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Posts tagged ‘Commercial Refrigeration’

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.

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.

 

 

 

Keys to Servicing A2L Refrigerants

         Don Gillis | Lead Technical Trainer

          Emerson’s Educational Services

The refrigerant transition is underway, and HVACR service technicians find themselves at the leading edge. As the commercial refrigeration and AC industries move from high-global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants to lower-GWP alternatives, mildly flammable A2L refrigerants are viewed as viable alternatives. But the technician community is largely unfamiliar with A2L servicing requirements and has many questions that need to be answered. I recently participated in an article for RSES Journal, in which we discussed the emergence of A2Ls and reviewed key servicing best practices. You can also view the article here.

Regulatory efforts to approve A2L refrigerants took several steps forward in 2021. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rule 23 approved R-454B and R-32 for use in residential AC applications, subject to use conditions. In addition, the UL approved the second edition of its UL 60335-2-89 standard that included A2L charge limit guidelines for self-contained and remote refrigeration systems. Although the UL 2-89 update was a major development, more regulatory approvals will be required to roll out A2Ls on a broader scale. Industry stakeholders expect EPA guidance and SNAP approvals for the use of A2L refrigerants in commercial refrigeration to happen soon.

But if you’re an HVACR technician, the chances of encountering A2Ls are on the rise. To maximize safety and assist your customers with installation and service calls, now is the time to gain a better understanding of A2Ls.

Back to basics with best practices

Thankfully, the transition from existing refrigerants to A2Ls won’t require a fundamental shift in the way you conduct service calls. But it will require more rigorous attention to basic servicing fundamentals. Existing recommended best practices for A1 refrigerants will apply — with the addition of a few special considerations and A2L-rated tools.

The potential for flammability makes the use of leak sensors and detection equipment a more important system consideration with A2Ls. Otherwise, A2Ls have very similar characteristics and pressures as common A1 HFC refrigerants, such as R-410A. It’s also important to be aware that some blended refrigerants, such as R-454B, will have a degree of glide.

When installing or repairing A2L refrigerant-based equipment, technicians will need to use A2L-rated gauges and tools and wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Compared to A1 procedures, there are some required steps when dealing with A2Ls that are considered best practices for A1 systems:

  • Purge the circuit with inert gas (i.e., oxygen-free nitrogen).
  • Evacuate the refrigerant.
  • Leak-test and pressure-test the unit.

A2L cylinders have the same rated pressure as current R-410 cylinders. To make sure an A2L refrigerant is not mistaken for an A1, A2L tanks have several distinguishing characteristics, including:

  • Pressure relief valve is designed to release only enough refrigerant to reduce the cylinder pressure.
  • Red band/stripe (or the entire top painted red) indicates the presence of a mildly flammable refrigerant.
  • Left-hand (LH) thread indicates the presence of an A2L refrigerant.

It’s important to remember that all HVACR equipment must be designed and rated for the use of A2L refrigerants. As such, A2Ls are not to be used as drop-in replacements for A1s in existing HFC systems. When charging refrigeration systems with an A2L, technicians must ensure that they do not exceed the maximum allowable charge rate.

Look for safety labels on A2L-based HVACR equipment to alert you of additional precautions. Some may also include a panel designed to cover service ports. For more information, please visit the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute’s (AHRI) Safe Refrigerant Transition Task Force website (https://www.ahrinet.org/saferefrigerant).

A2L training is available

As A2L refrigerants make their way into U.S. AC and commercial refrigeration applications, industry organizations, manufacturers and stakeholders are working together to prepare for their wider adoption. At Emerson, we are actively developing A2L-certified compressors, condensing units and components to support the transition to lower-GWP refrigerants in commercial refrigeration and residential AC applications.

In addition, Emerson Educational Services is developing and conducting A2L training seminars as part of our “Fit for the Future” initiative. To prepare your service team to safely install, service and recover A2L refrigerants, please visit our course schedule.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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