|Derek Langenkamp | Product Manager, Hermetic Reciprocating
Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solution’s Business
Making equipment design changes to meet increasing energy efficiency standards is nothing new for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the commercial refrigeration space. For quite some time, the medium- and low-temperature, stand-alone coolers and freezers commonly used in restaurants, convenience stores (C-stores) and small-format food retailers have been key targets of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy efficiency mandates. Because highly efficient compression technologies are among the few design options left to help OEMs meet these targets, Emerson is pleased to announce its Copeland variable speed reciprocating hermetic compressor line designed specifically for this purpose. For full details, you can read our latest E360 Product Spotlight.
While our industry expects that the DOE will soon be proposing its next phase-down in energy reductions for these applications — which are likely to take effect in 2024 — the need for highly reliable, energy-efficient compressors extends well beyond commercial refrigeration. In fact, OEMs in the environmental life sciences, medical and pharmaceutical industries can also benefit from the high efficiency and reliable performance of the Copeland variable speed reciprocating hermetic compressor line. In addition, many OEMs are also seeking a competitive edge by offering equipment that achieves ENERGY STAR® certification. The range of applications across these industries includes:
- Medium- and low-temperature stand-alone refrigerators and freezers, including ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers
- Island cases
- Display cases
- Ice machines
- Food prep tables
- Medical equipment
- Process chillers
Superior energy efficiency and refrigeration performance
Copeland variable speed reciprocating hermetic compressors are designed to deliver significant efficiency and performance improvements for commercial refrigeration reach-in OEMs. This low-profile, variable speed solution is comprised of two components:
- Copeland variable speed reciprocating hermetic compressor — available in ranges from ⅛ to ⅞ HP; featuring a brushless permanent magnet (BPM) motor vs. a standard induction motor
- Variable speed (VS) drive with a smart controller — includes serial, frequency and drop-in modes; drop-in mode serves as the system controller
Standalone, reach-in freezer optimized and tested with Emerson components and controls, under EPA-approved test lab for the ENERGY STAR® program per ASHRAE 72 and DOE energy testing requirements showed:
- System efficiency increased by 13% by replacing fixed speed compressor with variable speed solution
- Compressor cycling reduced by 90%
- Compression ratio relaxed by as much as 43%
- Manufacturer exceeds ENERGY STAR performance levels
- Utilizes a future-oriented, low-GWP natural refrigerant
For end users of this enhanced refrigeration equipment, these efficiencies can result in:
- Faster pull-downs to setpoint temperatures
- More precise temperature holding
- Less wear and tear on system components
- Lower energy bills
In addition, the breadth of the Copeland variable speed reciprocating hermetic compressor line gives system design engineers a variety of compressor options with which to achieve significant energy efficiency improvements for refrigeration equipment of varying types and sizes.
The regulatory advantages of R-290
The Copeland variable speed reciprocating hermetic compressor line is designed to utilize R-290, a natural refrigerant, with an ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) of 3. This allows OEMs to offer their customers a refrigeration option that meets some of the most stringent refrigerant and energy efficiency regulations to date, such as:
- Potential impending DOE 2024 standard
- California Air Resources Board (CARB)
- Potential Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refrigerant requirements
- ENERGY STAR® certification
Emerson’s test labs have confirmed that the use of R-290 in variable speed compressors can deliver superior annual energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings compared to using R-404A in a fixed-speed compressor.
Helping OEMs meet DOE 2024 and beyond
The estimated timeline for the DOE’s next phase-down in commercial refrigeration equipment energy consumption is 2024. If current equipment does not meet DOE requirements, most OEMs will soon need to integrate new components into their next design cycle to comply with the next generation of energy reduction mandates.
The Copeland variable speed reciprocating hermetic compressor line delivers the energy efficiency levels that will help your equipment meet the upcoming DOE requirements — all while giving your customers the reliability and performance improvements they’ll need to succeed. With our extensive design and testing resources, Emerson can help to guide you through this transition. We’re ready to help you meet the next round of DOE efficiency standards and beyond — and achieve the ENERGY STAR® certification to differentiate you from your competitors. Visit our website to learn more about the Copeland variable speed reciprocating hermetic compressor line.