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[New E360 Webinar] Regulatory Update: Stay Informed of the Latest Refrigerant Rulemaking

Jennifer Butsch | Regulatory Affairs Director

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

As we near the mid-point of 2022, it’s clear that the global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants is gaining momentum and impacting U.S. commercial refrigeration and HVAC markets. In our next E360 Webinar, Dr. Rajan Rajendran, Emerson’s global vice president of environmental sustainability, and I will overview the latest updates to refrigerant regulations and safety standards. This webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.

Throughout the HVACR industry, stakeholders are evaluating their next-generation refrigeration strategies and making plans to transition to lower-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives. Regardless of where your company is on this journey, keeping up with the latest regulatory developments is critical to making informed decisions. Considering that most HVACR equipment is expected to last from 10 to 20 years, it’s imperative to explore equipment strategies that not only stand the test of time, but also align with your operational and sustainability goals. Understanding how regulations are driving the evolution of refrigeration technologies is key to making these important decisions.

If you’ve been following the progression of refrigerant regulations for the past several years, it may have seemed like the HFC phasedown and subsequent transition to lower-GWP refrigerants were faraway concerns that didn’t apply to U.S. stakeholders — except maybe for those operating in California or other Climate Alliance states. Today, that’s simply not the case.

Federal mandates are taking shape that will soon impact all U.S. stakeholders. Equipment standards that govern the safe use of A2L and A3 refrigerants are quickly evolving. Making environmental stewardship pledges at the corporate level has become a much higher priority. Complying with refrigerant regulations, selecting eco-friendly alternatives and meeting corporate sustainability objectives are quickly becoming shared concerns for most U.S. stakeholders.

E360 Webinar presents path forward

To help you find a path forward on your low-GWP refrigerant journey, Rajan and I are hosting a new E360 Webinar that will explain the latest regulatory updates and provide recommendations for next steps. Attendees will learn:

  • Ongoing progress of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and its impacts on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking
  • Status of California Air Resources Board (CARB) refrigerant mandates that went into effect in 2022
  • Update on the safety standards and codes impacting flammable A3 and A2L refrigerants
  • Tips for preparing for the next generation of alternative refrigerants

Register now for this informative and free webinar.

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.

Discover the Case for Natural Refrigerants at ATMOsphere America

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Strategy

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

For decades, natural refrigerants have been used worldwide as environmentally friendly alternatives to high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants or ozone-depleting substances (ODS). As the U.S. commercial refrigeration industry faces an imminent phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, the stage is set for natural refrigerants like CO2 and R-290 to play much larger roles. Emerson is pleased to announce our participation in the ATMOsphere America Summit 2022 on June 7–8, where our experts will present new data that supports the expanding business case for natural refrigerants.

With the phasedown of high-GWP HFC refrigerants underway, commercial and industrial refrigeration stakeholders are actively planning for the next generation of refrigerant technologies. As corporate-led environmental initiatives are pledging to use more sustainable equipment, CO2 and R-290 are widely considered to be among the leading natural refrigerant candidates to anchor future refrigeration strategies.

Today’s market is evolving rapidly — and Emerson is at the leading edge of technological advancements supporting the use of these proven natural alternatives. We’ve made significant investments in research and development (R&D) projects and lab testing capabilities designed to:

  • Promote the use of low-GWP refrigerant technologies
  • Support original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in their design cycles
  • Help end-users to make successful refrigerant transitions

Join us at the ATMOsphere America Summit 2022

As a gold sponsor of the upcoming ATMOsphere America Summit 2022, Emerson is looking forward to presenting data from our recent R&D efforts which explore the expanding role of natural refrigerants. This in-person-only event will take place on June 7–8 in Washington, D.C., at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. Join peers, industry experts, policymakers, end-users, and contractors to explore the latest natural refrigerant trends and technologies.

Emerson’s participation will feature informative sessions and panel discussions highlighting our latest natural refrigerant research:

  • Making the case for sustainable CO2 in supermarket refrigeration (June 7 at 2 p.m. EDT) — which will be presented by me and Zero Zone
  • Exploring the climate zone impacts on CO2 system selection (June 8 at 10 a.m. EDT) — which will be presented by me
  • Panel discussion sharing the latest policy and market trends impacting natural refrigerants (June 7 at 11 a.m. EDT) — which will be presented by me

If your company is interested in exploring a future based on natural refrigerants, register now and make plans to attend this in-person event. Be sure to stop by any of the Emerson sessions and ask how we can help you on your journey to more sustainable refrigeration.

 

 

 

Refrigeration Retrofit: Installing Copeland™ Variable Frequency Drives, EVM Series

Eric Grilliot | Application Engineer

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

Many supermarket and facility operators are looking for opportunities to retrofit their existing HVACR equipment to improve energy efficiency, reliability and performance. With the recent launch of Copeland™ variable frequency drives (VFDs), EVM Series, contractors have new opportunities to help their customers achieve these goals. In fact, our EVM Series drives can be installed on existing fixed-speed HVACR motors without having to swap out or replace equipment, resulting in faster and more affordable retrofits.

I recently produced an instructional video to cover EVM Series installation best practices within a refrigeration rack and demonstrated their user-friendly startup wizard.

Unboxing your EVM drive

Before you begin the installation process, it’s important to make sure that you have the correct model and verify that it did not incur any damage during shipping.

  1. Remove the drive from the box and verify that the model number on the nameplate matches what’s on the shipping box label.
  2. Inspect the drive to ensure there are no cracks and/or visible damage.
  3. Review the quick-start guide, and follow the quick-start guide and installation manual during installation.

Installation and mounting considerations

Choosing an installation location is key to protecting the drive and enabling easy access to it and the compressors in the rack.

  1. Identify the fixed-speed lead compressor that will be retrofitted.
  2. Select a location to install the drive where it will not be exposed to moisture (from weather, refrigeration chiller lines or potential leaks) or excess vibration (from placement within the rack).
  3. Choose a location that won’t restrict access to compressors in the rack or make it difficult to interface with the drive itself (e.g., too high). An ideal location for many applications is within an electrical panel mounted on a din rail for ease of access.

Wiring and connections

EVM Series drives are designed with easily accessible input/output (I/O) terminals and provide a quick reference of their locations on the inside cover panel of each drive. Making connections requires only two flathead screwdrivers: one for the controller wire and one for incoming/outgoing compressor wire connections. Before making electrical connections, be sure to follow proper lockout and tagout procedures on high- and low-voltage wires. Double-check with a voltage meter to make sure there’s no chance of receiving an electrical shock.

  1. Remove the drive’s cover panel and review I/O terminal locations (see installation guide for more information).
  2. Connect the incoming power source to L1, L2 and L3 on the underside of the drive.
  3. Connect U, V and W (outgoing power source) to the compressor.
  4. Be sure to connect the incoming power ground as well as the motor to the drive’s ground terminals.
  5. Connect the control wire to the refrigeration control device (e.g., Lumity™ E3 supervisory control) to enable variable frequency control. Note: the control interface also supports Modbus connection. See Application Engineering Bulletin AE8-1456 for more information.

Configure startup parameters

Once your drive is installed and powered up, the built-in startup wizard should make it easy to set the parameters and configure it with your specific compressor. Consult pages 29–30 of your installation manual and review step 4 for full startup wizard instructions. Check the compressor’s motor nameplate for much of the information needed to complete startup parameters. Note: this information is also available on the Emerson Online Product Information (OPI) webpage and the Copeland Mobile app. Recommended steps include:

  1. Power up the drive to bring up the onboard display and access the startup wizard.
  2. Press the down arrow and navigate to “S” for startup wizard. Press OK to initiate.
  3. Accept or change the default password (P13.1.7).
  4. Select the minimum frequency setting (option P1.1). Note: every compressor application will be slightly different. Check with your Emerson sales representative, application engineer or applicable AE bulletin for more information.
  5. Select the maximum frequency (option P1.2).
  6. Select the motor nominal current (option P1.6).
  7. Select the motor nominal speed (option P1.7).
  8. Choose a power factor (option P1.8); the default setting is .85.
  9. Select the motor nominal voltage (option P1.9).
  10. Select the motor nominal frequency (option P1.10); 60 Hz for U.S. installations.
  11. Set the acceleration time (P1.3); the default setting is 20 seconds
  12. Set the deceleration time (P1.4); the default setting is 20 seconds.
  13. Select the remote-control place (P1.13); fieldbus =
  14. Select the remote reference (P1.14); fieldbus = 7.

As I demonstrated in my instructional video, this entire startup configuration can typically be completed in a matter of minutes. To learn more about the Copeland EVM Series drives or the many benefits of VFD retrofits in HVACR equipment, please visit our website.

 

 

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