The vice president/general manager of refrigeration marketing and the integrated products division of Emerson Climate Technologies says that compressor technology is crucial to refrigeration efficiency.
Grocery Headquarters: What trends are seeing in terms of refrigeration equipment as it relates to new construction?
Jim Mozer: We are seeing more stores moving to systems that have lower refrigerant charges versus traditional rack systems. Distributed systems that are spread throughout the store and secondary systems are seeing rapid growth in supermarkets. The three key concerns that customers are telling us are the ability to properly diagnose and repair critical components to minimize downtime, reducing energy consumption without sacrificing product quality, and reducing the overall environmental impact of the store.
What about retrofits?
One simple solution is to install Copeland Discus Digital compressor technology to an existing system. By retrofitting only one compressor on a rack, instead of every unit, a supermarket can greatly reduce the compressor cycling and provide tighter temperature control, leading to increased reliability and greater efficiency. With one customer, we reduced compressor starts from 900 per day to only three per day. The Discus Digital technology has helped our customers realize energy reductions to their refrigeration system by as much as 7%, providing an excellent return on their investment.
How can compressors improve refrigeration performance?
The Discus Digital is an advancement in compressor technology and a simple way to modulate the output of refrigerant gas from 10% to 100% without the added cost or complexity of other modulation schemes, such as variable speed. The Discus Digital can narrow operating suction pressure by more than 80%, reducing energy consumption and extending product shelf life.
Can technology help avert refrigeration failures?
Emerson’s CoreSense uses the compressor as a sensor, providing early warnings and helping to protect the compressor from premature failures. Through the use of advanced embedded algorithms, the compressor can sense changes in the system and remotely send an alert directly to the customer.
With a growing interest in natural and sustainable refrigerants, what does Emerson have to offer in this area?
We offer a variety of refrigerants to meet with each end user’s specific sustainability goals. Emerson Climate currently has compressors approved for CO2, propane, R407C/A, R134a and R404A. As customers experiment with different refrigerants and architectures, we are able to work with them one-on-one to understand the total impact of the energy consumed as well as the global impact of the refrigerant. It’s not a one-size-fits-all market.
In the next 12 months, we expect to launch two new products. The first is a new family of Copeland Scroll compressors with significantly increased horsepower. The second product is an upgrade of our larger horsepower Discus lineup, allowing designers the flexibility to precisely match the requirement of the refrigeration system and meet the supermarket’s sustainability targets.