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10 Key Commercial Refrigeration Topics Covered in Next E360 Forum

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

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

JOIN US in Raleigh, N.C., for our next free E360 Forum on Wednesday, March 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EST) at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Raleigh-Durham’s Research Triangle.

Since launching our E360 initiative in late 2014, our E360 Forum events have been instrumental in creating the dialogue needed to address the many challenges we face in commercial refrigeration. From the transition to environmentally friendly refrigerants and energy reductions to their impact on equipment performance and system architectures, we’ve looked at both the near- and long-term implications facing the industry and its professionals.

And as we’ve always stated, one company alone cannot solve problems of this magnitude. It will require the collective effort of our entire industry. That’s why we’ve sought the contributions of end users, OEMs, wholesalers and contractors — to make sure everyone’s insights are included. Although we have made considerable progress, there is still much yet to do.

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In our next E360 Forum, we’ll pick up where we left off and continue this important conversation. As usual, we’ll bring together leading experts to provide updates on the state of the industry, starting with a panel discussion featuring representatives from refrigerant manufacturers Honeywell, Arkema and Chemours. Then, we’ll host interactive breakout sessions on the most relevant topics to give attendees a chance to be heard and get their pressing questions answered. The list of topics include:

  • Panel Discussion: Making Sense of the Latest Rulemaking on Acceptable Refrigerants
  • Cold Chain Evolution
  • Utilizing Digital Retrofits to Achieve Capacity Modulation
  • CO2 Booster Systems From a Service Mechanic’s Perspective
  • Next Generation Refrigeration: Condensing Units
  • Understanding Applications for Alternative Refrigerants
  • How to Meet 2017/2020 Energy Regulations
  • Understanding Leak Detection and Implementing Effective Programs
  • Achieving DOE Compliance in Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
  • New Refrigerants Designation and Safety Classifications

Immediately following the breakout sessions, attendees will have a chance to visit with the event’s presenters and mingle with peers at a networking reception from 4–6 p.m. Also, for those able to join us the evening before the event, we will host a welcome dinner on February 28th from 6–8 p.m. in the hotel.

We hope you’re making plans to join us for this important industry event.

How BMS, EMS, IoT and Insight are Changing Retail Operations [Video]

ronchapek_2 Ron Chapek | Senior Product Manager, Retail Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

The prevalence of BMS, EMS, Internet of Things (IoT) and insight have ushered in a new era of efficiency in retailer operations. In an E360 Conference presentation, I discussed how the insights that these tools provide allow retailers to do their jobs better, thereby helping to save both time and money.

A brief recap and video of the session are included below.

 

Facilities managers need to be able to effectively convert rapidly expanding and disparate data sources into visually insightful and actionable interfaces that are relevant to a diverse range of users across multiple departments.

In the past, the data wasn’t delivered as quickly and was often historic. A good example is a utility bill that shows past usage, making it difficult to interpret and utilize that data effectively. In contrast, intelligent applications – energy management systems, building management systems and IoT-enabled devices – provide a wide variety of data that is more easily applied. Rather than making decisions on historical data, retailers can use this data for valuable, actionable insights to improver their operations enterprise-wide.

But, the problem is often that when there is so much data available, making it all work for you, in your particular role, can be daunting.

Through Emerson’s Site Manager Software and ProActTM Services retailers can better manage growing data volumes and convert this data into something of value to your business including:

  • Transparent access to data: with context. Retailers have access to a large number of standard reports, available on-demand or on a scheduled basis via email. For example, with a monthly Alarm summary, you can quickly see which locations have the most alarms and focus attention on these stores.
  • Attribute-based visualization. Data can be displayed by region, store type, and other relevant location-based attributes, allowing retailers to do their job faster and correctly the first time around. For example, a service truck can be sent to the right location with exactly the equipment that is needed to make any repairs.
  • Embedded energy and refrigeration domain expertise (IP). Many companies have the ability to manage, move and display data, but what retailers need is a trusted partner that knows and understands their business on a deep level, and understands how to best solve any problems that arise.

The pressure on facilities managers to organize and make sense of all of the facility data that is available is enormous. Think of the kinds of data you need to do your job well. We can help you design the right type of analytics to automate that data and make your job easier.

For the full presentation, visit this link.

For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

Latest E360 Webinar Explains Applications for New A1 Refrigerants

jasonprenger Jason Prenger | Refrigeration Engineering Director

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

View our latest E360 webinar, “Understanding Applications for New Refrigerant Alternatives”.

Since the EPA’s 2015 rule that changed the listing status of certain hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants to “unacceptable,” the commercial refrigeration industry has been closely evaluating new refrigerant alternatives. With a high global warming potential (GWP) of 3,922, R-404A was at the top of the list of those refrigerants scheduled for phase-out. Today, there are A1 refrigerants with GWPs below 1,500 that are available for use, such as R-448A and R-449A/B. But because they are largely unproven outside of manufacturer testing facilities, their reliability in specific applications is still in question.

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In our recent E360 webinar, I examined these new A1 refrigerants by comparing their performance characteristics and operating envelopes to R-404A and R-134a. Emerson has been testing these new A1s across our compressor platforms for several years. So, from an engineering perspective, we have compiled significant data to help the commercial refrigeration industry address these questions and evaluate this emerging class of refrigerants.

I reviewed the extensive process required to qualify compressors with new refrigerants and discussed several important considerations when using A1s:

  • R-404A alternatives have a higher heat of compression; R-134a alternatives have similar heat of compression
  • Liquid injection allows compressors to run at full low temperature operating envelopes for the R-404A alternatives, albeit with higher power consumption
  • Temperature glide is important to consider with R-404A alternatives

Per the first polling question posed in the webinar, nearly two-thirds of the audience is currently using or working with A1 replacement refrigerants. As I pointed out, some applications are more challenging to address with new A1s than others. For example, supermarket refrigeration systems have been trying non-R-404A options that are still allowable for many years, including R-407A and the natural refrigerant CO2. But, in medium-temperature, stand-alone units, the medium pressure A1 alternatives to R-404A — the R-407 series or lower GWP options like R-448A/R-449A — will either not be allowable or have yet to be listed by the EPA as acceptable for use. It’s also important to remember that these stand-alone applications are facing an EPA HFC phase-out date of Jan. 1, 2019 for the higher GWP refrigerants.

Aside from A1 alternatives, the industry is also evaluating A2L and A3 options, both of which fall into the flammable refrigerant classification. While the natural A3 refrigerant R-290 (propane) has gained acceptance by the EPA, many mildly flammable A2Ls are still going through the approval process. Both refrigerant types are the subject of numerous revisions to safety and building code standards.

Finally, I discussed the impacts of this transition to new refrigerant alternatives throughout the commercial refrigeration channel, from OEMs and wholesalers to contractors and end users; all will be impacted in one way or another over the coming years.

If you would like to view this webinar in its entirety, click here.

Into the Green

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

Leak detection program shrinks grocer’s carbon footprint and grows its bottom line

Refrigerant leaks are a persistent concern in the commercial refrigeration industry, and forward-thinking grocers are seeking ways to limit leaks, reduce their negative environmental impacts, and avoid the potential for significant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fines. For one prominent U.S. supermarket chain, these efforts have even become formalized in a leak detection program that serves as a key component in their corporate sustainability objectives.

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Emerson’s remote slow leak detection program is based on harnessing the power of machine learning technologies to continuously monitor system refrigerant levels and notifying stakeholders when there is a deviation in these levels compared to established models. Unlike “sniffing” leak detection systems, which can only monitor parts of the refrigeration systems typically located in closed areas, remote leak detection monitors the complete refrigeration system by analyzing key refrigeration operating indicators to provide actionable intelligence.

To capture key performance data in the retailer’s network of 100 retail stores, Emerson utilized an existing refrigeration management controller at each location. Key data points measured to evaluate refrigerant levels included:

  • Ambient temperatures
  • Discharge pressures
  • Liquid refrigerant levels
  • Times of day

Using this time-based data to analyze equipment performance, smart fault detection algorithms in Emerson’s remote leak detection system established models that depicted normal liquid refrigerant levels in various operating conditions. Data and refrigerant level models were then consolidated and processed through Emerson’s ProAct™ Services using cloud-based data analysis.

When the system detected a deviation in refrigerant level from an expected level for the given operating conditions, it generated an advisory notification reporting on the anomaly. Depending on the degree of deviation, the system issued a warning or alarm to Emerson’s ProAct Service center.  There, a team of experienced refrigeration experts remotely performed triage to prioritize the advisory.  Then, the system notified the appropriate parties in the retailer’s stores, providing additional information on the equipment, its operating condition, location and potential resolution steps. Critical situations that required immediate attention were routed directly to the chain’s contractor crews to perform on-site validation and necessary repairs.

After one year of participating in the Emerson remote leak detection program, the supermarket chain had reduced its refrigerant leaks by 25 percent, dropping its overall refrigeration leak rate to less than half of the industry average.

This 25 percent reduction in leaks equated to $560 savings annually in reclaimed refrigerant per store, totaling $56,000 annually for the 100-store network included in the pilot. Overall, the chain calculated it would achieve payback on its investment in significantly less than 24 months — the financial benchmark established for the program’s success.

Upon completion of the Emerson’s remote leak detection pilot, the supermarket chain was convinced of the program’s operational, financial and sustainability benefits. The retailer elected to expand the service beyond its network of 100 stores.

[New E360 Webinar] Explaining Applications for New Refrigerant Alternatives

JOIN US for our next E360 Webinar, “Understanding Applications for New Refrigerant Alternatives” on Tuesday, January 24 at 2 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. PST.

With recent EPA SNAP rulings mandating the phase-down of high-GWP refrigerants, the number of new refrigerant alternatives has increased dramatically. They’re designed to offer improved energy efficiencies and environmental sustainability across a wide range of commercial refrigeration applications. But with so many new refrigerants becoming available, many operators are trying to determine which options are best suited for their businesses.

The EPA has also listed some new, lower-GWP A1 refrigerants as acceptable for use. Because these alternatives may likely be among the first options that operators will consider, many of them are wondering what impacts these alternatives will have on equipment performance.

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In our next E360 Webinar, entitled “Understanding Applications for New Refrigerant Alternatives,” Jason Prenger, director of refrigeration engineering, will answer these important questions to help operators make the transition to lower-GWP refrigerants with confidence.

Jason will address the impacts of these new refrigerants on compressor performance, with specific emphases on reliability, efficiency and capacity. To provide regulatory content of this discussion, he’ll review the current state of regulations and their impacts on existing high-GWP refrigerants per refrigeration application. Then, he’ll evaluate the new alternatives that the EPA has already listed as acceptable for use.

Attendees will learn:

  • How new refrigerants compare to their predecessors in efficiency and capacity
  • Operating envelope considerations for lower-GWP A1 alternatives
  • Challenges facing the various industry channels — OEMs, wholesalers and contractors

So, if your business will soon be impacted by the transition to lower-GWP refrigerant alternatives, this webinar is designed to help you make the best decision about which options will be most effective in your refrigeration applications.

Register now to join Jason Prenger for this important refrigerant discussion on January 24 at 2 p.m. EST / 11 a.m. PST.

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