Join us for our next E360 Webinar that will take a look at the latest refrigerant regulations impacting commercial refrigeration and AC applications on Tuesday, February 26 at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST for this informative update.
One of the greatest sources of uncertainty in today’s commercial refrigeration and AC industries is the topic of refrigerants. Regulations continue to evolve quickly, primarily aimed at phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with higher global warming potentials (GWP), which are used in many applications. What’s particularly challenging is how these rules can differ from state to country to region, making it difficult to adopt a common standard.
Globally, these efforts are spearheaded by the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty in which participating countries are working toward a shared goal of HFC phase-down via mutually agreed upon timelines. In the U.S., the regulatory climate continues to be unpredictable, but states such as California are leading the charge on establishing regulatory standards.
With new updates taking place seemingly every month, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay informed. That’s why we’re dedicating our next E360 Webinar to clearing the confusion in this turbulent regulatory climate. This webinar will be hosted by Emerson’s leading experts on refrigerant regulations: Rajan Rajendran, vice president, systems innovation center and sustainability; and Jennifer Butsch, regulatory affairs manager, air conditioning. Jennifer will present the latest updates to the refrigerant rulemaking while Rajan will offer his extensive insights on how to prepare for what’s on the horizon.
Attendees will learn:
How recent rulings have changed the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program
How the California Air Resources Board (CARB) continues to leverage the original SNAP ruling as the foundation for its regional HFC refrigerant phase-down efforts
An update on the potential for U.S. ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol
Status of the standards governing charge limits and safe use of A2L and A3 refrigerants, including the potential impacts on building codes
How the vacating of SNAP Rule 20 potentially impacts Section 608 in terms of governing leak repair and maintenance requirements
Availability of new low-GWP refrigerants
Register now for this informative and free webinar.
A quick two-minute read may be all the time it takes to keep up with the latest developments taking place throughout the food cold chain and its shared industries. That’s why we blog frequently about trending topics, emerging technologies and proven strategies for success. As a foundation of our E360 platform, the Climate Conversations blog is designed to make sure you’re the first to know about new industry opportunities, issues and ideas. Based on this year’s traffic to our website, we’ve selected the 10 most popular blog entries we published in 2018 — information as relevant today as the day it was posted.
Top 10 2018 Climate Conversations Blogs
Why Whole Foods Made R-290 Integral to its Refrigeration Strategy
It’s only natural. If any grocery chain was going to take the lead on committing to using all-natural refrigerants, it was Whole Foods. But finding a greener solution for their self-contained units was a struggle. Whole Foods took a giant leap by converting its stores to new propane-based refrigerant
R-290 and immediately saw a jump in energy-efficiency. Learn how this approach serves as a model for other progressive chains focused on natural refrigeration.
Can Amendments to Apprentice Act Address the Technician Shortage?
This blog is a short read of an ACHR News article regarding a possible solution to an enormous industry problem: the need for 115,000 new HVAC technicians in the U.S. by 2022. Each year, America’s college graduates riddle themselves with loan debt while pursuing white collar jobs — each with an average starting salary of $32,000. Yet, apprentice technicians earn an average starting salary of $60,000, and vocational students often enjoy subsidized training with no loans. The Apprenticeship Enhancement Act of 2017 could fast-track these apprentice programs, luring a new generation of motivated technicians into our industries.
Regulatory Landscape Presents New Challenges and Complexities
At the time this blog appeared, 10 EPA rulings targeting the commercial refrigeration industry were set to take place over the following four years. Since then, the landscape has changed dramatically, but many of these rules serve as the bases of new state initiatives and industry best practices. Regardless of which direction the regulatory wind will blow next, this blog presents a sensible, systematic approach to compliance, using collaboration and innovation to soften the impact of constant change. For the latest rulemaking on refrigerants, please view this regulatory update session from our most recent E360 Forum.
C-Store Trends Through 2025
Convenience stores have come a long way from displaying racks of chips and a Slushie machine. Drawing on a conversation with the editors of Convenience Store Decisions, we looked at trends such as the increasing emphasis on creating positive customer experiences and using inventory management tools to learn what customers prefer.
Understanding Applications for Alternative Refrigerants
The move to lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants such as new alternatives to high-GWP HFCs seems inevitable. But they are not “fill-and-chill” solutions; these alternative refrigerants present new operating challenges. For example, some run hotter in both low- and medium-temperature applications, requiring compressor cooling equipment. This blog introduces a video outlining various performance issues and requirements, as well as emerging refrigerant alternatives.
Natural Refrigerant R-290 Stages a Comeback in Refrigeration
Natural refrigerants such as propane (R-290) are not new to the scene. In fact, in the early 1900s, early refrigeration systems were based on naturally occurring hydrocarbons, which combined excellent performance with one noteworthy caveat: flammability. When non-flammable CFC refrigerants arrived in the 1930s, natural refrigerants took a back seat until the environmental consequences of CFCs became apparent. In the early 2000s, researchers took a new look at R-290 as a completely GWP-free, high-performance refrigerant for low-charge commercial refrigeration equipment.
Copeland Scroll Takes Home the Gold
When you spend years researching and designing a completely new compressor line that achieves an ideal balance of energy-efficiency improvements, environmental friendliness, reliability, safety and more, it’s OK to take a bow (and then get back to work). This year, the Dealer Design Awards recognized Emerson’s Copeland Scroll™ Fractional Horsepower Compressor line with its gold distinction, meant to highlight the latest, most innovative products in the HVACR industry and honor design excellence.
A Digital Transformation in the Cold Chain
As an introduction to Emerson Group President John Rhodes’ article on the need for tighter cold chain integration, this blog discusses how the internet of things (IoT) is connecting links in the global cold chain to drive food safety and freshness. Rather than a narrow focus only on the performance of disparate operators within the food supply chain, he encourages operators to integrate their data to build a truly connected cold chain. Combining the cold chain with big data gives operators a wide-angle view of where they can improve and innovate.
New Challenges Won’t Stop the Cold Chain Evolution
Today’s unprecedented environmental, energy and food safety regulations have created challenges that have become increasingly difficult to overcome. In this blog and accompanying video, Emerson makes the case that the industry can’t afford to lose progress in the face of an uncertain, dynamic regulatory climate. When change is inevitable, create a breadth of product offerings, take the lead in stewardship efforts, and keep an eye toward innovation. That’s what we’ve done to help you find your way through this maze of change.
R-290 in U.S. Commercial Foodservice The global HFC refrigerant phase-down has brought the natural refrigerant R-290 back into the spotlight. This blog tells the story of how one company, H&K International, put its head down to focus on creating successful R-290 based products. The company worked within the current charge limit for R-290 applications to create self-contained cases, condensing units and reach-ins. Learn how making the switch to R-290 is projected to save H&K’s customers almost $800,000 in energy costs over the next three years.
We hope these blogs help keep you informed and address your most pressing challenges. Be sure to bookmark our blog page and visit it frequently to read our latest posts. You can also sign up to receive an alert whenever a blog is posted so you’re always up-to-speed.
Emerson’s new CO2 Booster training unit is preparing to make several stops across the U.S. and Canada in 2019. Learn more about what this hands-on experience will offer attendees.
Adoption of the natural refrigerant CO2 (R-744) in commercial and industrial refrigeration applications is on the rise in North America and around the globe. With 0 ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, CO2 is considered the environmental standard by which other refrigerants are measured. But with its high operating pressures and unique performance characteristics, industry stakeholders have many questions about how to design, operate and service a CO2 system. That’s why Emerson is pleased to introduce its new, mobile CO2 Booster training unit.
The CO2 training unit is designed to give contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers and end users a hands-on experience and learn what it’s like to work on a CO2 refrigeration system. Launched in Canada in September, the unit has already visited locations in Quebec and trained more than 50 contractors. In early 2019, the unit will travel to the U.S. and make several stops, starting with an appearance in the Atlanta area timed to correspond with the conclusion of the AHR Expo. The current schedule is as follows:
January 16–17: Atlanta, Ga.
January 30–31: Orlando, Fla.
February 13–14: Rancho Cordova, Calif.
February 27–28: Elmsford, N.Y.
March 20–21: Cudahy, Wis.
April 10–11: Brantford, Ont.
Each stop will feature a two-day training session designed to accommodate 20 attendees and cover a wide range of CO2-related topics, including:
Subcritical vs. transcritical modes of operation
Overview of CO2 system architectures
Safe handling, maintenance and charging
Startup and shutdown sequences
Become familiar with CO2 and refrigeration system components
The open 360° view of the training unit allows attendees to familiarize themselves with the refrigerant and the components which make up a CO2 system. To demonstrate the volatility of CO2, the unit includes a phase change cell that shows how the refrigerant reacts to pressure changes. Starting in its liquid state, R-744 is subject to increasing pressures and begins its transition into a vapor state, then to a supercritical fluid, until it ultimately becomes a transparent gas. Then, as pressure is dropped within the cell, attendees can see the reverse of this transition as CO2 returns to a liquid state and then forms into a solid piece of dry ice.
The CO2 Booster training unit utilizes a full Emerson system that includes: low- and medium-temperature compressors, electronic controls, protectors, variable-frequency drives and transcritically rated electronic expansion valves. For ease of use, the unit is designed to improve the visibility of all components and dial gauges to demonstrate pressures and temperatures of certain elements.
The transportation container is designed for simplified transport and protection against the rigors of over-the-road travel. This container is also equipped with Emerson’s Cargo Solutions that allow live tracking of the unit’s location, ambient temperature and other conditions through Emerson’s Oversight app.
Registration for scheduled two day sessions is now open. The cost is $700 per person and includes all course materials, breakfast and lunch.
If you’re interested in learning more about CO2, be sure to reserve your spot (Class Title: CO2 Refrigeration) at an upcoming training session.
Ron Chapek | Director of Product Management/Enterprise Software
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions
I recently participated in an article for Winsight Grocery Business, which discussed the importance of keeping refrigeration and HVAC systems in harmony. Click here to read the full article.
Refrigeration and HVAC costs are among the biggest operational expenses a supermarket faces. The reasons? People create warmth. Refrigeration creates cold. Humidity creates wetness. And in supermarkets, HVAC systems constantly struggle to maintain the right temperature and humidity for people, equipment and products. With proper management and planning, supermarket operators can balance these factors and even optimize HVAC and refrigeration systems to work in coordination with each other.
The battle between HVAC and refrigeration
In most buildings, the job of an HVAC system is to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature for customers and staff. But HVAC systems face unique challenges in supermarkets. Coolers, refrigerated display cases, freezers and other units (particularly those without doors), pour cool, dry air into stores. This isolated cold air stresses HVAC systems year-round, as they have to increase heating during winter — burning a lot of energy — while leaving uncomfortably cold spots, even in summer. Your refrigeration equipment alters an HVAC load in ways most systems aren’t designed to handle.
Adding doors or replacing open units can reduce both the load and energy costs. But adding doors creates a different problem: they often fog up — which forces shoppers to open the doors to see what’s inside — defeating the whole purpose of having a door. Fog and frost occur when humid weather, steamy shoppers and chilly air collide.
A foggy situation
Door fogging is a symptom of a very tricky problem: keeping in-store relative humidity (RH) at the proper percentage. If humidity is too high, doors fog over and cooling coils frost up, forcing units to overwork. If the humidity gets even higher, water can condense on floors, walls and even dry-goods packaging. But if the RH is too low, the overly dry air can shorten the shelf life of fresh produce or wilt it.
Almost all the humidity inside a store comes from moister outside air, and it’s up to HVAC systems to lower that humidity to a slightly dry 45 percent RH — and that’s not easy.
The simplest way to do this is to super-chill incoming outside air, because as air cools, its humidity drops. But this wastes energy in two ways: it increases the refrigeration load on the HVAC and can chill the entire store. So, the air first has to be reheated before entering the store, producing yet another energy expense.
Another option to use a desiccant system in the HVAC unit to remove moisture. These systems are effective and reliable, but they require a lot of energy, especially for large spaces like supermarkets.
The article describes a simpler, cheaper solution. The compressors on your refrigeration equipment generate a lot of heat as they compress refrigerants. This excessive heat is usually vented outside the building, wasting a source of free heat. Today, systems can recycle, treat and mix this hot air to create ideal store temperatures and RH — at much lower overall costs.
Advanced systems harvest excess hot air in various ways. Some use the hot vented air instead of the HVAC heater to reheat super-cooled, dehumidified air and reduce reheating costs. Some systems use heat exchangers to recycle the vented hot air to heat a supermarket during cold weather. “Single-path” systems super-chill a limited volume of humid outside air to dry it, then mix it with uncooled air to produce just the right temperature/RH mix. Another system uses two cooling coils, one to cool the hot air as it’s being vented outside, so it can mix with outside air to reach optimal temperature and RH. The incoming air needs little heating or cooling as it reaches the second coil, which greatly reduces the workload on the HVAC system.
Instead of adding to your HVAC system’s workload, your refrigeration equipment can actually help reduce the load, lower your costs, and create the ideal climate for shoppers, employees and facility managers.
Ed McKiernan | President, Cold Chain, Electronics & Solutions
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions
Quickly find the topics you’re looking for in one place
In 2014, we launched the E360 initiative to facilitate an industry-wide dialogue that would foster collaboration among stakeholders and address the many challenges facing HVACR today. Since that time, we’ve explored myriad topics which cover a full spectrum of issues and applications that our customers encounter at various points along the food cold chain. This has allowed us to amass a wealth of valuable, informative materials in a variety of formats — from articles, case studies and white papers to videos, presentations and webinars. With the introduction of our new E360 Content Hub, we’re happy to announce that all of these materials are in one place — with neither a charge nor subscription requirements for you.
Multiple ways to search for topics
By aggregating our vast library of E360 resource materials into one place, we’re providing easy access to in-depth industry information in multiple ways. The hub is designed to give you the ability to browse topics related to your specific areas of interest, or perform a targeted search. To help you find what you’re seeking, we’ve organized topics according to industry, topic, product or content type. Under each category you’ll find content further organized into the following relevant sub-categories.
Distribution and Transportation
Food Retail and Grocery
Processing and Industrial
Connectivity, IoT and Insights
Energy, Utility and Power Management
Food Quality and Safety
Maintenance and Repair
Refrigerants and Refrigeration Systems
Apps, Software and Services
Facility Controls and Electronics
As we continue on this E360 journey together, we will continue to facilitate this important industry dialogue and develop the content that helps us all understand and address the challenges before us. Whether you’re at your computer or on your smartphone, the E360 Content Hub puts the latest developments in HVACR and the food cold chain at your fingertips.
So be sure to add this site to your list of favorites, and welcome to the E360 Content Hub: our industry’s most robust and comprehensive information repository.
Commercial & Residential Solutions is a global innovator of energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions for residential, industrial and commercial applications. www.climate.emerson.com