Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘HVACR’

Five Trends That Will Impact Retailers In 2015

RetailersRetailers are utilizing data-driven approaches to offset a moderate economy, varying consumer behavior and the continued rise of online competitors.

Read more

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:

Meeting the Comfort and Efficiency Needs of Restaurants

Anyone who has ever eaten in a hot, humid restaurant would agree – comfort is critical to enjoying any dining experience. Restaurants face tough air conditioning challenges. Food preparation areas produce significant humidity from dish washing, cooking and hot beverage service. Just a few feet away from the kitchen, customers and staff want a comfortable environment. This imbalance often creates humidity control problems, temperature swings, and over-cooling by traditional packaged rooftop units that cycle on and off. To function effectively, the air conditioning system must closely match a range of latent and sensible loads.

Meeting the Comfort and Efficiency Needs of Restaurants

Restaurant operators understand that the comfort of the customers and staff is important to creating a desirable environment. But they also have to keep a close eye on the budget. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, restaurants use about 5-7 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, such as office buildings and retail stores. High-volume quick-service restaurants may even use up to 10 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. Next to refrigeration, heating and cooling systems account for the largest portion of a restaurant’s annual energy use.

In restaurants, both a comfortable environment and energy costs matter a great deal. Restaurant operators cannot afford to waste their operating budget on high energy costs driven by oversized mechanical equipment. Recent advances in HVAC controls technology and capacity modulation methods are now featured on equipment that can closely match variable loads that are common in restaurants. These facilities require equipment that can effectively and efficiently cool or heat large spaces when they are filled with people, large spaces with just a few people, or during food preparation – a real design challenge. These modern HVAC systems with capacity modulation can quickly pay for themselves in restaurants simply through the energy savings generated from modulating back in off-peak conditions. These systems also provide optimum comfort during both peak and non-peak periods.

HVACR compressor manufacturers strive to deliver high levels of efficiency, comfort, and reliability in a market that also demands affordability and compliance with environmental laws. Today, a complicated combination of regulatory requirements and customer preferences is driving manufacturers to achieve unprecedented levels of compressor efficiency without sacrificing reliability and comfort.

Compressor suppliers have responded to this demand by providing innovative products that can help air conditioning original equipment manufacturers improve system efficiency. This is achieved through modulating capacity technologies where the cooling capacity of the system is tied to the load, not an application’s peak requirements. Modulation makes it possible to tailor compressor performance to changes in ambient and varying load conditions, which eliminates big swings in temperature and relative humidity levels throughout a building.

These innovative products address the key needs of facilities where comfort and operating costs are critical to the success of the organization. Ask your equipment distributor or contractor about new modulating capacity cooling systems for the most comfortable environment and the lowest energy costs.

For more information go to

Brian Buynacek, PE, LEED AP
Sr. Refrigeration Engineer
Emerson Climate Technologies

Balancing Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Supermarkets

Supermarket, grocery, and many retail operations must balance refrigeration loads with shopper comfort while keeping an eye on electricity usage and operating budgets. One way that operators are reducing energy costs is by retrofitting open refrigerated supermarket display cases with transparent doors. While this retrofit can save significant energy costs, it must be planned carefully both from a refrigeration standpoint as well as air conditioning. Overlooking the impact on the HVAC systems when reconfiguring refrigeration equipment can lead to problems.

Balancing Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Supermarkets

It is obvious to most people that open display cases consume more energy than cases with doors. Anyone walking down the dairy aisle at the supermarket can notice that the entire space is significantly colder than the rest of the store. The largest consumption of refrigeration system energy in a supermarket is from the open display cases, because they are subject to much higher heat loads than cases with transparent display doors. To say that the frozen food case is air conditioning the entire store has a hint of truth to it!

To reduce energy consumption, many retailers are now either retrofitting the open display cases with transparent doors, or replacing the cases altogether. Many retailers opt for lighting and fan motor upgrades at the same time, which bring additional energy savings. However, open refrigerated display cases remove large amounts of heat and humidity from the surrounding store space as cold, dehumidified air escapes the case through infiltration. This results in a net increase in the building heating load during the heating season and a net decrease in the building cooling load during the cooling season. When the refrigerated cases are reconfigured with doors, the level of infiltration is greatly reduced and thus changes the total HVAC loads.

In supermarkets and other retail buildings, the HVAC system was originally sized and designed to account for the interaction with the refrigeration equipment. Changing the heat load on the HVAC equipment requires a reassessment of the HVAC system configuration to ensure continued optimal performance. As part of the planning of the retrofit or reconfiguration, it is important to analyze the performance of the HVAC equipment, taking into account the contribution of the retrofitted cases on the system, for both winter and summer operation. A qualified HVAC contractor can determine if changes to the system are needed.

Besides cooling and dehumidification on the sales floor, many refrigeration systems impact the air conditioning system in another way. If the refrigeration system includes heat reclaim, calculations should be performed to evaluate the new heat output of the refrigeration system when operating in conjunction with the newly retrofitted cases. A smaller refrigeration load and system often reduces heat output. Heat reclaim systems need to be evaluated, and additional heating load requirements should be taken into account.

Refrigeration system improvements can result in significant energy savings, but the impact on air conditioning systems must also be taken into account. Including a qualified HVAC contractor in the planning process will help.

For more information go to

Brian Buynacek, PE, LEED AP
Sr. Refrigeration Engineer
Emerson Climate Technologies

Webinar Wrap-Up: Preparing for the EPA’s Proposed SNAP Refrigerant Rule Changes

In my recent Making Sense Webinar “Staying Ahead of Rulemaking Proposals on Acceptable Refrigerants,” I explored the implications of the EPA’s recent significant new alternatives (SNAP) policy on supermarket and foodservice refrigeration applications. On August 6, the EPA also issued a notice of public rulemaking (NOPR) in the Federal Register, giving all stakeholders 60 days to comment on SNAP’s proposed delisting of refrigerants. The moves are a follow-up to the EPA’s recent stakeholder meetings to discuss the global warming potential (GWP) of HFC-based refrigerants, and explore which ones could be delisted and what their replacements might be.

While the EPA’s rulemaking on refrigerants is still undecided, it seems inevitable that two of our industry’s most common refrigerants — R404A and R507A — are likely to be delisted. Stakeholders can prepare now by educating themselves and getting engaged. Here are three important considerations to help you find solid ground amidst this very fluid situation:

  • How will your application be affected? Each new alternative refrigerant presented for approval has very specific application parameters. For example, retail food refrigeration and vending machine application will require different alternative refrigerants. Make sure you know what the impacts will be on your application. Here’s the EPA’s official SNAP website:
  • Comment on the NOPR through October 6. If you have concerns, unique equipment and application requirements, or disagree with the proposed delistings, make sure your opinions are made known to the EPA by commenting on the NOPR. Failure to comment may be interpreted as tacit agreement with SNAP rulings.
  • Carefully evaluate the alternatives. When considering replacement refrigerants, we must evaluate their key characteristics to minimize unintended consequences. This holistic view encompasses safety (toxicity, flammability, pressures), performance (physical properties, capacity, energy efficiency), economics (technology and equipment impacts, TCO) and of course, environment (regulatory requirements and life cycle climate performance).

As a component manufacturer, Emerson Climate Technologies is doing everything it can to stay ahead of proposed rulemaking by closely evaluating the viability of alternatives. In my webinar, I was fortunate enough to be joined by distinguished spokespersons from major chemical companies formulating the next generation of synthetic refrigerants. Patti Conlan, Fluorochemicals Market Manager from Arkema, Samuel Yana Motta, Refrigerants R&D Leader from Honeywell and Barbara Minor, DuPont Fellow from DuPont provided updates on the performance and GWP potential of each company’s future refrigerants. Since Emerson Climate has been participating in the EPA’s discussions for quite some time, we have already identified a class of viable synthetic and natural refrigerant alternatives — from R407A/F and CO2 to R290 — and are preparing in advance for product qualification.

There’s no question that the path before us is a challenging one. Low GWP options will have implications on safety, performance, economics and the environment. And finding options that strike a balance between all these factors will be the key to adhering to SNAP’s requirements in all applications.

If you’d like to hear my recent Making Sense webinar in its entirety, you may listen to it and other archived webinars on our website. Stay tuned for further updates on this dynamic topic as we Make Sense of the issues that matter most in commercial refrigeration.

Rajan Rajendran, Ph. D.
Vice President, System Innovation Center and Sustainability
Emerson Climate Technologies

%d bloggers like this: