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Low-profile Compressors Deliver High Performance and Merchandizing Capacity

Julie Havenar | Director of Integrated Marketing, Cold Chain
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Self-contained refrigerated display cases have become essential fixtures in many food retail operations. Whether they’re used as spot merchandisers in larger stores, or as part of a distribution strategy in smaller-format outlets, these stand-alone systems offer merchandising flexibility while helping retailers achieve their sustainability goals. But checking all the boxes on an ever-expanding list of end-user preferences is no small feat for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In a recent article that appeared in HVAC Insider, I explored how low-profile compressors are helping self-contained OEMs to address equipment design challenges. You can also view our formatted article here.

Over the past decade, shifting retail market trends and environmental regulations have helped to drive the emergence of self-contained display cases. Not only are these multi-purpose fixtures used in a variety of everyday scenarios, but they have also enabled food retailers to comply with refrigerant regulations and support their broader corporate sustainability initiatives.

Meeting all these end-user requirements presents a unique set of design challenges for OEMs, including a mix of sustainability and practical considerations:

  • Utilize lower-global warming potential (GWP) A1 and A3 refrigerants
  • Achieve high-energy efficiencies and/or ENERGY STAR® certification
  • Maximize the available merchandising space

Balancing design considerations

The low charge refrigerant requirements of self-contained systems make them ideal candidates for R-290 —which has a GWP of 3 — as well also lower-GWP A1 refrigerants such as R-448A and R-449A. To Improve energy efficiencies or achieve ENERGY STAR certification, OEMs have deployed a variety of design strategies, including the use of large-capacity condenser coils. But these coils can take up precious merchandising space in the case itself and can leave less room for other key system components, including the compressor.

As a potential workaround, OEMs have adopted other design strategies such as placing the compressor and/or condensing unit on top of the case itself. Unfortunately, this strategy can create additional design drawbacks:

  • Increasing the overall size of the case
  • Limiting its aesthetic appeal
  • Creating higher noise levels throughout a store

Recent advancements in low-profile compression technology offer a potential solution. By reducing the size of compressors used in these self-contained applications, Emerson is helping OEMs to achieve their customers’ regulatory compliance and sustainability goals — without sacrificing performance, merchandising space or the design aesthetic of their display cases.

Keeping a lower profile

Today, Copeland™ leads the industry in the development of low-profile, fractional and smaller horsepower (HP) scroll and hermetic compressors — in fixed and variable speed options. Our low-profile Copeland hermetic compressor models are ideal for many smaller, medium- and low-temperature, reach-in units and display cases.

Fixed speed hermetic models are available in fractional ranges from ⅛ to 1¼ HP. Variable-speed models enable modulation from ⅛ to ⅞ HP and include an integrated variable frequency drive (VFD) with a smart controller to deliver additional energy-efficiency gains. Refrigerant options include R-448/449A and R-290.

Low-profile, horizontal Copeland scroll compressors deliver industry-leading reliability, efficiency and low noise levels. They are available in fixed and variable-speed models:

  • Fixed speed in ranges from 1 to 3 HP
  • Variable-speed models can modulate from ½ to 4 HP

Our variable speed horizontal scroll compressors are also paired with our advanced Copeland VFDs, EVM/EVH series, which provides a variety of additional performance enhancements:

  • Increased equipment reliability through proactive motor failure prevention
  • Decreased susceptibility to power issues
  • Reduced start/stop events
  • Full system integration with Lumity™ E3 supervisory control platforms

Low-profile Copeland scroll compressors are approved for use with A1 and R-290 refrigerants today and will be qualified for use with A2L refrigerants in the future.

Copeland variable speed compressors utilize brushless permanent magnet (BPM) motors, rather than traditional induction motors, to deliver the energy efficiencies needed to achieve ENERGY STAR certification. Variable-capacity modulation also provides advanced temperature precision a multitude of other reliability and performance benefits.

High performance in small packages

By delivering high performance in small sizes and fractional horsepower ranges, the Copeland low-profile compression portfolio helps OEMs to overcome design limitations and achieve their customers’ energy efficiency, sustainability and merchandising goals.

For those seeking a full condensing unit solution, Emerson works closely with OEM customers in the design and development of condensing units that utilize our low-profile Copeland compression technology. Whether you need fractional HP hermetic or larger-capacity, horizontal scroll compressors — in fixed and variable speed options — Copeland’s low-profile compression solutions and condensing units enable you to meet a wide range of design specifications.

 

 

Multiply the Advantages of Multiplex Refrigeration Systems

Julie Havenar | Director of Integrated Marketing, Cold Chain
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

The challenges that drive refrigeration system requirements in supermarket and restaurant applications have evolved significantly over the past several years. As operators respond to changing consumer behaviors and a shifting regulatory environment, multiplex refrigeration systems — where one condensing unit services multiple fixtures — are emerging as a refrigeration system of choice. In an article recently published in RSES Journal, I discussed the many advantages that multiplex refrigeration systems offer, including lower operating costs, improved temperature control and greater potential to satisfy environmental initiatives.

Building the business case for multiplex systems

In today’s ever-expanding selection of refrigeration technologies and architectures, supermarkets and restaurants have no shortage of options to choose from. However, not all strategies are created equal. As operators confront new and dynamic competitive pressures, their business requirements need to be carefully paired with a refrigeration strategy that can best meet their current and future needs.

System reliability will always be a primary requirement for any refrigeration system. But changing consumer behaviors are putting pressure on profit margins and driving demand for greater flexibility. And environmental regulations, combined with corporate sustainability goals, are creating urgency for greener technologies.

Multiplex refrigeration systems are rapidly emerging as a leading option that can satisfy all of these requirements. Multiplex systems are refrigeration systems that use minimal outdoor condensing units (OCUs) to provide cooling for multiple fixtures, including display cases, walk-in coolers, freezers and ice-making heads. Instead of the traditional one-to-one relationship of OCUs to refrigeration fixtures, multiplex systems expand this relationship to one-to-many, providing operators with greater flexibility in terms of system design.

Emerson’s Copeland™ digital outdoor refrigeration unit, X-Line Series is designed to allow operators to multiply the advantages of multiplex architectures. Many operators experience a variety of refrigeration challenges that multiplex systems are particularly well-suited to address, including:

  • A need to scale back refrigeration fixtures and/or refrigeration loads
  • Refrigeration units or loads that are oversized for the application
  • Excessive compressor cycling that negatively affects system performance
  • The imperative to improve food quality and extend shelf life by maintaining tighter temperature control
  • Constraints that prevent the installation of multiple fixed-capacity OCUs

And when the multiplex system is designed to use digital compression technology — like the Copeland™ digital scroll compressor — these advantages quickly add up:

Greater energy efficiency: Digital compression technology allows for variable-capacity modulation to precisely match individual load requirements. Whereas traditional fixed-capacity condensing units run at 100% all the time, digital compressors regulate capacity from 20–100% to meet true energy demand. This is a tremendous energy- and cost-saving benefit for busy foodservice and grocery store applications, where demand can vary throughout the day.

Reduced refrigerant charge: In addition to improving energy efficiency, multiplex systems reduce a system’s overall refrigerant charge by as much as 50%. Modern systems also support the use of lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant alternatives. As a result, multiplex systems can help operators to reduce their total equivalent warming impact (TEWI), which is a plus for attaining regulatory compliance and bolstering corporate sustainability initiatives.

Improved temperature control: Digital compression technology allows for tighter control of suction pressures and eliminates large pressure swings while maintaining setpoint temperatures at a much tighter tolerance. Even with the frequent opening of refrigerator, freezer and case doors, temperatures remain constant, thus safeguarding food quality and safety.

Enhanced reliability and protection: With digital compression technology, variable-capacity modulation can take place without cycling the compressor on and off. This limits the in-rush of currents that drive up energy use while reducing the wear and tear of short cycling. With fewer OCUs to commission and maintain, operators can expect to make fewer service calls.

Advanced visibility: Building management and supervisory platforms have become foundational to maintaining operational efficiency and reducing the risk of food loss. Modern multiplex systems have built-in controls to seamlessly connect with these platforms to enable real-time monitoring, remote diagnostics and supervisory functions. In addition to simplifying commissioning, this gives operators and contractors the ability to make system changes (such as changing a setpoint or accessing fault codes) on any web-enabled devices, rather than on the face of the controller.

Smaller footprint, bigger savings

The ability to support multiple fixtures with fewer OCUs provides operators with greater flexibility to do more within a smaller physical and environmental footprint. And with digital compression technology, operators can reduce the risk of catastrophic system failure and extensive food loss.

Emerson is committed to helping food retailers and restaurants get more from their refrigeration strategies. From our next-gen Copeland digital X-Line series to our Lumity™ E3 supervisory control, we provide the technologies to optimize operations, increase equipment uptime, safeguard food quality and safety, achieve sustainability goals, and decrease operational and maintenance costs.

 

How to Comply With DOE Standards on Walk-In Coolers and Freezers

Julie Havenar | Product Marketing Manager
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

In 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) passed its final rule on new energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers (WICFs). The ruling mandated new efficiency requirements on WICFs with dedicated condensing systems in both low- and medium-temperature applications. With enforcement of these requirements now having taken effect, I recently published an article for Contracting Business that explained the implications of the DOE’s ruling. View the full article here and read a summary of it below.

Per the ruling, 20–40 percent energy reductions are now required on WICFs smaller than 3,000 square feet manufactured after the following enforcement dates:

  • January 1, 2020, for WICFs with medium-temperature dedicated condensing systems
  • July 10, 2020, for WICFs with low-temperature dedicated condensing systems

Now that enforcement dates are here, industry stakeholders are tasked with verifying that they are achieving compliance with the DOE’s WICF rule.

Who and what does the ruling apply to?

The ruling directly applies to anyone manufacturing, producing, assembling or importing to certify WICF components. From a refrigeration system standpoint, compliant components refer to dedicated and packaged condensing units (indoor and outdoor) used in both new and retrofit applications, including:

  • Condensing units that are assembled to construct a new WICF
  • Condensing units used to replace an existing, previously installed WICF component (retrofit)
  • Condensing units used within packaged systems

Other components — such as unit coolers (evaporators), doors, panels and lighting — are also within the jurisdiction of the DOE’s WICF ruling.

Contractors and wholesalers can still use and stock condensing units that were manufactured before the DOE enforcement dates. All newly manufactured condensing units must be compliant if intended for use in applicable WICF applications, as defined by the DOE’s ruling.

How can you measure efficiency and achieve compliance?

The DOE uses a metric created by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) called the Annual Walk-In Energy Factor (AWEF) to evaluate a WICF system’s energy efficiency. This AWEF calculation is based on “a ratio of the total heat, not including the heat generated by the operation of refrigeration systems, removed, in Btu, from a walk-in box during a one-year period of usage for refrigeration to the total energy input of refrigeration systems, in watt-hours, during the same period.”

Per the DOE, there are several WICF equipment classes below the 3,000 square foot limit that must meet or exceed the minimum AWEF ratings based on capacity and application (e.g., medium- or low-temperature, indoor or outdoor). Condensing unit manufacturers and WICF original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must follow approved AWEF testing and certification procedures to meet or exceed the DOE standards.

How will the ruling impact you?

From OEMs and wholesalers to contractors and end users, the DOE’s WICF ruling has broad impacts throughout the industry. Because the DOE WICF ruling impacts both new and retrofit equipment, every segment of the commercial refrigeration supply chain will need to understand its implications. Here’s what you need to know:

  • OEMs —need to complete the engineering design cycle, testing and certification to sell new compliant equipment.
  • Contractors —must understand that if they replace a condensing unit with one manufactured after the DOE enforcement dates, it must be an AWEF-compliant unit. However, units manufactured prior to the DOE’s enforcement dates already in inventory may still be used.
  • Wholesalers —must be prepared for changing inventories and begin to carry only AWEF-compliant condensing units that were manufactured after the 2020 enforcement dates for the relevant WICF applications.
  • Design consultants —must be well-versed in the regulatory impacts to advise end users in the selection of energy-compliant, sustainable systems.
  • End users —need to select future-proof equipment that aligns with their long-term refrigeration strategies.

How is Emerson helping OEMs?

As a manufacturer of condensing units for a wide range of refrigeration applications, we manufacture WICF condensing units that have been certified as meeting the DOE’s minimum AWEF requirements. Compliance data is listed in our condensing unit AWEF product literature.

For WICF OEMs, using certified condensing units will help them meet the compliance requirements in one of their primary refrigeration system components. OEMs should be able to combine an Emerson AWEF-compliant condensing unit with any AWEF-compliant unit cooler in order to achieve compliance in a dedicated system.

So if you’re an OEM of walk-in coolers and freezers, you now need to manufacture WICFs that meet the DOE’s minimum AWEF standards. If you’re not sure how to proceed with this compliance process, you may consult with Emerson’s Design Services Network to expedite your product development, design and testing processes.

With our breadth of products, expertise and resources, we can help you achieve compliance and develop sustainable refrigeration strategies for your customers — and our future.

Celebrating Women on STEM Day

Julie Havenar | Product Marketing Manager
Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions Business

Every year on November 8, our nation pauses to recognize the collective importance of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEM/STEAM) within our educational curricula. For Emerson, it’s also a time to reflect on how these disciplines are critical to the success of both our organization and the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. This year on STEM Day, we celebrate the contributions of women in our organization and how STEM initiatives help to support the increased inclusion of women within our industry.

While women comprise more than half of the college-educated workforce in the United States, it’s estimated that only 29% are employed in science and engineering occupations. At Emerson, we believe in promoting workplace diversity and are doing our part to help close the STEM gender gap.

As part of our commitments to attracting, developing and retaining top female STEM candidates, we’ve developed a series of ongoing activities focused on professional development, social networking and outreach to youth and universities. Here are a few of the STEM-related initiatives we’ve promoted in 2020:

  • STEM kits: hands-on activities — Various Emerson locations created and distributed STEM kits to local elementary schools to inspire students to engage their creative thinking, imagination and ingenuity in the completion of hands-on tasks. Participants shared photos and videos of their activities for a chance to win a $50 gift card and be featured in future Emerson STEM videos.
  • Elementary school volunteering — On Valentine’s Day, Emerson employees from Kennesaw volunteered their time at a local elementary school to assist 3rd grade students with their STEM activity. While in the classroom, these volunteers were able to talk to students and answer questions about pursuing a variety of STEM careers.
  • We love STEM event — Over the summer, Emerson sponsored an elementary-level STEM educational event, which provided students with backpack kits filled with activity materials, instructions to complete projects and fun surprises.
  • Global webinar — In October, Julie Christensen, vice president, human resources measurement solutions, Emerson Automation Solutions, presented a webinar for attendees in the U.S., London and Singapore, entitled Emotional Intelligence: Your Hidden Superpower in a Changing World.
  • Guest speaker — Staff members from our office in Sidney, Ohio, were treated to a guest speaker who discussed the topic of Women Work Experience in Engineering.
  • TED Talk lunch and learn — This informative session featured TED Talk videos from female professional role models: Why Do Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads by Dame Stephanie Shirley; and The Secret to Giving Great Feedback by Leann Rennigner.
  • Halloween pumpkin painting and carving contest — The Sidney office also participated in a pumpkin decorating contest, which put participants’ artistic skills to the test by capturing the spirit of Halloween. Categories included: scariest, best carved, most STEM-related and most creative.

All these events and activities are representative of our continuing efforts to integrate STEM into Emerson’s culture and give more women seats at the science and engineering table. We truly believe that Emerson’s women in STEM are transforming our company by providing fresh perspectives and new insights that make us a more well-rounded and successful organization — while advancing our served industries and women’s participation in STEM disciplines around the globe. View this video to learn more about Emerson’s commitment to women in STEM.

How to Comply With DOE Standards on Walk-In Coolers and Freezers

Julie_Havenar Julie Havenar | Product Manager – Condensing Units

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

In 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) passed its final rule on new energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers (WICFs). The ruling mandated new efficiency requirements on WICFs with dedicated condensing systems in both low- and medium-temperature applications. With enforcement of these requirements now having taken effect, I recently published an article for Contracting Business that explained the implications of the DOE’s ruling. View the full article here and read a summary of it below.

Per the ruling, 20–40 percent energy reductions are now required on WICFs smaller than 3,000 square feet manufactured after the following enforcement dates:

  • January 1, 2020, for WICFs with medium-temperature dedicated condensing systems
  • July 10, 2020, for WICFs with low-temperature dedicated condensing systems

Now that enforcement dates are here, industry stakeholders are tasked with verifying that they are achieving compliance with the DOE’s WICF rule.

Who and what does the ruling apply to?

The ruling directly applies to anyone manufacturing, producing, assembling or importing to certify WICF components. From a refrigeration system standpoint, compliant components refer to dedicated and packaged condensing units (indoor and outdoor) used in both new and retrofit applications, including:

  • Condensing units that are assembled to construct a new WICF
  • Condensing units used to replace an existing, previously installed WICF component (retrofit)
  • Condensing units used within packaged systems

Other components — such as unit coolers (evaporators), doors, panels and lighting — are also within the jurisdiction of the DOE’s WICF ruling.

Contractors and wholesalers can still use and stock condensing units that were manufactured before the DOE enforcement dates for retrofit purposes. All newly manufactured condensing units must be compliant if intended for use in applicable WICF applications, as defined by the DOE’s ruling.

How can you measure efficiency and achieve compliance?

The DOE uses a metric created by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) called the Annual Walk-In Energy Factor (AWEF) to evaluate a WICF system’s energy efficiency. This AWEF calculation is based on “a ratio of the total heat, not including the heat generated by the operation of refrigeration systems, removed, in Btu, from a walk-in box during a one-year period of usage for refrigeration to the total energy input of refrigeration systems, in watt-hours, during the same period.”

Per the DOE, there are several WICF equipment classes below the 3,000 square foot limit that must meet or exceed the minimum AWEF ratings based on capacity and application (e.g., medium- or low-temperature, indoor or outdoor). Condensing unit manufacturers and WICF original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must follow approved AWEF testing and certification procedures to meet or exceed the DOE standards.

How will the ruling impact you?

From OEMs and wholesalers to contractors and end users, the DOE’s WICF ruling has broad impacts throughout the industry. Because the DOE WICF ruling impacts both new and retrofit equipment, every segment of the commercial refrigeration supply chain will need to understand its implications. Here’s what you need to know:

  • OEMs — need to complete the engineering design cycle, testing and certification to sell new compliant equipment.
  • Contractors — must understand that if they replace a condensing unit with one manufactured after the DOE enforcement dates, it must be an AWEF-compliant unit. However, units manufactured prior to the DOE’s enforcement dates already in inventory may still be used.
  • Wholesalers — must be prepared for changing inventories and begin to carry only AWEF-compliant condensing units that were manufactured after the 2020 enforcement dates for the relevant WICF applications.
  • Design consultants — must be well-versed in the regulatory impacts to advise end users in the selection of energy-compliant, sustainable systems.
  • End users — need to select future-proof equipment that aligns with their long-term refrigeration strategies.

How is Emerson helping OEMs?

As a manufacturer of condensing units for a wide range of refrigeration applications, we manufacture WICF condensing units that have been certified as meeting the DOE’s minimum AWEF requirements. Compliance data is listed in our condensing unit AWEF product literature.

For WICF OEMs, using certified condensing units will help them meet the compliance requirements in one of their primary refrigeration system components. OEMs should be able to combine an Emerson AWEF-compliant condensing unit with any AWEF-compliant unit cooler in order to achieve compliance in a dedicated system.

So if you’re an OEM of walk-in coolers and freezers, you now need to manufacture WICFs that meet the DOE’s minimum AWEF standards. If you’re not sure how to proceed with this compliance process, you may consult with Emerson’s Design Services Network to expedite your product development, design and testing processes.

With our breadth of products, expertise and resources, we can help you achieve compliance and develop sustainable refrigeration strategies for your customers — and our future.

 

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