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Posts tagged ‘Don Newlon’

Regulatory Landscape Presents New Challenges and Complexities

DonNewlon_V2 Don Newlon | V.P./G.M., Food Retail, Cold Chain
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Significant regulatory changes — including some just a few weeks old — were summarized at our latest E360 Forum, which was held in Chicago on October 5. Read the highlights below or watch the full video for complete details.

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During the next four years, the industry will face no fewer than 10 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rulings on refrigerants — as low as 700 GWP for AC chillers and 150 GWP for other applications. These have been coming for a while, but in the last three months there have been three major developments:

  1. The Department of Energy (DOE) finally confirmed that energy standards will be established for all walk-ins. These appeared in the federal register on July 10 and will become effective in 2020.
  2. The EPA approved R-452A for use in remote units/walk-in applications.
  3. Most significantly, on August 8, the 2015 SNAP ruling (rule 20), which delisted certain HFCs such as
    R-404A, was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals DC Circuit. If that ruling stands, refrigerants like
    R-404A and R-507 could be back on the table. However, the court immediately issued an order withholding the decision. So, SNAP is still in place — for now.

The last matter is likely to be tied up in the Courts for some time, but some states like California may create additional regulations to fill the void. Yet, no matter how it’s resolved, there appears to be enough global momentum to stay the course on phasing down HFCs.

The most common industry strategy has been the deployment of natural alternatives acceptable under SNAP, including R-290 (propane), R-744 (carbon dioxide) and R-717 (ammonia). While a lot of progress has been made, a significant part of the market remains uncomfortable with the potential flammability of propane, the pressure of CO2 and the potential toxicity of ammonia.

This has sparked a growing demand for the lowest-GWP, non-flammable (A1) refrigerants available. The question now is: How far do we need to go to find a middle ground between natural and A1 options? We’re interested in discussing that with you.

About half of our customers have basic compliance plans in place, but as of three months ago, around 80 percent still weren’t ready. From products to plants to people, most anticipate costly and time-consuming changes to meet new regulations.

The magnitude of the changes will require a holistic look at the system level — and perhaps even the ecosystem level. In the next five years, our research suggests innovation will need to look very different in six key areas:

  • Serviceable — easy to maintain for new and experienced technicians
  • Simple — less complexity
  • Sustainable — addressing energy, environment and economics
  • Safe — customer safety is paramount
  • Stable — reliable and efficient
  • Smart — controls are easy and intuitive

Stronger collaboration can help all of us meet these challenges. To aid this effort, we’ve created The Helix Innovation Center to advance research and education in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. We encourage your input and collaboration as we strive to meet these goals.

Refrigeration Decisions Driven by Diverse Priorities

DonNewlon_V2 Don Newlon | V.P./G.M., Refrigeration Marketing
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

This blog summarizes an article from our most recent E360 Outlook, entitled Diverse Priorities Continue to Influence Refrigeration Landscape.” Click here to read it in its entirety.

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Today, there are as many factors influencing commercial refrigeration decisions as there are system architectures. As the industry continues to be shaped by regulations, emerging technologies and changing technician demographics, it has become more apparent that there is tremendous diversity among end user priorities.

From first costs, refrigerant considerations and sustainability goals to environmental regulations, energy-efficiency targets and maintenance requirements, end users have more drivers influencing equipment selection criteria than ever before. Since each end user values these factors according to their individual priorities, the hierarchy of priorities differs widely from one customer to the next.

Take Whole Foods Market, for example, a food retailer known for pioneering the use of all-natural refrigeration systems. By using CO2 and R-290 instead of synthetic hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in their Santa Clara, Calif., location, the grocer is seeking to leave the smallest possible carbon footprint while meeting its energy-efficiency targets. All other criteria are secondary.

But for operators in other parts of the country, where energy costs are lower and environmental mandates are less demanding, a more traditional HFC system with lower first costs and more familiar maintenance protocols may be preferred. The same may be said for those who are intimidated by the increased complexities or relative “unknowns” of new system architectures.

If there’s anything we can be certain of, it’s that the refrigeration landscape will continue to change. You may have read about a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had exceeded the authority of its Clean Air Act in its efforts to limit the use of HFCs in commercial refrigeration. While some may support the court’s ruling, others who believe the process of phasing down HFCs is already well underway are calling for an appeal. As of now, we’ll have to wait and see what the true implications of this ruling will be.

Already in Europe, where F-gas regulations limit the use of high global warming potential refrigerants, the price of HFCs is on the rise as supplies dwindle. This is also indicative of how regional idiosyncrasies throughout the world also factor into refrigeration decisions, as the potential of carbon taxes, refrigerant price hikes and local climates must also be considered.

To be sure, there currently is no one-size-fits-all approach to commercial refrigeration. Our goal is not to favor one architecture over another, but to help end users balance this difficult equation for themselves — and based on their unique priorities, take the best approach.

Add the Chicago E360 Forum to Your Calendar This October

DonNewlon_V2 Don Newlon | V.P./G.M., Refrigeration Marketing
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

JOIN US in Chicago, Ill., for our next free E360 Forum on Thursday, October 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare hotel.

We’re excited to bring our next E360 Forum to the hub of the Midwest, Chicago, Ill. This is already shaping up to be another dynamic year for the HVACR industry, and we need your perspectives at this daylong event to make sense of the latest trends and developments. From the growing technician shortage and the introduction of new refrigerants to the dynamic regulatory climate and subsequent system design changes, we’ll explore the complex landscape that lies before us.

The day will be comprised of informative keynote sessions in the morning, leaving the afternoon open for you to choose from four content tracks of interactive breakout sessions. These are designed to give you a chance to get your questions answered and join in a dialogue with experts and peers.

Chicago’s breakout session tracks will focus on applications, regulations, air conditioning and industrial.

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With your participation, the goal of this E360 Forum is to evaluate 2017’s trends and tackle the biggest challenges in commercial refrigeration and air conditioning.

What you’ll experience:

  1. Hear how the HVACR industry is addressing the growing technician shortage
  2. See the latest applications of natural refrigerants
  3. Review timely updates to energy and refrigerant regulations
  4. Learn about what’s on the horizon in the retail and foodservice sectors

E360 Forums have proved to be invaluable events, and we’re providing ample opportunities for you to have one-on-one discussions with experts and peers. Immediately following the breakout sessions, attendees and presenters can mingle at a networking reception from 4–6 p.m. And for those able to join us the evening before the event, we will host a welcome dinner on October 4 from 6–8 p.m. in the Chicago Marriott O’Hare hotel.

We hope you’ll be making plans today to add Chicago’s E360 Forum to your list of must-attend industry events in 2017.

When the Regulatory Push Comes to Shove

donnewlon Don Newlon | V.P./G.M., Refrigeration Marketing

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

This blog originally appeared in one of our E360 Outlook edition. Click here to read the issue in its entirety.

It’s been than more than two years since the Department of Energy (DOE) announced its final rule on energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. At the time of its 2014 announcement, many industry stakeholders expressed their objections to this standard, claiming that it was founded on insufficient premises and nearly impossible to meet.

The industry’s most substantial objection resulted in a formal petition submitted to federal court— one that consolidated the opinions of the American Heating and Refrigeration Institute, some of its member companies and the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers. In August, the Appeals Court ruled in the DOE’s favor, effectively quashing any hopes that the ruling would be amended or delayed. Any lingering questions about the implementation of the DOE’s new efficiency standard have been laid to rest.

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All stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment released after March 27, 2017, will need to achieve up to 30–50 percent reduction in energy consumption. Some OEMs have already cleared this hurdle. But, if you are an OEM who thought this deadline wouldn’t come to pass, and you have delayed research, design, development and testing of new products, you are no doubt feeling a new sense of urgency. The regulatory push has come to shove.

That’s why the “Countdown to Compliance” feature story in this issue is devoted to addressing this imminent deadline — not only what it means to OEMs, but also evaluating its larger impacts on the industry. In our Helix Highlight article, we’re also introducing a new simulation model for ice machines that can help OEMs with rapid prototyping and allow them to virtually test the efficiency impacts of system design and component changes.

It’s important to remember that the March 2017 compliance date is just the first in a series of regulatory milestones in the journey that lies ahead. We know there will soon be changes in acceptable refrigerants, and we’re well aware of the subsequent energy minimums to be enforced on other classes of commercial refrigeration equipment. The next several years will be full of challenges. Each regulation will need to be approached with specific technologies and strategies to achieve compliance.

Our commitment to helping our partners prepare for each step along the path to compliance is stronger than ever. To Emerson, it’s about more than seeking fresh approaches to system designs; it’s about helping the industry confidently embrace a new era of refrigeration. Regardless of where your company may be on its journey toward compliance, we have the resources and the willingness to help.

10 Key Commercial Refrigeration Topics Covered in Next E360 Forum

donnewlon  Don Newlon | V.P./G.M., Refrigeration Marketing

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

JOIN US in Raleigh, N.C., for our next free E360 Forum on Wednesday, March 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EST) at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Raleigh-Durham’s Research Triangle.

Since launching our E360 initiative in late 2014, our E360 Forum events have been instrumental in creating the dialogue needed to address the many challenges we face in commercial refrigeration. From the transition to environmentally friendly refrigerants and energy reductions to their impact on equipment performance and system architectures, we’ve looked at both the near- and long-term implications facing the industry and its professionals.

And as we’ve always stated, one company alone cannot solve problems of this magnitude. It will require the collective effort of our entire industry. That’s why we’ve sought the contributions of end users, OEMs, wholesalers and contractors — to make sure everyone’s insights are included. Although we have made considerable progress, there is still much yet to do.

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In our next E360 Forum, we’ll pick up where we left off and continue this important conversation. As usual, we’ll bring together leading experts to provide updates on the state of the industry, starting with a panel discussion featuring representatives from refrigerant manufacturers Honeywell, Arkema and Chemours. Then, we’ll host interactive breakout sessions on the most relevant topics to give attendees a chance to be heard and get their pressing questions answered. The list of topics include:

  • Panel Discussion: Making Sense of the Latest Rulemaking on Acceptable Refrigerants
  • Cold Chain Evolution
  • Utilizing Digital Retrofits to Achieve Capacity Modulation
  • CO2 Booster Systems From a Service Mechanic’s Perspective
  • Next Generation Refrigeration: Condensing Units
  • Understanding Applications for Alternative Refrigerants
  • How to Meet 2017/2020 Energy Regulations
  • Understanding Leak Detection and Implementing Effective Programs
  • Achieving DOE Compliance in Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
  • New Refrigerants Designation and Safety Classifications

Immediately following the breakout sessions, attendees will have a chance to visit with the event’s presenters and mingle with peers at a networking reception from 4–6 p.m. Also, for those able to join us the evening before the event, we will host a welcome dinner on February 28th from 6–8 p.m. in the hotel.

We hope you’re making plans to join us for this important industry event.

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