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Posts tagged ‘Commercial Refrigeration’

Join Emerson at the Virtual ATMOsphere America Summit

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Integration,

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

In an era shaped by environmental regulations and corporate sustainability initiatives, natural refrigerants have become viable alternatives in the transition away from hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP). From the increased adoption of CO2 transcritical booster systems to the prospect of larger R-290 charge limits in self-contained applications, natural refrigerants continue to play ever-expanding roles within the U.S. commercial refrigeration sector. This dynamic landscape will be explored in-depth at the upcoming ATMOsphere America Online Summit on Wednesday, Nov. 3, where Emerson will be showcasing some of its latest natural refrigerant solutions in our virtual booth. Register for the event here.

The 10th edition of ATMOsphere America will be held online, gathering key industry experts, policymakers, end-users and contractors for a free, daylong event where attendees can network with peers and learn about the latest developments in natural refrigerant-based solutions. The program will cover market and technological trends, policy and standards updates, the impact of refrigerants, and end users’ perspectives on their experiences with natural refrigerants.

As a champion for the development of natural refrigerant technologies and a gold sponsor for this year’s event, Emerson is pleased to be hosting a virtual booth at this important industry conference. Not only will it give us an opportunity to highlight some of our new natural refrigerant capabilities, but it will also allow us to speak with industry stakeholders about the many developments that impact the use of natural refrigerants. Highlights will include:

CARB compliance — Under the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) current proposal, the installation of new refrigeration systems containing more than 50 pounds of refrigerant in a new facility must use refrigerants with a GWP rating less than 150. In existing facilities, new installations of systems greater than 50 pounds would be subject to company-wide, fleet GWP reduction targets by 2030 compared to their 2019 baselines. These reductions may be achieved via one of two methods: by reducing the weighted-average GWP (WAGWP) to less than 1,400 GWP, or reducing greenhouse gas potential (GHGp) by 55%. CARB’s proposal could take effect as soon as this January.

R-290 charge limit increases — Recently, the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved the second edition of the UL 60335-2-89 standard, which raises the charge limits on commercial self-contained, plug-in displays based on whether they have an open or closed design. For open appliances without doors, the maximum charge limit has been raised to 500g; in closed appliances with doors or drawers, the new charge limit is 300g. These higher charge limits will help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to increase system capacities and sizes while capitalizing on R-290’s high efficiency and low GWP. Although additional regulatory approvals and building code updates are needed before these charge increases can fully take effect, this is a critical first step toward wider applicability of R-290.

To support OEMs that develop these self-contained units, Emerson has been producing R-290 compressors and condensing units for many years. Emerson has also been conducting trainings to help contractors and advising OEMs to better understand the new safety considerations for using R-290 to ensure that it can be used safely in these new applications. As manufacturers begin to adopt R-290 systems, they should ensure their systems meet the requirements of UL 60335-2-89 and ASHRAE standard 15.   Today, this portfolio is being updated to accommodate larger charges while expanding into new R-290 qualified products.

New CO2 testing facilities — In addition to Emerson’s CO2 transcritical labs in Europe and at The Helix Innovation Center in Dayton, Ohio, we are currently building new testing labs in our Sidney, Ohio, location. These additions will provide more than 110,000 square feet of engineering and lab space and enable the support of system and component-level testing of CO2 products — including Copeland™ semi-hermetic and scroll compression platforms for CO2 transcritical applications — as well as supporting R-290 and other lower-GWP refrigerant alternatives. In addition, these new test labs will be staffed by dedicated engineering and technician personnel and include testing capabilities for compressors, controls, valves, electronics and supporting components.

To learn more about these policy updates and expanding capabilities, be sure to register for ATMOsphere America’s Online Summit and visit Emerson in our virtual booth.

 

 

 

[New E360 Webinar] Leverage Data to Optimize Refrigeration System Efficiency

Charles Larkin | Director of Data and Analytics, Cold Chain

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions Business

Within the ever-expanding scope of commercial refrigeration applications, internet of things (IoT) technologies have a wide variety of potential uses. From helping to preserve food safety and quality to implementing smart maintenance programs, IoT programs can be utilized to address some of food retailers’ most critical operational concerns. In an upcoming E360 Webinar, which will take place on Tuesday, July 20 at 2:30 p.m. EDT/11:30 a.m. PDT, we’ll explore how retailers can utilize IoT initiatives and data-driven insights to achieve key operational objectives.

Attendees of this webinar will gain an understanding of IoT fundamentals and learn how hardware and software can combine to deliver valuable information on equipment performance. By utilizing connected sensors on equipment and installing smart control devices, operators can leverage previously untapped data to uncover real-time and historic insights on refrigeration status, performance trends and overall asset conditions.

Then, using advanced software with powerful machine-learning (ML) algorithms, this data can be processed and further analyzed to deliver more predictive insights, identify preventative maintenance (PM) opportunities, and even develop prescriptive maintenance models.

The upcoming webinar will explore how retailers can unlock the vast potential of data within commercial refrigeration applications, such as:

  • Identifying procedural problems in quick-service restaurants (QSRs) with respect to adherence to their hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) programs
  • Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of implementing digital HACCP programs and/or remote temperature monitoring of refrigeration assets
  • Developing algorithms for the marine sector to help provide early detection of potential food safety/quality issues during sea transport (and applying these concepts to food retail)

To learn more about how IoT programs can deliver operational insights in commercial refrigeration applications, please register for this informative webinar.

 

 

Copeland™ Scroll Booster Architecture Balances Sustainability, Serviceability and Flexibility

Andre Patenaude | Director – Solutions Integration,

Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business

As refrigerant regulations continue to progress rapidly, commercial refrigeration stakeholders are looking for refrigeration solutions capable of balancing their sustainability, serviceability and equipment lifecycle goals. Emerson recently completed the development of a new distributed system architecture called Copeland scroll booster. It is designed specifically to help food retailers achieve these goals while providing the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of low- (LT) and medium-temperature (MT) applications.

When searching for viable and sustainable commercial refrigeration strategies, stakeholders often find themselves weighing the pros and cons of many different system types. Systems that use alternative refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) below 150 typically introduce increased service complexities and lifecycle costs. Other systems may not quite achieve sustainability targets but offer serviceability improvements. And when you consider the ever-expanding diversity of system designs needed to address modern commercial refrigeration requirements, system selection becomes even more complex.

Much of the work taking place at Emerson’s The Helix Innovation Center is focused on solving this industry-wide challenge, and the Copeland scroll booster architecture is a key outcome of these efforts.

Leveraging a new refrigerant alternative

Regulatory mandates are driving significant changes within commercial refrigeration system designs to minimize environmental impacts. Many operators are seeking alternatives to traditional centralized direct expansion (DX) refrigeration systems, which utilize large charges of high-GWP hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants and are prone to leaks. This has led to an increasing variety of distributed refrigeration approaches — which offer smaller refrigerant charges, lower-GWP refrigerants and wider application flexibility.

Although natural refrigerants CO2 (R-744) and propane (R-290) have the lowest possible GWP ratings, they also come with high operating pressure (R-744) and flammability (R-290), introducing operational complexities and design limitations that many food retailers may not be prepared to address. Newer refrigerant blends — such as the A1 hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerant R-513A — deliver excellent performance characteristics, much lower GWP than HFCs and zero flammability. Offering the lowest possible GWP (573) among non-flammable refrigerants, R-513A has low-pressure characteristics that provide a familiar operating envelope and require no special training, certification or safety mitigation measures.

Mechanics of Copeland scroll booster

The Copeland scroll booster system is designed to use R-513A for both LT and MT refrigeration loads. Its distributed architecture offers an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to large centralized systems. System configurations can scale from small, low-charge condensing units to larger distributed racks charged with several hundred pounds of refrigerant.

This innovative technology overcomes the typical challenges of operating a low-temperature system, including requiring compressor cooling via liquid injection and lowering compressor lifespan due to high compression ratios and discharge temperatures. This straightforward architecture leverages the advantages of R-513A’s low-pressure, high-efficiency and key system components to significantly lower discharge temperatures and compression ratios.

This flexible architecture is comprised of one or more MT scroll compressors coupled with one or more LT scroll compressors, where MT compressors can either be placed in a condensing unit or within a typical rack configuration. Condensers may be located remotely or integrated into the system and placed indoors or outdoors. To help reduce refrigerant charge, piping and associated costs, the LT scroll compressors can be placed near the LT evaporators, i.e., directly on top of or beside the case or remotely near the load.

The “booster” design strategy provides significant performance improvements by discharging (or boosting) the LT compressor directly into the nearest MT compressor’s suction line. The lower discharge temperatures of the LT scroll compressor minimize the suction gas temperature of the MT unit and allow the MT compressors to operate within their design limits without the need for additional cooling. The net result is an overall system efficiency gain while greatly minimizing the mechanical loads on the LT compressors.

Simplifying operational complexities

The innovative use of a low-pressure, low-GWP refrigerant within a simple, distributed architecture that’s based on familiar operating principles fills an urgent need within the larger food retail market. The Copeland scroll booster system helps operators to meet their sustainability goals without introducing unnecessary serviceability complexities. Offering the design flexibility to service store formats of varying sizes, its benefits check many key boxes on the list of modern supermarket refrigeration priorities:

  • Lower-GWP, A1 refrigerant (i.e., R-513A)
  • Reduced refrigerant charge
  • Lower leak rates due to lower-pressure system
  • Lower utility costs
  • System familiarity with technicians and end users
  • Low total cost of ownership (TCO) from lower annual energy consumption and lifecycle climate performance (LCCP)
  • Secure remote facility monitoring capabilities

Proof of concept and future evolution

Emerson has conducted successful trials of this technology in various applications and climates. This year, a distributed scroll booster system was installed at Gem City Market, a new small-format supermarket built in Dayton, Ohio. The project involved collaboration among the surrounding Dayton community, city officials and commercial refrigeration industry leaders — including Hussmann and Chemours — who donated their respective expertise and resources to the project. In the future, when even lower-GWP refrigerants (such as A2Ls) are approved for use by applicable codes and standards, a distributed scroll booster system can be adapted for use with these ultra-low refrigerant alternatives (less than 150 GWP).

Trends That Will Shape the Post-Pandemic Future of Commercial Refrigeration

Dave Bersaglini | Vice President & General Manager, Refrigeration

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Last spring, the COVID-19 pandemic forced supermarkets and other food retailers to adapt their operations on the fly as consumer purchasing behaviors shifted virtually overnight. Commercial refrigeration contractors and manufacturers were also pressed into action to address unprecedented demands for refrigeration and cold storage. Even after life returns to normal, some of the trends that emerged are likely to stick. I recently participated in an executive roundtable for HVACR Business that explored several of the developments that may influence the industry for years to come.

Online retail is here to stay

At the onset of the pandemic, consumer adoption of click-and-collect and home delivery services spiked in response to lockdowns and health concerns. Research suggests consumers will maintain these purchasing habits, even after the pandemic wanes. Retailers are responding by rethinking and upgrading their refrigeration strategies and fulfillment processes to sustain higher volumes over the long term.

At the same time, retailers are exploring and implementing more sophisticated fulfillment models, such as in-store, micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs), dark store conversions and fully automated warehouses. These moves are a natural response to the growth in online grocery retail. But they are also enabling retailers to establish more control over their supply chains by reducing their reliance on third-party logistics providers and food storage warehouses.

Simplicity, certainty and data will become more important than ever

Profit margins and energy management goals increasingly hinge on refrigeration, HVAC and lighting system performance. Pandemic-related lockdowns and social distancing restrictions only underscored the need for remote monitoring of equipment and systems.

As a result, the collective ability to collect, access and analyze data in real time is emerging as a distinct strategic advantage for retailers. By leveraging internet of things (IoT) capabilities and other technologies, operators can optimize equipment performance, protect food safety and quality, improve energy management, and even reduce equipment total cost of ownership (TCO). Technological improvements and economies of scale across the board are making these tools more accessible and affordable, i.e., the race is on to get connected.

At Emerson, we will continue to improve our refrigeration and facility management controllers and supervisory platforms to simplify retail operations and provide superior strategic data insights. The newly launched Lumity™ E3 supervisory control greatly expands upon the widely adopted E2 — adding more power, robust control algorithms, faster speeds, remote connectivity, and an intuitive touch-screen display.

Cold chain monitoring technologies take center stage

All eyes continue to be on the development and distribution of vaccines to fight COVID-19. Vaccine storage requirements — particularly for the Pfizer vaccine, which initially had temperature holding requirements between -80 and -60 °C — presented logistical distribution and storage challenges. News coverage highlighted the role that temperature control technologies play in providing temperature security throughout the cold chain.

We’re proud that Emerson’s temperature control technologies are supporting a network of refrigerated trucks, planes, labs and storage facilities that operate behind the scenes to protect vaccines and the people who rely on them. These same technologies are essential to ensuring the safety and quality of food as it travels from farm to shelf or fork. Watch for more to come in this field as retailers and the public at large gain a wider appreciation for these technologies.

Transition to sustainable refrigerants will gain steam

The transition to refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP) and more environmentally friendly refrigeration systems will gain ground in 2021 and beyond. Retailers that shelved remodel and retrofit activities last year are picking up where they left off — especially in California, where proposals mandated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will take effect in 2022.

However, regional regulatory complexity in the U.S. will continue to challenge retailers, at least in the short term. Passage of the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020 (AIM Act) will likely simplify hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phase-down initiatives. But until then, retailers will need to align their equipment and system choices with regional environmental regulations while trying to anticipate future requirements. Contractors will need to stay abreast of current and proposed regulations to help retailers devise refrigeration strategies that balance regulatory compliance with a wide range of operational priorities and business objectives.

Virtual training firmly established as a viable option for education

Since April 2020, we have offered a variety of free online training courses which will continue through June. Emerson Educational Services has conducted more than 250 instructor-led virtual training sessions for more than 15,000 attendees in the U.S. and Canada. Thousands more have completed self-paced virtual courses. In Latin America, more than 8,000 participants have participated in well over 100 virtual training sessions. We look forward to resuming our comprehensive in-person curriculum as restrictions are lifted, but will continue to build on our virtual and remote learning programs.

Looking to the future, we can state with certainty that our industry will continue to evolve at a rapid clip. At Emerson, we remain committed to building a deeper understanding of the challenges facing our industry. In doing so, we will leverage our commercial refrigeration expertise to create innovative tools and technologies that help our stakeholders to address an ever-expanding spectrum of operational needs.

 

Emerson Launches Copeland™ Variable Frequency Drives

Joe Summers | Product Manager,                                                                               Variable Speed & Integrated Solutions
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Improving energy efficiencies in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) systems is a goal shared by operators in many food retail, commercial building and industrial applications. Variable frequency drives (VFDs) can be applied to various fixed-speed system motors to control their speed and capacity, and in doing so, significantly reduce energy consumption and associated operating costs. Emerson is pleased to announce the launch of its Copeland VFD product lines, which are designed for maximum compatibility with Copeland compression products to reduce the costs and complexities of VFD implementation. You can read our latest E360 Product Spotlight to take a closer look at the improved system efficiencies that can be achieved in certain HVACR applications.

According to research from the Department of Energy (DOE), the commercial building sector accounts for 40 percent of the total energy consumption within the U.S. Among the greatest electricity consumers and energy cost contributors are the motor loads from mission-critical HVACR equipment.

From refrigeration compressors to the evaporator and condenser fans used in parallel rack and/or chiller applications, Copeland VFDs can be added to existing fixed-speed HVACR motors to help operators to quickly retrofit their facilities and achieve:

  • Significant improvements in system performance and reliability
  • Substantial reductions in energy consumption
  • Fast return on investment (ROI)

Available in two platforms and multiple connection options

The Copeland EVM VFD series is intended for chillers, medical refrigeration, display cases, walk-ins, reach-ins and other applications where less control functionality is needed.

  • Covers ½ to 30 HP range
  • Available in single- and three-phase input options
  • Equipped with onboard Bluetooth® capabilities for ease of use

The Copeland EVH VFD series is designed for large centralized racks, including CO2, advanced chillers, and industrial refrigeration applications that require more demanding motor control functionality.

  • Covers 1 to 250 HP
  • Available in three-phase, including 575-volt options
  • Delivers advanced motor control

These product lines offer a variety of connection options, including an onboard web server (available on EVM series only) and a multitude of available onboard communication options:

  • Modbus RTU or TCP
  • BACnet™ MS/TP or IP
  • Ethernet IP/TCP
  • Optional cards such as: CANopen, Dual Ethernet Port and Profibus

Benefits of variable-capacity modulation

Copeland VFDs allow facility operators to reap the benefits of variable-capacity modulation without swapping out their current HVACR equipment. Adding a VFD to a fixed-speed fan or pump motor can result in a 30 to 50 percent reduction in energy costs while allowing capacity to fluctuate from 10 to 100 percent. When added to a semi-hermetic compressor, a Copeland VFD provides a 15 to 30 percent reduction in energy costs while enabling capacity modulation from 40 to 100 percent.

These efficiencies are achieved via improved load matching, less on and off cycling, softer start-ups and faster temperature pull-downs — which also deliver the following system performance improvements:

  • Precise temperature and humidity control
  • Adaptable capacity for changing loads and weather conditions
  • Controllable noise levels

In addition, Copeland VFDs enhance equipment reliability through proactive motor failure prevention, advanced diagnostics, decreased susceptibility to power issues, and by greatly reducing the number of start/stop events.

Maximum compatibility with Copeland compressors and ease of use

Native software that supports the Copeland VFD platforms is designed to deliver optimal performance when paired with Copeland compressors, including: scroll, semi-hermetic and screw compression technologies. This software also provides the same optimization of the control algorithms found in VFDs designed for competitive compression technologies and general, multi-purpose motors, such as fans and pumps.

The Copeland VFD series provides maximum ease of use for contractors and end-users during installation, servicing and operation. An intuitive startup wizard, quick-start menus and simple connections make set-up fast and uncomplicated, while offering seamless integration with Emerson’s Lumity™ supervisory control platform including the E3 and site supervisor controllers.

Selecting the right model for your applications

To simplify the selection process, each Copeland VFD model is designed to accommodate dozens of general motors and compressor SKUs. In addition, Emerson’s online product information (OPI) tool can help you to determine which VFD is appropriate for your application. Simply locate the motor’s nameplate and then begin selecting and sourcing the best-fit Copeland VFD model for your application. Product catalogs and manuals are also available on our website for easy reference.

It’s also important to remember that sustainability initiatives are driving many U.S. states to offer energy-efficiency incentives to operators who implement variable frequency drives. Where available, we encourage you to leverage these incentives to reduce and/or offset your upfront costs.

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