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The Helix: Bold Collaboration & Disruptive Innovation

RajanRajendran2 Rajan Rajendran | V.P., System Innovation Center and Sustainability

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

When Emerson first opened The Helix Innovation Center, we envisioned it as a catalyst to advance research and drive innovation for the global heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry.

In only a few short years, it has surpassed our best expectations, quickly becoming a place where industry experts can come together and work collaboratively to confront and solve some of the biggest challenges facing not just our industry, but our communities and the entire planet.

A perfect example of this is the work we’ve done at The Helix in regard to sustainable supermarket refrigeration. We recently introduced a new distributed scroll booster refrigeration architecture for retail operators that will help them meet their sustainability goals without introducing unnecessary serviceability complexities.

The Copeland™ scroll booster architecture helps reduce emissions from refrigeration systems by utilizing reduced charges of lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and system design strategies that maximize energy efficiencies. It is designed for maximum application flexibility and optimized for use with a low-pressure refrigerant, R-513A.

This flexible architecture fills an urgent need within the food retail market, which is looking for commercially viable technology and equipment that not only delivers efficiency and simplicity, but also provides a positive impact on the environment. Until now, there has not been a single system architecture that addressed the wide range of sustainability objectives, as well as system cost and long-term serviceability considerations.

The combination of high performance, sustainability and serviceability made the distributed scroll booster an ideal choice for the Gem City Market, a new small-format supermarket that opened this April in a food desert in Dayton, Ohio.

The work being done at The Helix became a focal point for the project as Dayton community members, city officials and commercial refrigeration industry leaders came together to identify a solution that met the market’s configuration of the distributed scroll booster system that met the store’s unique footprint, floorplan and refrigeration requirements.

Special thanks to business partners Chemours and Hussmann, and my own company, Emerson, for donating expertise, resources and equipment for this important installation

This is a great example of why we built The Helix. There is no shortage of great ideas, innovative technology and dedicated commitment in the industry. Our innovation center provides an ideal place where are these elements can come together to achieve great things for our industry and our communities.

 

 

 

Emerson Launches Copeland™ Variable Frequency Drives

Joe Summers | Product Manager,                                                                               Variable Speed & Integrated Solutions
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Improving energy efficiencies in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) systems is a goal shared by operators in many food retail, commercial building and industrial applications. Variable frequency drives (VFDs) can be applied to various fixed-speed system motors to control their speed and capacity, and in doing so, significantly reduce energy consumption and associated operating costs. Emerson is pleased to announce the launch of its Copeland VFD product lines, which are designed for maximum compatibility with Copeland compression products to reduce the costs and complexities of VFD implementation. You can read our latest E360 Product Spotlight to take a closer look at the improved system efficiencies that can be achieved in certain HVACR applications.

According to research from the Department of Energy (DOE), the commercial building sector accounts for 40 percent of the total energy consumption within the U.S. Among the greatest electricity consumers and energy cost contributors are the motor loads from mission-critical HVACR equipment.

From refrigeration compressors to the evaporator and condenser fans used in parallel rack and/or chiller applications, Copeland VFDs can be added to existing fixed-speed HVACR motors to help operators to quickly retrofit their facilities and achieve:

  • Significant improvements in system performance and reliability
  • Substantial reductions in energy consumption
  • Fast return on investment (ROI)

Available in two platforms and multiple connection options

The Copeland EVM VFD series is intended for chillers, medical refrigeration, display cases, walk-ins, reach-ins and other applications where less control functionality is needed.

  • Covers ½ to 30 HP range
  • Available in single- and three-phase input options
  • Equipped with onboard Bluetooth® capabilities for ease of use

The Copeland EVH VFD series is designed for large centralized racks, including CO2, advanced chillers, and industrial refrigeration applications that require more demanding motor control functionality.

  • Covers 1 to 250 HP
  • Available in three-phase, including 575-volt options
  • Delivers advanced motor control

These product lines offer a variety of connection options, including an onboard web server (available on EVM series only) and a multitude of available onboard communication options:

  • Modbus RTU or TCP
  • BACnet™ MS/TP or IP
  • Ethernet IP/TCP
  • Optional cards such as: CANopen, Dual Ethernet Port and Profibus

Benefits of variable-capacity modulation

Copeland VFDs allow facility operators to reap the benefits of variable-capacity modulation without swapping out their current HVACR equipment. Adding a VFD to a fixed-speed fan or pump motor can result in a 30 to 50 percent reduction in energy costs while allowing capacity to fluctuate from 10 to 100 percent. When added to a semi-hermetic compressor, a Copeland VFD provides a 15 to 30 percent reduction in energy costs while enabling capacity modulation from 40 to 100 percent.

These efficiencies are achieved via improved load matching, less on and off cycling, softer start-ups and faster temperature pull-downs — which also deliver the following system performance improvements:

  • Precise temperature and humidity control
  • Adaptable capacity for changing loads and weather conditions
  • Controllable noise levels

In addition, Copeland VFDs enhance equipment reliability through proactive motor failure prevention, advanced diagnostics, decreased susceptibility to power issues, and by greatly reducing the number of start/stop events.

Maximum compatibility with Copeland compressors and ease of use

Native software that supports the Copeland VFD platforms is designed to deliver optimal performance when paired with Copeland compressors, including: scroll, semi-hermetic and screw compression technologies. This software also provides the same optimization of the control algorithms found in VFDs designed for competitive compression technologies and general, multi-purpose motors, such as fans and pumps.

The Copeland VFD series provides maximum ease of use for contractors and end-users during installation, servicing and operation. An intuitive startup wizard, quick-start menus and simple connections make set-up fast and uncomplicated, while offering seamless integration with Emerson’s Lumity™ supervisory control platform including the E3 and site supervisor controllers.

Selecting the right model for your applications

To simplify the selection process, each Copeland VFD model is designed to accommodate dozens of general motors and compressor SKUs. In addition, Emerson’s online product information (OPI) tool can help you to determine which VFD is appropriate for your application. Simply locate the motor’s nameplate and then begin selecting and sourcing the best-fit Copeland VFD model for your application. Product catalogs and manuals are also available on our website for easy reference.

It’s also important to remember that sustainability initiatives are driving many U.S. states to offer energy-efficiency incentives to operators who implement variable frequency drives. Where available, we encourage you to leverage these incentives to reduce and/or offset your upfront costs.

Innovative Solutions to Sustain Our Communities

John Rhodes |Group President, Cold Chain
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Putting our technologies and knowledge to work in pursuit of a better planet is in our DNA at Emerson. It’s ingrained throughout our culture and reinforced in our Purpose: We drive innovation that makes the world healthier, safer, smarter and more sustainable.

Our newest innovation – a unique refrigeration technology developed at our Helix Innovation Center in Dayton, Ohio – will help the local community, where the concept first came to life.  Gem City Market, a collaborative grocery store with the mission to equip, engage and empower our neighborhoods will be the recipient of our donation which was made in partnership with Hussmann and Chemours who donated additional refrigeration equipment in service of this initiative. We are proud to help through one of our core areas of expertise: providing sustainable refrigeration technology that can help protect food quality and safety.

The location of Gem City Market qualifies as a “food desert,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. In order to meet the standards of a food desert, more than 40% of the population must have an income of less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty threshold and live more than a mile from a supermarket or large grocery store.

Food deserts are a persistent problem in many communities, and supply chain barriers to accessing healthy, affordable food contribute to this global issue. Many local and smaller retail stores within distance of underserved communities struggle to get their shelves stocked with local produce and fresh food due to the lack of perceived customer demand, limited technology and the lack of infrastructure to refrigerate these goods properly.

There are alternatives to costly full-scale refrigeration systems typically seen in supermarkets. Our new Copeland™ scroll booster refrigeration technology will help combat the issue of limited infrastructure to properly store perishables at Gem City Market. The first commercialization of technology developed at our Helix Innovation Center in Dayton, the Copeland scroll booster is a new-to-the-world flexible refrigeration architecture. This booster technology enables Gem City to use a lower global warming potential refrigerant to store food at its optimal temperature, helping them meet their sustainability goals and achieve stringent regulatory compliance.

Our scroll booster technology is a new architecture option for those who are in search of sustainable solutions – and is a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration. When committed people come together, we can create options for families to shop for nutritious food in their own communities. And when problem solvers come together in the name of leaving the world a better place, they are truly unstoppable.

 

Transform Commercial Kitchens with Automation

Paul_Hepperla Paul Hepperla | Vice President, Solutions Strategy – Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Commercial kitchens can maximize efficiency, increase food safety, and reduce labor costs by implementing internet of things (IoT) technologies into restaurant operations. So, why has the foodservice sector been relatively slow to adopt advanced, connected automation?

Transform Commercial Kitchens with Automation

That’s among the many questions discussed by a recent E360 panel of key industry stakeholders, including:

  • Chuck Guerin, vice president for controls of the Middleby Corporation, a leading manufacturer of commercial cooking equipment
  • Jim Kleva, director of equipment engineering of Wendy’s, a global quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain
  • Matt Toone, vice president, sales and solutions, cold chain, Emerson

They acknowledged that restaurants lag behind the digital transformation achieved in other industries, largely due to concerns about data security. Nevertheless, kitchen operators are in “an experimentation phase” with an eye toward how automation can enable them to optimize commercial operations.

New on the menu: Predicting what customers will order

Among the potential improvements resulting from IoT technologies are faster ordering, cooking and drive-through procedures for quick-service restaurants.

Kleva said the technologies at Wendy’s can potentially predict what customers will purchase before they order, making it possible to speed up cooking and service. In this scenario, smart devices, cameras and sensors would connect to identify individuals, access their purchase history, and provide real-time analysis of conditions at nearby stores, traffic patterns, weather and school events — all while determining the number of patrons in the store, cars in the drive-through area and consumers entering the restaurant.

How much of this is a good idea remains to be seen. Many consumers may welcome the option to speed up service by allowing businesses to identify them by reading their vehicle license plates or through the use of facial recognition technology. Other consumers will likely object, viewing application of these advanced technologies as intrusive.

“Currently, our customers don’t want us to go there,” Kleva said.

Consumers might be more comfortable with restaurants implementing technology based on the last time they ordered. In addition, this recognition technology could be used for much less-specific identification purposes, to determine whether incoming customers are children, adults or other demographic details which could help QSRs accelerate service levels.

“Even a five- to 10-second heads-up could make a huge difference in our drive-through operation,” Kleva said.

The amount of data — along with the hardware and software — to make this smart restaurant vision a reality requires investments in connected equipment. Middleby’s cooking equipment already offers data processing for menu pushes and service-related alerts.

“The next generation of technologies will assist restaurant managers not by just predicting what food is needed but also by automatically starting the cooking process,” Guerin said.

Top concerns: Data security and communications

Potential barriers to wider adoption of IoT in commercial kitchens arise due to concerns from business owners and consumers about the security of data collected, stored and shared by restaurant equipment.

Among the challenges: how to pull all of the data safely and securely into meaningful, useable information. QSRs must manage equipment from multiple providers, each often designed with communication protocols and connectivity standards that are proprietary.

“There’s not safety or a compelling critical infrastructure issue forcing the industry to adopt a standard system,” Guerin said. “As OEMs, we’re all competing and we’re all trying to figure out an approach that meets our customers’ needs.”

Standardizing commercial kitchen technology would enable the devices to communicate more easily while enhancing data security. One solution is the growing use of application programming interfaces (APIs), software that make it possible for one system to share information in precisely controlled ways with another system. It’s the path Emerson has chosen.

“Establishing a common architecture, or at least flexible APIs, will become more important as the foodservice industry becomes more connected,” Toone said.

Emerson can help automate your restaurant

Emerson is helping QSRs leverage IoT in commercial kitchens to exercise control over equipment and systems and automatically perform routine tasks. Our smart facility management and supervisory controls, food temperature probes and IoT technologies are helping QSRs monitor and control food storage and cooking temperatures to comply with food safety regulations and maximize food quality and consistency. Implementing the systems can either free up workers for other tasks or enable kitchen managers to reduce labor costs.

These efforts can provide commercial kitchen equipment that is financially viable and easily connectible across legacy systems and modern, IoT-enabled devices. Learn more by reading the final article of this series about IoT-driven kitchen automation. We welcome you to read article 1 and article 2 if you’d like to review the full series.

Raising the Bar on Innovation for Distributed Architectures

DiegoMarafon Diego Marafon | Refrigeration Scroll Product Manager

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

The food retail industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation. To stay competitive, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and store operators need solutions that promote integration, provide flexibility, but most importantly, produce relevant data insights. With the Copeland™ Indoor Modular Solution, Emerson has created the first end-to-end solution to the industry’s most pressing refrigeration challenges. Read more about this groundbreaking innovation in our recent E360 Product Spotlight.

Raising the Bar on Innovation for Distributed Architectures

Consumer preferences are prompting the creation of new — and often smaller — store formats. Corporate sustainability goals and environmental regulations are driving the expansion of new refrigeration technologies. And retailers need meaningful operational and energy performance data now — rather than after equipment fails, food safety is put at risk or higher-than-expected utility bills come rolling in.

OEMs and store operators require a smarter and more adaptable foundation on which to build for the future. In response, Emerson has introduced the Copeland Indoor Modular Solution. A 2020 AHR Innovation Award finalist, it seamlessly integrates refrigeration equipment with Emerson facility controls. It is the industry’s first all-in-one offering that includes hardware, software and services.

More capabilities in a low-profile package

Emerson’s Copeland™ Scroll variable speed compressors are trusted by OEMs for their superior reliability, efficiency, variable capacity and quiet operation. Likewise, Emerson’s ProAct™ Connect+ enterprise management software and lifecycle services help operators across the spectrum to unlock the full potential of their data.

The Copeland Indoor Modular Solution combines both to deliver:

  • High-caliber performance: The low-profile, quiet system enhances in-store customer experiences while the highly efficient modules perform well above the Department of Energy consumption targets for commercial refrigeration equipment.
  • Real-time access to data: Advanced electronics that easily integrate with facility controls help operators’ to monitor, triage and respond to issues.
  • Enterprise-level visibility: Remote monitoring of refrigeration, HVAC, lighting and other assets helps operators achieve their food quality, safety and energy performance goals.
  • Project certainty: Emerson-authorized technicians facilitate on-time, on-budget store launches.
  • Exceptional support: Emerson supports operators throughout the life of their stores with systems integration, commissioning, maintenance and aftermarket services.

Demonstrated value across the supply chain

The Copeland Indoor Modular Solution is designed for stores seeking to deploy distributed architectures. As a low-cost, small-footprint and low-maintenance alternative to traditional  large centralized systems and remote systems, it offers the adaptability that OEMs and operators require in today’s marketplace. But don’t let its slim profile deceive you. The Copeland Indoor Modular Solution is a workhorse that delivers advantages across the entire supply chain:

  • OEMs benefit from the configurability of Copeland products and a plug-in approach that accelerates time to market.
  • Store owners and operators benefit from Emerson technologies that can lower operating costs, provide precise refrigeration loads, help to prevent food loss, maximize merchandising space and ensure optimal in-store experiences.
  • Enterprise managers benefit from easy-to-deploy, standard refrigeration modules that minimize startup complexities and enable scalability for new stores; they also gain key insights into store performance, historic trends and outliers.

The industry-wide changes that are pushing OEMs and operators to be more flexible and adaptable are made more complicated by their interconnected nature. The innovative pairing of our comprehensive refrigeration portfolios with our proven solutions expertise equips stakeholders with the best toolset to overcome these challenges. In this respect, the Copeland Indoor Modular Solution is more than a data-driven solution.

Learn more about how the Copeland Indoor Modular Solution is setting a new standard for cold chain integration and automation by reading the full E360 article.

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