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Posts tagged ‘A2L’

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

European Retailer Selects A2L as the Basis of Its Refrigerant Transition

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | V.P., System Innovation Center and Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

As the transition from hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP) continues in the U.S., commercial refrigeration stakeholders are actively pursuing emerging low-GWP alternatives. Among these include a variety of synthetic and natural options, from A1s with a familiar footprint to mildly flammable A2Ls to the naturals A3 (R-290) and CO2 — all of which can meet very-low GWP thresholds but have varying characteristics which dictate system design architectures. In our most recent E360 Webinar, a leading European retailer provided details about how they chose an A2L refrigerant as the basis for their organization’s refrigerant transition.

Although A2L safety standards have yet to be finalized in the U.S., the case study presented by Brian Churchyard, senior manager of engineering and energy of UK-based ASDA stores, provided a useful framework for how U.S. retailers could follow a similar path to regulatory compliance and sustainable refrigeration. He detailed ASDA’s journey toward lower-GWP refrigeration, which ultimately concluded in the selection of A2L refrigerant R-454A with a GWP of 238.

Creating a new refrigeration design standard

Churchyard explained how ASDA formed a collective working group comprised of numerous agencies, private businesses and industry experts to conduct a detailed assessment of A2Ls. The group developed a design standard for the safe application of their chosen refrigerant, which was based on existing data from the use of R-290 (even though A2L flammability levels were well below those of R-290).

After comparing the performance of A2L refrigerants to other alternatives through numerous trials, the ASDA team concluded that their new design standard achieved their objectives of lowering capital investment, energy consumption, lifecycle costs and carbon emissions. It’s important to note that while R-454A does not have the lowest GWP of the available A2L alternatives, it offered performance improvements that helped to meet these sustainability goals while adhering to the EU’s F-Gas regulatory requirements.

Moving to an A2L also required a reduction in refrigerant charge, which dictated that ASDA would also need to transition from large, centralized rack systems to smaller distributed remote systems. Churchyard said that other benefits of a decentralized approach included limiting the potential for leaks while eliminating risk by having a single point of failure.

Focus on safety and leak mitigation

Of course, safety is a primary concern when using a flammable or mildly flammable refrigerant, and minimizing leaks was an essential part of ASDA’s design strategy. Churchyard stressed that leak prevention was a top priority in all their refrigeration system trials — whether it was an A1 HFC, CO2, hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) or A3 refrigerant. Preventing leaks not only minimizes the potential for emissions, but also ensures that the system is operating at full capacity and efficiency.

Churchyard said that in the event of a leak, display cases are equipped with a modular alarm system integrated into the case controller. If leakage is detected within a case, the system will activate an alarm that effectively triggers a shut-off valve that stops refrigerant flow to a particular display case. In addition, leakage thresholds are set at such a low level as to prevent the potential for A2L ignition. Quality inherent among system joints, connections and proper installation was a major collective focus of the new design standard, which included remote distributed refrigeration plants and their associated display cases.

Churchyard said case upgrades were often the first part of their refrigerant transition strategy. When store operators identified existing HFC cases that needed to be replaced, the first step was to upgrade to cases that were compatible for A2L use — even though they were still using an A1. Then, when the distributed A2L refrigeration plants were installed, these stores could safely transition over to the use of the R-454A A2L refrigerant.

ASDA has been leveraging this strategy since 2019, when it was recognized as the first retailer to adopt an all-A2L refrigerant strategy. To learn more details about ASDA’s successful refrigerant transition, please view this webinar.

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