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Discover E360 Content in New Resources Hub

Amanda Rogers | Marketing Manager

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

If you’re a frequent reader of our blog or follower of our E360 industry stewardship platform, then you know that we’ve consistently produced a variety of educational resources over the past several years. From blogs, articles and case studies to webinars, videos and white papers, E360 has provided a communications vehicle to help keep you informed of the latest trends and regulatory updates that impact our industry. Today, Emerson is pleased to announce that you will now be able to access this ever-growing repository of content in one location: the E360 Resources Hub, located at E360Hub.Emerson.com.

Continuing to support a wide variety of customer needs

In 2014, we launched the E360 initiative to facilitate an industry-wide dialogue that would enable collaboration among HVACR stakeholders and address new challenges as they arise. Our industry has evolved significantly since then, and collectively we have all had a hand in that progress. Throughout our journey, we’ve explored a full spectrum of topics that cover a diversity of issues and emerging applications that our customers encounter along the food cold chain. In the process, we’ve accumulated a wealth of valuable, informative materials in a variety of formats.

Today, as our customers face new challenges across our many served markets, we will continue to provide the answers to your most pressing questions and the guidance you need to make the best decisions for your business. With the introduction of our new E360 Resources Hub, we’re making it easier than ever to find these resources in one place — with no subscription fees or opt-in requirements.

Multiple ways to stay informed

While we’ve aggregated our E360 resources library into one place, we’ve also provided multiple ways for you to access the information that’s most relevant to your business. Simply browse the E360 Resources Hub’s navigation menu to find the desired content type, industry market sector, product category or trending topic. Under each main navigation menu item, you’ll find its content further organized into categories.

Industry categories:

  • Aftermarket
  • Convenience Store
  • Distribution and Transportation
  • Food Retail and Grocery
  • Healthcare
  • Food Processing and Industrial
  • Foodservice and Restaurants

Product categories:

  • Facility Controls and Electronics
  • Compressors
  • Condensing Units
  • Variable Frequency Drives
  • Foodservice HACCP Solutions

Topic categories:

  • Connectivity, IoT and Insights
  • Energy, Utility and Power Management
  • Food Quality and Safety
  • Innovation
  • Maintenance and Repair
  • Refrigerants and Energy Regulations
  • Contractor Training, Tips and Safety
  • Sustainability
  • Retrofits and Remodels

Through our E360 platform, Emerson is committed to providing the relevant content and information resources that will help the HVACR industry to address emerging challenges and create a sustainable path forward. Whether you’re at your computer or on your smartphone, the E360 Resources Hub puts the latest HVACR and food cold chain developments at your fingertips.

So welcome to the E360 Resources Hub! Be sure to add this site to your list of favorites and visit often to access our industry’s most robust and comprehensive information repository.

Long-awaited R-290 Charge Increase Opens New Refrigeration Opportunities

Katrina Krites | Director of Strategic Marketing, Cold Chain

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

For many years, the use of flammable refrigerants — such as A3 hydrocarbon R-290 (or propane) — has been a keen area of collective focus among the regulatory bodies governing refrigerant safety standards in commercial refrigeration. Offering excellent energy efficiencies and very low global warming potential (GWP), this natural refrigerant has long been approved for use in applications with a maximum charge limit of 150 grams. Recently, the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has approved the second edition of its UL 60335-2-89 standard, which includes higher R-290 charge limits that would expand its potential uses in commercial refrigeration.

To date, R-290’s 150-gram charge limit has hindered its wider adoption, narrowing its use to self-contained refrigeration cases or requiring the use of multiple condensing units to achieve higher capacities. The updated UL standard raises the charge limits on these commercial stand-alone displays based on whether they have an open or closed design:

  • 500-gram maximum charge limit in open appliances (without doors)
  • 300-gram maximum charge limit in closed appliances (with doors or drawers)

The 500-gram charge in open appliances raises the limit to 13 times the lower flammability limit (LFL) of R-290, while the 300-gram charge limit in closed appliances is eight times that of R-290’s LFL.

From an application design perspective, these higher charge limits will help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to increase system capacities while capitalizing on R-290’s high efficiency and low-GWP rating (GWP=3). For contractors, consultants and end-users seeking to meet sustainability objectives or comply with refrigerant regulations, self-contained R-290 cases have become integral to their overall refrigeration strategies.

The first step toward wider adoption

The approved update to the UL 60335-2-89 standard is a key first step in the path toward wider R-290 adoption in commercial refrigeration. Although OEMs should begin planning their design cycles to enable these charge increases, other regulatory approvals will need to take place before higher-charge R-290 systems can be implemented throughout the U.S. and Canada. Pending approvals by other governing bodies include:

  • Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 15 safety standards for refrigeration systems
  • Model Code updates in the upcoming code revision cycle
  • State and local building code updates

 

For many U.S. industry insiders, the R-290 charge limit increase represents a logical next step in the progression of this natural refrigerant. Even prior to the UL approval, some sustainably-minded operators have worked with their local building code administrators to implement systems with higher charges of R-290. In addition, a 500-gram R-290 charge limit has been in place in Europe since 2019, when the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) approved the increase under its IEC 60335-2-89 standard for self-contained commercial display cases.

R-290 ready compressors and condensing units

For years, Emerson has been producing compressors and condensing units, designed to deliver additional merchandising space for OEMs that develop self-contained R-290 refrigeration equipment. Our current R-290 compression portfolio includes:

  • Copeland™ fixed speed hermetic reciprocating compressors
  • Copeland variable speed hermetic reciprocating compressors and variable frequency drives (VFDs)
  • Copeland fixed speed scroll compressors
  • Copeland variable speed scroll compressors and variable frequency drives (VFDs)
  • Copeland M-Line condensing units
  • Controllers and system components approved for use with R-290

In addition, we’re currently expanding upon our R-290 qualified products to include the following compressors and condensing units, which will be available in 2022:

  • Copeland horizontal fixed speed scroll compressors
  • Copeland horizontal variable speed scroll compressor
  • Corresponding condensing units utilizing new horizontal scrolls

Our R-290 product portfolio will be updated to accommodate the larger R-290 charges that will be adopted in the future.

Preparing for the future of R-290

After years of speculation, the commercial refrigeration industry in the U.S. can begin planning for the use of systems with larger charges of R-290 — enabling higher-capacity refrigeration while benefiting from R-290’s proven efficiencies and lower-GWP rating. Emerson is prepared to support this transition by developing partnering with OEMs and stakeholders to design in higher R-290 charge limit solutions to achieve regulatory compliance, fulfill their sustainability objectives, and reduce energy consumption.

While there are challenges to the implementation of propane, for environmentally forward-leaning companies, it is an increasingly attractive option. While new clarity in the regulatory environment should help to clear the way for wider R-290 adoption, the implementation of industry-wide safety practices will be necessary for propane to gain full adoption.

Propane is more combustible than some HFCs and there are a number of special-use considerations for using it in refrigeration applications. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Sealed/gas-tight or fire-/explosion-proof electrical components (UL471/EN 60079-15)
  • Spark-free fan motors (brushless)
  • Ventilation and leak sensor safety measures
  • Special charge and leak detection processes during manufacturing

It’s also important to note that while propane has tremendous potential in commercial refrigeration, it is not a “drop-in” refrigerant. Equipment and components must be specifically designed for use with propane, as it requires a different compressor that will not always directly match the capacity or cost of existing HFC models.

Please reference any applicable product and application safety standards for the detailed list of considerations.

Retrofit and Remodel Strategies to Achieve Lower-GWP Refrigeration

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Integration,

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

Three decades ago, supermarket operators had few options for selecting environmentally friendly refrigeration strategies. Now, as they look to retrofit or remodel older systems to comply with environmental regulations or achieve corporate sustainability goals, operators face an expanding selection of refrigeration architectures driven by the transition to lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. In a recent article that was published in Contracting Business, I explored several options that are available to supermarkets seeking a path to low-GWP refrigeration.

Lower-GWP refrigerant options continue to proliferate

Refrigerant selection is one of the most influential factors in a retrofit or remodel strategy, often serving as an underlying process to help operators achieve corporate sustainability goals. But refrigerant selection also dictates everything from refrigeration architecture to servicing requirements to the total cost of ownership (TCO).

As the U.S. continues to phase down the use of high-GWP refrigerants and phase out those with ozone depletion potential (ODP), manufacturers are beginning to utilize a variety of alternative refrigerants that offer varying degrees of GWP reduction. Of those that are considered both safe and approved for use, the following offer distinct advantages in support of sustainability:

  • R-448/449A (low-GWP option) — Designed as a substitute for R-404A, R-448A offers a 65% reduction in GWP.
  • R-513A (lower-GWP option) — R-513A, a substitute for R-134a, delivers a 56% reduction in GWP.
  • A2L and A3 (lower- to lowest-GWP) — Mildly flammable A2L and flammable A3 (aka R-290 or propane) refrigerants are primarily used in self-contained systems and offer some of the most significant GWP reductions, and are some of the lower and lowest GWP options currently available,
  • CO2 aka R-744 (lowest-GWP option) — Used only in systems designed to handle its unique properties, R-744 is a natural refrigerant with a GWP of 1.

Upgrading for a more sustainable future

Retrofitting or remodeling a refrigeration system to improve sustainability or comply with regulations is not simply a matter of selecting a lower-GWP refrigerant. Operators must also evaluate different refrigeration systems to determine how to meet their sustainability objectives and select a system that aligns with their operational priorities. At Emerson, we refer to this process as the Six S’s of evaluation criteria:

  • Simple — to own and operate
  • Serviceable — aligns with maintenance and operations capabilities
  • Secure — provides safe operation and data security
  • Stable — delivers reliable, dependable performance
  • Smart — is equipped with electronic controls and connectivity to provide operational data and insights
  • Sustainable — from financial, technical and environmental perspectives

In terms of retrofits and remodels, the following architectures are emerging as the leading options for meeting the wide range of operator preferences:

  • Retrofit to R-448A/R-449A in existing centralized direct expansion (DX) systems — Replacing R-404A with R-448A allows operators to achieve significant sustainability improvements while preserving their existing system investments.
  • Remote/outdoor condensing units (distributed) — Remote condensing units offer installation flexibility and reliability while using low-GWP R-448A. They are ideal for small, urban store formats or for large supermarkets deploying new refrigeration capabilities outside of their existing DX systems.
  • Distributed systems — Operators can install multiple mini-racks or scroll packs in proximity to different refrigerated sections of a store. Using R-448A in this architecture can significantly reduce overall refrigerant charge while providing increased system reliability and energy efficiency.
  • Macro-distributed systems (self-contained) — Used in large cases that integrate a single compressor, refrigeration circuit and electronic controls present a simple, flexible, stand-alone option for retrofits and remodels. This approach can be scaled from one to multiple units.
  • Distributed scroll booster — This emerging distributed architecture uses low-pressure, lower-GWP R-513A for low- (LT) and medium-temperature (MT) circuits. A distributed scroll booster delivers improved energy efficiency and high reliability without added service complexities.
  • CO2 transcritical booster — A CO2 transcritical booster system is an environmentally friendly alternative to high-GWP, centralized DX systems. While this architecture uses the refrigerant CO2 (R-744) for LT and MT loads, its unique performance characteristics increase both system complexities and TCO.

Ready to meet current and future needs

The decision to retrofit or remodel a refrigeration system must be made with a long-term perspective. Operators should expect to get 20 to 30 years of service from their refrigeration systems with proper maintenance and care. But the uncertainty caused by shifting environmental regulations, changing consumer expectations and ever-evolving technologies can complicate the planning process.

Emerson is committed to providing operators with the tools and insights to meet this challenge head-on. We offer an array of compressors, condensing units, case controls and facility management technologies that can help operators to meet sustainability goals, comply with evolving regulations, and reduce the total equivalent warming impact (TEWI) of their refrigeration systems. We are also creating solutions that enable operators to make the transition to lower- and lowest-GWP refrigerants in ways that support their sustainability initiatives and long-term goals.

To learn more about how Emerson compressors and refrigeration technologies support different remodel and retrofit scenarios, read the full article.

 

Refrigeration Basics: Addressing the HVACR Technician Shortage

         Don Gillis | Lead Technical Trainer

          Emerson’s Educational Services

Welcome to the fifth and final installment in our blog series intended to help not just beginning service technicians, but anyone who wants to learn more about the basics of refrigeration. In this blog, I explain what we at Emerson and others are doing about the growing shortage of skilled, qualified and certified HVACR technicians in the industry. For this series, we’ve also created companion videos about each topic that you can cross-reference while accessing other related information at Education.Emerson.com.

Nearly 40 percent of the jobs available in the HVACR industry are unfilled. That’s about 80,000 good-paying positions for technicians who can install, maintain and repair the critical refrigeration equipment upon which our customers depend. At the same time, our industry loses experienced technicians as aging workers retire and also as the result of normal attrition every year. If we do not hire and train new technicians, our industry could potentially face a deficit of 100,000 workers within the next five years.[i]

That’s one of the reasons I’ve written this series of blogs about refrigeration basics. With the help of others at Emerson, I’ve also created a related set of videos to explain what refrigeration technicians do — and what they must know to be successful in our business. We need more skilled, qualified and certified HVACR technicians. So we’re promoting our educational services, which include instructor-led and online courses.

Emerson also partners with industry organizations and leaders to create learning opportunities through events such as World Refrigeration Day. To mark that day in June, we shared a webinar, Exploring Cool Careers and Emerging Opportunities in HVACR, which showed how refrigeration technicians have a high earning potential and work with advanced technologies and modern tools. You can watch the webinar on-demand.

Young people should consider a career in HVCAR because they can:[ii]

  • Make an impact — Refrigeration technicians implement new environmentally friendly solutions that will play an integral role in making the world a better place to live.
  • Work with cutting-edge tools and technologies — Modern refrigeration and air conditioning applications utilize advanced controls, software and remote diagnostics capabilities.
  • Achieve job security — With little competition for available jobs, HVACR professionals are virtually guaranteed employment and will enter into a field with both long-term security and growth potential.
  • Earn while they learn — HVACR technicians can earn a competitive wage with a two-year vocational certification and have the option to augment the certification process with on-the-job training in apprenticeship programs.

At Emerson, we are committed to recruiting the next generation of HVACR technicians. Our company is addressing the technician gap in three ways by:

  1. Offering courses for upcoming technicians so that they can expand their knowledge of HVACR fundamentals
  2. Recruiting the next generation of HVACR technicians by providing real-life experiences through co-ops and internships
  3. Partnering with industry leaders so that we can brainstorm ways to bridge this gap

The reality is that there’s an abundance of lucrative opportunities for young people who want a long-term career path without the time commitment and cost of a four-year college education. That’s why I’m really excited about the future of the refrigeration industry. Indeed, jobs and training are available to enable people to acquire the necessary refrigeration skills. Emerson is helping in that regard, too. If you’re interested, let’s talk.

 

Read “Reversing the Trend: Recruiting the Next Generation of HVACR Professionals ” to discover how Emerson is working to make refrigeration technician careers ‘cool’ again.

 

 

 

[i] Rajan Rajendran, “Become a “Cooling Champion” for World Refrigeration Day 2021,” June 26, 2021, Emerson Climate Conversations, https://emersonclimateconversations.com/2021/06/26/become-a-cooling-champion-for-world-refrigeration-day-2021 (accessed July 20, 2021).

 

[ii] Rajan Rajendran, “Reversing the Trend: Recruiting the Next Generation of HVACR Professionals,” E360 Outlook, June 2021, https://climate.emerson.com/documents/e360-article-reversing-trend-en-us-7598000.pdf (accessed July 20, 2021).

 

 

Highlighting Cold Chain Best Practices During National Food Safety Education Month

         Greg Polce | Vice President of Marketing – Cold Chain

          Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designates September as National Food Safety Education Month. Their goals are to raise awareness about how to prevent food poisoning and educate the population on best practices for keeping food safe. At Emerson, we’re committed to protecting and preserving food safety throughout the various links within the food cold chain. To help in the CDC’s efforts to raise awareness, we would like to highlight some of the key areas where our cold chain tools and technologies are playing integral roles in this important mission.

 

Ensuring a safe food supply chain is essential for supporting human health and well-being. Supermarkets, restaurants and convenience store (C-store) sectors rely on a safe and effective food cold chain for their reputations. Consumers place food safety and quality among the most important factors when selecting a location in which to dine or shop.

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought more public awareness to the topics of food safety, handling standards and best practices. Not surprisingly, the CDC has reported a lower rate of foodborne illness outbreaks since the beginning of the pandemic — likely attributable to the renewed emphases on proper hand washing, hygiene and surface sanitation procedures. But to achieve comprehensive food safety, it’s also important to combine safe handling protocols with robust temperature management during the transportation, cold storage and preparation phases of the food cold chain.

Let’s look at some of the ways Emerson can help to monitor temperatures during these key steps.

Harvesting and processing

The freshness and safety of perishable produce and proteins can be protected by controlling temperatures via flash cooling/freezing, temporary staging in storage coolers, and pre-cooling shipping containers. Emerson provides pulp temperature-probing devices to measure internal product temperatures during the staging and loading processes. Our real-time temperature monitoring and tracking devices can be placed inside a shipping container to provide location, temperatures and other environmental conditions of in-transit perishable shipments.

Transportation

The cold chain journey can last anywhere from days to weeks — by truck, sea and/or air — and shippers should be able to ensure an unbroken chain of temperature certainty throughout. Transport containers must be equipped to maintain strict temperatures and provide visibility to internal conditions. Emerson’s field-tested compression technologies are built to withstand the rigors of the road to help stakeholders keep transport refrigeration systems at specified temperature ranges. Our complete line of temperature monitoring, logging and tracking devices — combined with our cloud-based software portal — enables live remote monitoring and alert notifications based on user-defined parameters.

Cold storage distribution centers

Upon receipt at cold storage facilities, quality assurance (QA) personnel must inspect product conditions according to their Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and/or Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventative Controls (HARPC) plans. Typically, this process starts by taking pulp temperatures and reviewing trip data from Emerson’s logging and tracking devices to validate that product was held at proper temperatures throughout the journey. After inspection, handlers must promptly transfer perishable cargo into a designated cold storage temperature zone.

Within these cold storage facilities, Emerson’s compression and refrigeration technologies help operators to establish and maintain proper temperatures in various cold storage zones. Our robust facility monitoring solutions help operators to remotely oversee conditions, ensure proper temperatures, and automatically record temperatures for use in HACCP reporting.

Grocery stores

Store operators take ownership of food quality and safety when perishable shipments are unloaded in supermarkets. This starts by checking pulp temperatures and trip data logs and continues with the prompt transfer of perishables into designated cold storage coolers or freezers. Once in cold storage, Emerson’s Lumity™ E3 supervisory control platform helps retailers to monitor perishable temperatures and optimize food quality.

For decades, the supermarket industry has relied on Copeland™ compression and refrigeration technologies as the collective foundation for their cold storage capabilities. Today, we’re developing sustainable refrigeration solutions with variable-capacity modulation to improve reliability, temperature precision and energy efficiencies in a variety of refrigeration architectures.

Restaurants

Restaurants assume responsibility for both the cold storage of perishable products as well as the safety concerns associated with food preparation. Staff must be trained in safe cooking best practices, such as those provided by the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe® certification course. Cook-and-hold procedures should also follow established HACCP/HARPC plans, with a dual focus on the prevention of bacterial growth and maximizing food quality/safety.

Emerson provides a wide range of technologies to automate data collection and reporting necessary to implement best practices and meet local health inspection requirements:

To learn more about how Emerson is helping to protect food quality and safety throughout the food cold chain, please view this infographic.

 

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