

  • Walt Patton, senior vice president, ABCO

    Walt Patton

    Walt Patton, senior vice president, ABCO, shared how electronics have created excitement within the industry. “The shift also creates new growth opportunities for contractors to become familiar and comfortable with using more electronics moving forward. Despite the challenges sometimes linked to electronics, this overdue shift in technology within the HVACR industry has created a new level of excitement and energy around the way HVACR professionals approach their work and get the job done,” said Patton.

To read the full article in Contracting Business, click here: http://contractingbusiness.com/controls/contractors-see-impact-controllers-business.

Electronics Help Get the Job Done

The HVACR industry continues to see advancements in electronic technologies and these advancements are quickly changing the game for contractors in the field. For example, when Emerson began transitioning from mechanical to electronic controls in refrigeration equipment in 2012 by replacing mechanical controls on Copeland™ condensing units with its Electronic Unit Controller, contractors and technicians quickly experienced the impact.

Today, Emerson has more than 60,000 Electronic Unit Controllers installed nationwide on its new Copeland Scroll™ FFAP condensing unit and its currently offered Copeland Scroll™ Outdoor condensing unit (XJ Series), and it is easy to understand how everyone in the service channel benefits from this simple switch. The technology is designed to enhance productivity without sacrificing accuracy. Contrary to the traditional, 25-minute set-up time required for mechanical control switches, the Electronic Unit Controller requires only one minute or less. Wholesalers also see firsthand the impact the transition has made. For years, equipment and service problems were associated with increased cost and time. Today, electronic technologies, like the Electronic Unit Controller, eliminate common equipment problems and reduce callbacks, making it possible to provide unprecedented levels of customer service and support.

Adjusting Low Pressure ControlThe graphic shows the simple, five-step process for adjusting low-pressure controls using an Electronic Unit Controller compared to the traditional set-up using a mechanical control. A tutorial for installing the Electronic Unit Controller can also be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HYx0OOWxdk&feature=youtu.be.

Stay tuned for a new post next week, where contractors and wholesalers weigh-in on electronic technology advancements.

Understanding Skilled Trade Mobile Apps

I can remember when I first started in the HVACR industry; there were only three colors of refrigerant bottles in the back of the truck – green, purple and white. Along with these limited color options, I can remember using cardboard slide rules and calculators to determine charge amounts and system failure diagnosis. Fast forward to today, it seems the industry has run out of colors to select and represent all the different flavors of refrigerant. With each new eco-efficient refrigerant, several replacements have appeared and in turn, new colors. Along with these changes, out went the cardboard tip cards and calculators, and in came the mobile apps.

App is a shortened slang term for an “application.” These are small software programs that can be used on a variety of different device platforms. Several HVACR manufacturers, along with industry associations have developed apps for computers, smart phones and tablets. Mobile apps started becoming popular just a few short years ago, but their growth has increased exponentially since 2009. Today there are millions of apps for basically every aspect of our lives, including the skilled trade industry.

Applying Mobile Apps for the HVACR Industry:

In my mind, the useful apps developed for the skilled trades fall into one of two categories, Product related or Industry related apps.

Product related apps are developed to provide instant mobile help on a particular OEMs device or component. Product apps are designed to replace the printed technical literature scattered throughout the service office or truck. This direct access to product knowledge looks to enhance the contractor’s experience by reducing research time and providing the most up to date information available.

Industry related apps refer to the cardboard calculators I mentioned earlier. These apps are designed to replace the previous generation of static printed calculators with better interfaces, content, and easily updated calculations. I see these more as tools used in conjunction with a system, like you would a screw driver or wrench. These apps allow for increased accuracy in the servicing and troubleshooting of the system.

Mobile ToolboxMost HVACR manufacturers have developed mobile apps to make information easily available at the contractor’s jobsite. Emerson Climate Technologies Mobile Toolbox is designed to help contractors find solutions to common issues in the field quickly and easily. Related to the Product category, apps such as Emerson X-Check™, Copeland X-Ref™, and White-Rodgers Mobile™ focus on finding replacement parts and technical product information. HVACR Fault Finder™ focuses on understanding the compressor electronic module line, along with allowing contractors to input the diagnostic code for help with compressor troubleshooting.

In the Industry related category, Emerson PTPro™ and HVAC Check & Charge™ are technical resources. Emerson PTPro is a quick refrigerant pressure/temperature app designed to replace those worn out multi-fold micro charts supplied to the industry for years. It offers information on over 20 different refrigerants, along with adjustment for high altitude applications. The HVAC Check & Charge app allows for a quick calculation for adjusting initial air conditioning system refrigerant charge. This system charge calculation is based on the cardboard superheat slide rulers used for years. Since the emergence of “dry-charge” units, these calculations have a renewed interest, now more than ever.

Top Ten Apps For Skilled Trades

HVAC Apps for Homeowners:

While HVAC manufacturers often design mobile apps with contractors in mind, some have also produced apps for consumers. An example is the Emerson e-Saver™ app. This app helps contractors and homeowners understand unit replacements respective to their current system. This app allow for users to better understand the true cost of operation in different locations and how those units would match up against optional replacement systems. This app also includes a custom report for homeowners to reference these replacement options.

Emerson Climate Technologies’ website offers HVAC mobile apps content that explains each of the apps, as well as offers links for easy download. All of the apps can be downloaded for free through their respective app stores for the Apple and Android platforms, and a few of the apps are also available for the Blackberry platform.

Scott Lanzer
Technical Communications, Air Conditioning
Emerson Climate Technologies

Chocolate Facility Cuts Costs with Waste Heat Recovery

Using heat pumps to capture waste heat from industrial processes has emerged as an increasingly popular way to increase energy efficiency. At the same time, this process reduces the environmental impact of refrigeration systems.

Emerson Climate Technologies recently worked with a chocolate production facility to reduce its total energy demand using a new heat pump system featuring Vilter single screw compressors. By implementing the new system, the chocolate factory cut costs by $394,000 per year. Additionally, the facility achieved waste heat recovery of 1130 kW contributing to a 15% higher efficiency than comparable technologies.

Single Screw Compressor Unit

Click here to learn more about this energy saving story. More information on similar stories can be found on our Industrial Quantifiable Business Results page.

Sam Gladis
Business Director, Heat Pumps
Emerson Climate Technologies

LEED Measurement & Verification

It seems natural that a building owner who invests in energy improvement projects would want to know if those investments actually pay off.  But of the more than 5,000 LEED-certified projects involving new construction, only 1 out of 5 earned the Energy & Atmosphere credit for Measurement & Verification!

Measurement and verification (M&V) involves recording actual energy use and comparing that data with the estimated energy use seen in the design. LEED-certified buildings don’t always perform as well as expected.  The M&V process can quickly pinpoint any systems that are not performing as specified or anomalies in equipment, operations procedures or user habits.  The M&V plan can also help to reduce energy costs and makes commissioning easier.

Energy MeterIf a building has an energy management system which includes monitoring, the M&V plan should be structured around that hardware and software.  For example, a supermarket or retail outlet typically relies on controllers for the major system including refrigeration, HVAC, and lighting.  The E2 controller from Emerson is commonly found in retail and serves this function.  Emerson Climate Technologies offers an energy analysis package which ties together sensors, Energy Meter, and the E2 system controller.  The Energy Meter connects to the E2 controller via Modbus and in addition to kW/kWh readings can also determine metrics related to power quality to minimize energy costs.

The LEED credit is earned for the plan – not for the implementation of the plan, which can be done at a later date.  But just having a well thought out plan demonstrates the commitment of the LEED team to real ongoing energy savings for the building operator.  Many utilities offer incentives and rebates for submetering and energy management programs.  If additional electrical submeters are required, these need not be permanent installations.  Spot-metering and utility analysis can all be part of the M&V plan. 12 months of data is ideal and will allow the building operator to make any necessary adjustments.

By utilizing Facility Management from Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions, retailers have everything they need to control and monitor critical equipment and enhance the quality of the products sold to customers. The E2 controller is the brain of the system, which talks to the facility management system panel relay boards that switch equipment on or off and receive information from sensors throughout the store.  Not only can the Emerson system be used to satisfy M&V for LEED points, but once the energy meter is connected to the E2 it can also serve as a demand management system helping customers manage the peak “demand” part of their utility bill automatically.  No other hardware or software is required.

For more information on Emerson’s power and energy meter: http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-US/products/electronics_systems/sensors_and_transducers/Pages/power_meter.aspx

John Wallace
Director of Product Management, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

%d bloggers like this: