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.
Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business
The transition from hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants to lower-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives has become a common denominator in many food retailers’ sustainability strategies. Whether your company is in the early phases of its sustainability journey or has already made significant progress in the race to Net Zero, you’ve likely evaluated the potential of CO2-based refrigeration. Among the many misperceptions about CO2 transcritical booster systems is that they are not well-suited for installations in warmer climates. Emerson recently partnered with Zero Zone to help a leading food retailer prove the business case for warm-weather CO2 refrigeration. To view the full article, click here.
Expanding application potential
When calculating the sustainability potential of a refrigeration system, it’s important to look at its total equivalent warming impact (TEWI), including direct carbon emissions from refrigerant leaks and indirect emissions from energy consumption. Although the natural refrigerant CO2 (or R-744) has a GWP of 1, many supermarket owners and operators have questions about the efficiency of CO2 transcritical booster systems, especially in warmer climates.
CO2 transcritical booster refrigeration systems have been installed in Europe for decades and are expanding rapidly around the globe. Today, nearly 1,000 CO2 transcritical booster systems are installed in the U.S., with adoption projected to increase more than 50% by 2025. System designers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and component manufacturers (e.g., Emerson) have made tremendous strides in developing smart CO2 transcritical booster system strategies that:
Improve energy efficiencies in warmer climates
Optimize system performance and reliability
Lower the total cost of ownership (TCO)
Simplify system start-up, operation, high-pressure management and maintenance
Retailers who are now looking at CO2 for the first time will benefit from years of installations and supermarket trials that have significantly improved upon CO2 transcritical booster equipment technologies.
Proving the business case
In a recent collaboration, Emerson partnered with refrigeration OEM Zero Zone to help them design and install a CO2 transcritical booster system for a new supermarket in Joplin, Mo. Due to the location’s warm climate, the design team recommended an emerging high-ambient mitigation strategy designed to maximize the efficiency of CO2 during the summer season. The goals of the project were to help the retailer to meet their sustainability targets while maintaining the highest standards for food quality and safety.
The climate in Joplin averages more than 200 annual hours above R-744’s critical point of 87.8 °F. During these warmer temperatures, a CO2 transcritical booster system would typically enter transcritical mode and consume electricity at a higher rate, but the Emerson and Zero Zone system has been designed to operate efficiently across even these high-temperature ranges. With recent advances in system technologies, stakeholders can choose from multiple CO2 strategies designed to mitigate high-ambient temperatures, minimize transcritical operation, and maximize energy efficiencies.
For the Joplin installation, Zero Zone and Emerson opted to utilize an adiabatic gas cooling strategy on the system’s outdoor condenser/gas cooler. When summer heat builds and R-744 pressures begin to rise within the gas cooler, water is misted onto adiabatic cooling pads — effectively keeping R-744 below its critical point during warm stretches and dramatically improving system efficiency. Today, this installation is operating as designed for Zero Zone’s food retail customer, delivering year-round efficiencies and refrigeration reliability.
The system features a full suite of integrated Emerson CO2 technologies — from low- (LT) and medium temperature (MT) compressors to CO2 refrigeration rack controls case controls and high-pressure controls — that are helping Zero Zone to prove the business case for warm-climate CO2 systems. Not only have these technological advances greatly expanded the potential of CO2 applications in diverse climates, but they’re accelerating CO2 adoption for a new generation of end-users and service technicians.
For more information about the high-ambient CO2 mitigation strategy used in this installation, you can read our case study. To learn about Emerson’s commitment to developing integrated CO2 technologies, please visit our CO2 information hub.
Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business
Interest in CO2 transcritical booster systems is growing rapidly within the U.S. commercial refrigeration industry. In recent years, many supermarkets have tested the waters with CO2 system trials in select stores. Others have already made CO2 the foundation of their long-term refrigeration strategy. But with sustainability goals becoming higher priorities, we expect up to 800 new CO2 transcritical booster systems to be installed in the next 3–4 years.
Although CO2 (refrigerant name R-744) offers a variety of sustainability and reliability benefits, a lack of familiarity with the nuances of CO2 technology can make it seem complex to end-users and service technicians alike. I recently spoke with R744.com about how Emerson is helping to alleviate these concerns by simplifying the applications of CO2 refrigeration systems.
Smart controls to make it easier
To help facilitate these increased adoption levels, Emerson recently launched the Lumity™ E3 supervisory control, designed specifically for CO2 applications. As the successor to our venerable E2 controller system — which is already used in CO2 transcritical booster systems globally — this next-generation refrigeration and facility control device offers native CO2 functionality to better manage a wide spectrum of CO2-specific capabilities:
High-pressure system and valve control
System start-up and shut-down protocols
Hot-gas and liquid injection modulation (de-superheating)
Adiabatic gas cooling control
Parallel compression management
R-744 refrigerant and CO2 refrigeration system properties are unique and need their own specific control logic and programming requirements. Within the Lumity E3 controller for CO2, we’ve integrated machine-learning algorithms and other native programming that will make CO2 systems easier to own, operate and troubleshoot — while still providing the customization options end-users need to tailor controls to their store requirements. The E3 controller platform is also web-enabled to support remote monitoring and servicing via smartphone, tablet or other web-enabled browsers.
We are also launching a new Lumity CC200 case controller, which includes a specific model for CO2 system cases. This device integrates seamlessly with the E3 supervisory control platform to provide key case-level functions, such as:
Demand defrost control
Management of up to three evaporator coils with three stepper motor or pulse width modulated (PWM) electronic expansion valves (EEVs)
The CO2 versions of these control products are currently being field-tested and will be available globally later this year. Upcoming E3-CO2 functions include mechanical subcooling and ejector control. Also, hot-gas defrost will be added to the E3-CO2 platform to support the North American trend of using hot-gas defrost — rather than traditional electric defrost — in industrial and commercial CO2 transcritical booster applications.
The upcoming E3-CO2 model is designed to enable current E2 end-users to easily replace their control device when it becomes available. End-users of the standard E3 controller will have the option to upgrade it to the CO2 version.
Expanded CO2 compression capacities
To further support increased CO2 adoption in supermarkets, Emerson will be expanding the capacity of our current Copeland™ 4MTLS transcritical CO2 semi-hermetic compressor lineup. Within months, we will be launching a new option that delivers our largest displacement in the 4MTLS product line — with 330,000 BTU at 20 °F.
In addition to our transcritical CO2 semi-hermetic lineup, we offer Copeland ZOD subcritical CO2 digital scroll compressor products designed to exploit the characteristics of CO2 refrigeration in low-temperature (LT) applications. And, since all lead and parallel compressors in CO2 transcritical booster systems require a variable frequency drive (VFD), we also leverage the new Copeland EVM/EVH Series VFDs in these CO2 system applications.
In Europe, Emerson recently launched Copeland transcritical CO2 scroll compressors for the food retail market. We expect these to be available for use in U.S. markets within the next 18 months. Later this year, we will be launching a new CO2 test lab that will enable us to fully examine the use of these scroll compressors in CO2 transcritical scenarios.
To learn more about how we’re helping to simplify the use of CO2 refrigeration, please visit our CO2 resources webpage.
Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business
Emerson recently participated in the ATMO World Summit 2022, a 24-hour event focused on exploring developments in the uses and applications of natural refrigerants. Emily Vilardi, Emerson product marketing manager and I presented a webinar highlighting Emerson’s commitment to CO2 refrigeration via the launch of new products and our expanded research and development (R & R&D) efforts. For those unable to attend the event or our session, ATMO has made it available for free on-demand.
Corporate sustainability objectives and environmental regulations are driving the adoption of refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP). As food retailers evaluate emerging solutions and transition to the next generation of refrigeration technologies, CO2 transcritical booster systems offer a proven, natural alternative. Although this innovative system architecture uses CO2 (refrigerant name R-744) for both medium- (MT) and low-temperature (LT) refrigeration loads, it introduces a whole new approach to refrigeration for many end-users and technicians.
Emily and I discussed how Emerson is committed to helping facilitate this transition by simplifying the application of CO2 refrigeration through the seamless integration of system components. We focused on three primary areas: compression and variable frequency drives (VFDs), controls and software, and R&D lab investments.
CO2 compression and VFD technology
For the MT transcritical portion of a CO2 transcritical booster system, Emerson offers the Copeland™ 4MTLS transcritical CO2 semi-hermetic compressor in nine displacements from 40,000 to 300,000 BTUs at 60 Hz. These four-cylinder compressors feature onboard diagnostics and have a capacity range from 17.5 to 354 MBH at 20 °F evaporating, 95 °F gas cooler outlet at 60 Hz. In addition, they can be paired with Copeland VFDs, EVM/EVH Series to enable variable-capacity modulation. EVM/EVH drives offer the security of providing 200 percent maximum overload protection for two seconds.
On the LT side, Emerson offers the Copeland ZO(D) subcritical CO2 scroll compressors: ZO for fixed capacity and ZOD (digital) for variable-capacity modulation or their ability to unload capacity down to 10 percent. For example, the ZOD34 is rated for a 34,000 BTU displacement that can modulate (or unload) its capacity to 3,000 BTUs. These subcritical digital scrolls offer a smaller, lighter-weight footprint and don’t require VFDs for capacity modulation. In addition, Copeland MSLS subcritical semi-hermetic compressors are available in displacements from 60,000 to 180,000 BTUs, have a range of 25 to 70 Hz, and are rated for very high standstill pressures.
Integrated CO2 controls
CO2 transcritical booster systems rely heavily on electronic controls to optimize system installation, integrate with cases and high-pressure valves (HPVs), and manage system pressures. Emily explained Emerson’s integrated approach to CO2 controls that enables seamless communication and enhanced visibility to all aspects of system operation.
The soon-to-be-released Lumity™ supervisory control for CO2 applications will expand upon the legacy E2e control to offer enhanced CO2 capabilities, reduce programming complexities, and simplify system management via:
Centralized CO2 suction group control for transcritical booster and parallel compression
Advanced compressor superheat management for liquid or hot gas injection
Precise load management and automatic recovery from out-of-range conditions
Enhanced CO2 system monitoring for system insights
Oil management for long compressor life
The Lumity E3-CO2 will also leverage the many benefits of the new E3 platform, including a built-in touchscreen, remote mobile access, and a greatly improved user interface (UI) that brings all critical CO2 system monitoring into one unified view. The control will integrate seamlessly with Emerson’s high-pressure controller and valve driver (XEV20), the soon-to-be-released Lumity CC200 case controller, the XM600 series case controllers, and leak detection devices (RLDS and MRLDS).
Investing in the future of CO2
In the ATMO webinar, I also elaborated on how Emerson is helping our customers to prepare for the future of CO2 refrigeration through continued lab investments and R&D efforts. In addition to the CO2 transcritical booster system that has been installed at The Helix Innovation Center since 2016, we’ve recently dedicated more than 100,000 square feet to a CO2-specific supermarket test lab in our facility in Sidney, Ohio. This new lab will be launched this summer and feature:
18 display cases from five different manufacturers
Walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer
Dry gas and adiabatic gas coolers on the roof
Wide range of high-ambient system strategies
Ability to create a 100 percent false load to enable testing at any capacity
These advanced testing capabilities will give Emerson’s application engineers ample opportunities to measure and validate system performance across a full spectrum of application scenarios.
To learn more about how Emerson is helping our customers and the industry to simplify the adoption of CO2 system technologies and optimize refrigeration system performance, please view the ATMO webinar.
Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business
Until recently, CO2 refrigeration systems in the U.S. have been perceived as exceptions to the rule in commercial refrigeration. But as corporate sustainability initiatives and refrigerant regulations continue to reshape refrigeration decisions, many supermarket retailers are exploring CO2’s long-term potential. I recently contributed an article for Supermarket News in which I examined the regulatory, market and technological trends behind its increased adoption in the U.S. To view the full article, click here.
To date, most CO2 installations in the U.S. have been deployed as proofs-of-concept. Although there are some sustainably-minded retailers that have made it the basis of their refrigeration strategy, CO2 hasn’t yet experienced the industry-wide acceptance we’ve seen in Europe. But that appears to be changing.
Among the environmental strategies identified to combat climate change, the greening of commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment has been recognized as an essential tactic of decarbonization plans and corporate sustainability initiatives. Food retail stakeholders are rethinking their approaches to refrigeration and transitioning away from legacy hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP). More than ever, retailers are evaluating long-term refrigeration strategies that support:
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts
Energy efficiency and emissions reductions targets
Stage is set for wider adoption
With zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a GWP of 1, the natural refrigerant CO2 (aka R-744) is a proven alternative to higher-GWP HFC refrigerants. CO2’s inherent energy efficiency in most climates allows it to deliver direct and indirect emissions reductions — a lower total equivalent warming impact (TEWI). For more than a decade, CO2 refrigeration has become a leading sustainability strategy for European retailers. Today, that trend continues with adoption steadily increasing in the U.S. and other countries.
Per recent industry data, nearly 46,500 CO2 transcritical booster systems are currently installed worldwide.
900 in the U.S. (1,400 in North America with the inclusion of Canada)
If CO2 growth trends continue as they have from 2020–2021, the U.S. commercial refrigeration industry can anticipate CO2 adoption to increase up to 50% by 2025. This trend is expected to follow a similar trajectory throughout the next decade, with the possibility that the U.S. could potentially mirror E.U. levels of adoption.
Regulations drive down GWP levels
Global, federal and state regulations are steering the industry away from HFCs and toward lower-GWP alternatives. Using the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol as a framework, the next step in the HFC production and consumption phasedown schedule will be a 40% reduction in 2024 (compared to the baseline established in 2011–2013).
The passing of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act in 2020 restored the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to enforce HFC mandates and establish sector-based guidelines. As the EPA follows the Kigali Amendment’s HFC phasedown, decreased supplies will continue to drive up HFC refrigerant prices.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) continues its progressive efforts to phase down HFCs in the state of California. Under its recently adopted rule, all new refrigeration systems containing more than 50 pounds of refrigerant installed in new facilities must use refrigerants with less than 150 GWP. For existing installations with equipment greater than 50 pounds of refrigerant, retailers can take a fleet approach toward reducing their carbon footprint. CO2 refrigeration is becoming a leading option for achieving these regulatory targets.
Technological improvements and emerging applications
The proliferation of CO2 refrigeration systems around the globe has given equipment manufacturers opportunities to improve compression, controls and valve technologies. Emerson is at the forefront of efforts to simplify system management and help the industry transition from legacy high-GWP HFC systems.
Electronic system controllers
Emerson’s new Lumity™ E3 supervisory control for CO2 systems is designed to manage CO2’s high pressures and system volatilities, greatly simplifying commissioning and system management during standard operation. These improvements minimize system complexities, alleviate the burden from technicians, and provide peace of mind to end users.
Integrated CO2 transcritical booster system components
CO2 transcritical booster systems — where both medium- (MT) and low-temperature (LT) circuits run on R-744 — are the most widely adopted CO2 architectures in medium- to large-format food retail stores. Emerson is helping original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and operators to ensure the system integration needed to maximize reliability and performance, including: compressors, electronic expansion valves (EEVs), high-pressure valves and an electronic controller.
Warm ambient strategies
CO2 transcritical booster systems are subject to declining efficiencies in warm ambient climates, but manufacturers have developed a variety of strategies to maintain efficiency levels.
Adiabatic gas coolers — keep the refrigerant below its critical point for as long as possible to maximize system efficiencies
Parallel compression — compresses excess flash gas at higher pressure via a dedicated intermediate- stage compressor, resulting in 8–10% annualized efficiency gains
Gas ejectors, liquid ejectors — optimize efficiency
Low superheat of MT evaporators — delivers year-round efficiency improvements
Increasing our commitment to CO2 innovation
Emerson is expanding CO2 labs, testing facilities and development capabilities to further CO2 adoption and support our OEM and end user partners. As the market for CO2 refrigeration continues to expand, the proliferation of new products is creating economies of scale, which lower the costs and complexities of implementing CO2 technologies. To learn more about improving the efficiency, usability and simplicity of CO2 systems, please visit our CO2 resources hub.
Commercial & Residential Solutions is a global innovator of energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions for residential, industrial and commercial applications. www.climate.emerson.com
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