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Posts tagged ‘Mike Saunders’

Designing HVACR Systems for Foodservice, Supermarkets and Cold Storage

Mike Saunders Mike Saunders | Senior Lead Innovation Technologist

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Many questions about the future of the industry were raised during an insightful panel discussion at our latest E360 event, which was held in Chicago on October 5. Highlights of the Q&A session follow. For more, watch the complete panel video.

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Panel participants:

  • Randy Mielke, president, Mielke Consulting
  • Tim Prater, president, Prater Engineering Associates
  • Charlie Souhrada, vice president, regulatory & technical affairs, North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers
  • Tony Welter, vice president/director of refrigeration, Henderson Engineers

How are regulations influencing system designs?

We need to have a balance among the “four Es”: energy, environment, equipment and economics. Manufacturers are looking for as many answers as possible. Each major retail chain seems to be taking a different approach, from trying everything to doing nothing.

What role are natural refrigerants likely to play?

We don’t anticipate a significant change in the air conditioners we’re specifying for commercial and industrial buildings in the next five years. However, it’ll be another story in 10 to 15 years.

The choices are tougher for foodservice and food retail equipment manufacturers because self-contained units are so important. Many are gravitating toward propane, which is creating new safety and security concerns at production facilities. Public perceptions about safety are another challenge.

CO2 and cascade systems are becoming more widely accepted in cold storage and commercial applications, where they’re now more frequently deployed. OSHA requirements are making many end users eager to keep ammonia charges low.

How are end user preferences impacting system designs?

Two key factors are the life expectancy of a building and who owns it. University and hospital buildings are expected to last 50 years or more. Their maintenance staffs can handle larger, more efficient systems like water-cooled centrifugal chillers. Large developers may want similar lifespans, but prefer less costly systems if they only plan to own a property for 10 years or so.

Cost always matters. Most owners just want to meet energy codes without breaking the bank. Another consideration is whether owners or tenants pay the energy bill. If it’s the owner, they’ll be more interested in efficiency.

Sustainability is important for owners who want LEED certification (about 20 percent). Cold storage is pushing toward central systems with as little ammonia as possible. They’re looking at their impacts on the environment, their surroundings, and even their building insurance.

Easily maintained systems encourage repeat business, but must be balanced against regional technician expertise.

How is the increased use of electronics changing the experiences of end users and contractors?

Many operators just want equipment to work. They don’t want a lot of technology or electronics. That said, intelligent systems help combat the technician shortage. Remote access from smartphones or laptops reduces maintenance staff needs, allowing facilities to rely more on contractors. Younger techs particularly want the technology to be more developed. They often ask, “Why isn’t there an app for this?”

For retailers it comes down to cost analysis. They want the latest technology, but only if it’s affordable and robust.

Careful Compressor Selection Improves Refrigeration System Efficiencies

In a regulatory environment where phase-down proposals for refrigerants containing HFCs are giving rise to a new class of refrigerant alternatives, retailers are faced with making decisions about how to design refrigeration systems. Our recent Making Sense webinar, entitled “Best Practices for Evaluating Compressor System Performance,” took a closer look at this issue to help retailers balance sustainability concerns within the contexts of evaluating operating costs, maintenance requirements and readiness of available technology.

From distributed DX rack systems that reduce refrigerant charge to cascading and transcritical booster CO2-based systems, today’s refrigeration systems are become increasingly complex in response to regulatory and consumer demands. Not only do these more complex systems reduce refrigerant charge, they also promise improved energy efficiencies and lower GWP potential. Choosing a compressor that meets these demanding requirements is a critical aspect of refrigeration system design.

Through Emerson Climate’s software-guided selection tools, we’re helping retailers make this important decision. When selecting a compressor that meets your application’s requirements, you must carefully evaluate factors that impact compressor performance:

  • Difference between mid-point and dew point
  • Compressor and evaporator capacity
  • Mechanical sub-cooling and vapor injection

Once retailers have a good idea of fundamental design conditions — from refrigerant choice and mid-point selection to minimum condensing temperature and liquid sub-cooling preferences — they can use our product selection software to recommend the best available compressor option.

As we explained in the webinar, we suggest the following best practices when selecting a compressor for your next refrigeration system:

  • Use mid-point, not dew point, as the basis of the decision, because that’s essentially what the refrigeration system is seeing.
  • To avoid oversizing your system, let evaporator capacity (rather than compressor capacity) inform the decision process. This provides a better reflection of how the system would operate.

At the end of the day, the primary goal retailers should keep in mind is to select a compressor capable of meeting the load at the highest ambient temperature while providing the best annual energy efficiency. To learn more about how to select the right compressor for your application, please visit our Making Sense website and listen to the archived webinar on demand.

Mike Saunders
Director, End User Technical Sales and Support
Emerson Climate Technologies

Next MAKING SENSE Webinar: Is It Time to Re-think Low Condensing Refrigeration?

Faced with increasing electricity costs and the desire to implement sustainable practices, operations managers are constantly looking for ways to reduce energy consumption in their refrigeration systems — and cut costs. One potential way to limit energy consumption is through operating a refrigeration system at lower condensing temperatures. By lowering the condensing temperature 20 degrees, you can potentially improve system efficiencies up to 35 percent.

For the next installment of our MAKING SENSE webinar series — taking place August 20 at 2 p.m. EDT — we will take a closer look at implementing low condensing in refrigeration systems. If you’re ready to cut energy costs through low condensing operation, this webinar will explain exactly how to do just that.

While operators have attempted to lower condensing pressures in the past, they were met with limited success. This presentation will not only explain low condensing operation and its associated benefits, but will also expose common pitfalls and teach you how to avoid them. In this free webinar, you’ll learn:

  • What is low condensing refrigeration?
  • How do you implement low condensing operation in today’s refrigeration systems?
  • When can you expect a return on investment?

In addition, we’ll look closer at the potential challenges you may encounter, explore some ideal applications for low condensing, and discuss implementation details. As is the case with all of our MAKING SENSE webinars, presenters will answer attendees’ questions at the conclusion of the presentation.

The presenters of the live, low condensing webinar are three of Emerson’s most experienced practitioners of refrigeration system optimization: 

  • Mike Saunders, director of end user technical sales and support, Emerson Climate Technologies
  • Mitch Knapke, food retail market manager, Emerson Climate Technologies
  • Andre Patenaude, director of marketing, Emerson Climate Technologies Canada

Join us August 20 at 2 p.m. EDT for this free webinar and learn more about how we’re helping the refrigeration industry MAKE SENSE of the issues that matter most. Register now by visiting our website at

Craig Raney
Director of Marketing, Refrigeration
Emerson Climate Technologies

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