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Posts tagged ‘energy’

Commercial Refrigeration Industry Prepares for Next Generation of Refrigerants


The commercial refrigeration industry is at a crossroads. In one direction, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to ban many commonly used refrigerants in favor of low-GWP alternatives. In the other direction, the Department of Energy (DOE) is mandating significant reductions in energy consumption for reach-ins, walk-ins and ice makers by 2017. If that wasn’t challenging enough, the two regulations at times conflict — with the DOE’s new standards based on the EPA’s delisted refrigerants.

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MAKING SENSE of Embedded Electronics in HVACR Equipment

While the prevalence of electronics continues to expand into nearly every aspect of our lives, the refrigeration and air conditioning industries have been slow to embed electronics in HVACR equipment. Unfortunately, the primary reasons for this reluctance can be attributed to a lack of awareness and education about the promise of electronically enabled systems.

For many OEMs, there is a fair amount of confusion surrounding the operation, maintenance and repair-ability of systems with embedded electronics. And among the consumer base, there’s a general misunderstanding about the value that electronics bring versus their perceived risks and costs.

Our next MAKING SENSE webinar will address these apprehensions and make a compelling case for electronic connectivity and system communications in HVACR equipment. Join us via webinar or in the booth at the 2015 AHR Expo on January 26 in Chicago, as we explore the potential of electronics and facilitate a panel discussion from Emerson’s lecture area in their booth, #5010, from 2–3 p.m. CST.


In this complimentary webinar, we’ll explore the many advantages of embedded electronics, including:

  • Accurately diagnoses system problems the first time
  • Limits misdiagnosis and call-backs
  • Establishes improved maintenance contracts through better communications
  • Increases productivity through prognostics that identify potential failure points
  • Improves OEM installation verification and subsequent warranty issues

In an industry faced with disruptive equipment failures, a declining number of qualified technicians and increased service costs, we think it’s time to re-evaluate the many benefits of embedded electronics. With their tremendous untapped potential, electronics hold the promise of ushering in a new era of reliability in HVACR equipment.

The webinar will be led by Mike Murphy of The NEWS and include a list of distinguished panelists from a cross-section of our industry, including: John Wallace of Emerson Climate Technologies, Randall Amerine from AT&T, Paul Stalknecht of ACCA and George Hernandez from the U.S. Department of Energy.

We hope you’ll join us via webinar or in the booth on January 26 from 2–3 p.m. CST from the AHR Expo show as we are making sense of embedded electronics.

Learn more and register by visiting our website at:

Improving the Bottom Line Through Energy Efficiency

Too often, commercial refrigeration operators decide not to upgrade the condensing units used on their walk-in coolers or freezers. The condensing units they’ve been using for years (or decades) are getting the job done, and the initial cost of upgrading equipment seems like an unsafe investment. Often, operators ask themselves: “Will I really see a return on this investment, and how long will it take before it starts to make money for me?” Both are valid questions.

The good news is that condensing unit technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace. And, with these advancements, ROI is achievable sooner than most operators can imagine. The Copeland Scroll™ Outdoor Condensing Unit (XJ Series) for commercial refrigeration is a perfect example. It combines the latest Copeland Scroll compressor technology, variable speed fan motor control, large condenser coils, and a high-efficiency fan blade to deliver up to 40 percent higher annual energy efficiency when compared to standard industry offerings. In fact, customers can typically expect an upgrade payback of less than one year based on energy savings alone.

In addition, each Copeland Scroll Outdoor Condensing Unit is equipped with standard on-board CoreSense™ diagnostics that provide field technicians with key information to quickly and accurately troubleshoot system issues, lower maintenance costs and eliminate nuisance service calls. Its built-in compressor protection capabilities also help to extend equipment life.

The other good news is that many utility companies are offering rebates for installing energy-efficient equipment, which helps to significantly offset your initial investment.

So my message to you is a simple one: take the plunge. If you choose the right equipment, your investment could start adding dollars to your bottom line.

To discover how much you could save on utility costs, check out our XJ Series Annual Calculator.

Craig Raney
Director of Marketing, Refrigeration
Emerson Climate Technologies

Webinar Wrap-Up: Four Ways Case Controls Can Achieve Cost Savings

I recently presented a Making Sense webinar with my colleague Seth Hoehn, where we explored the many advantages of shifting controls from the refrigeration rack to the case through the use of case controls and electronic expansion valve (EXV) technologies. Case controls can precisely monitor conditions in real time and offer dramatically improved operational and energy efficiencies, especially when coupled with the use of an EXV. At the end of the day, we detailed four ways that first costs and ongoing savings can be achieved through shifting controls from the refrigeration rack to the case.

  1. Electrical installation. A case control architecture provides savings through reduced field wiring: Up to 30 percent reduction in branch feeder wiring; potential elimination of circuit panels and breakers; elimination of line and low voltage control home runs to the rack; simplified connections at the case; and the installation benefits of OEM factory wiring.
  2. Piping and refrigerant. Shifting from individual liquid and suction lines at the rack to a loop system with common liquid and suction lines at the case reduces pipes, fittings, insulation, hangers and labor — and the potential for refrigerant leakage. The simplified piping results in material savings of up to 50 percent, and refrigerant charge reduction of 10 percent or more. This architecture also enables temperature and rack control at the case itself.
  3. Maintenance and leak reduction. Another benefit of the case control architecture is a reduction in commissioning/startup time by two to three days. This is due to quicker leak checks, reduced refrigerant charge, and not having to set superheat (since it is automated via electronics). The persistent data that’s available from the electronic controls and EXVs eliminates the need for seasonal maintenance and adjustments of mechanical TXVs, while providing “eyes into the system” for ongoing, remote visibility and diagnostics.
  4. Ongoing energy savings. The precise control enabled at the case level reduces energy used at the evaporator, eliminating the pressure drops and other parasitic losses associated with traditional systems. Case controls with EXVs allow for low condensing operation, which significantly reduce energy at the rack through continuous, automatic superheat regulation. Once installed, a case control system promises to deliver significant energy savings for years.

We often hear that a barrier to utilization of case controls and EXVs is the investment required to get started. But, as we’ve shown, equipment costs are quickly offset by the savings. When you consider the reduction in first costs — from simplified installation of electrical distribution and piping systems to faster startup times — and the ongoing energy and maintenance savings that can be realized annually, we feel there’s a compelling case to use case controls and electronic expansion valves.

Our next webinar will be presented live from the AHR Expo show floor in New York City on January 21, 2014 — details coming soon! If you want to view any of our previous Making Sense webinars, they are available for download on our website at

John Wallace
Director of Product Management, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

Making Sense of Energy-Reduction Technologies — New Webinar Explores Case Controls and Electronic Expansion Valves

I’m excited to announce that I will be presenting the next installment of our Making Sense webinar series on November 19 at 2 p.m. EST. It gives me a chance demonstrate how case controls and electronic expansion (EX) valve technologies can be used to shift control from the rack to the case and, in turn, reduce energy consumption and operating costs.

Today, many retail refrigeration operators deploy systems that are based on traditional system configurations. Despite advances in technology, the status quo is to enable control of refrigeration cases through the electrical panel and/or refrigeration room (or rack house). This centralized method has been adopted in large part as the industry standard, even though it gives operators limited control of their refrigeration system as a whole. What many operators do not realize is that case controls and electronic expansion (EX) valves represent more modern, viable options — allowing operators to exercise more precise system control at the case level, thereby achieving substantial improvements in performance, energy efficiency and system flexibility.

By using case controls and EX valves to enable control at the case level, modern retail refrigeration systems have the flexibility to dictate automated superheat control on a case-by-case basis. And, it’s a fresh alternative that offers many short- and long-term advantages over traditional rack house controls, from simplified installation and faster startup sequences to lower condensing pressures, reduced maintenance costs and long-term, energy-saving opportunities.

I’ll explore all these concepts and more in the webinar, including:

  • Background information on case controls and EX valves
  • The economics of different control methods
  • The many benefits of EX valve controls
  • How to use case controls and EX valves to achieve energy savings and maintenance improvements

So join me on November 19 at 2 p.m. EST for this free webinar and learn more about the case for case controls and EX valves. It’s yet another way we’re helping the refrigeration industry MAKE SENSE of the issues that matter most. Register now by visiting our website at

John Wallace
Director of Product Management, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

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