Apache Junction, Ariz., is one of the harshest and hottest climates in the United States. Keeping refrigerated food fixtures cold when ambient temperatures frequently exceed 100°F — and sometimes exceed 115° — is a daunting task. Because of the extreme high temperatures in the area and roof temperatures exceeding 130°, air-cooled condensers are not considered an option.
Last winter Burke Alford, maintenance manager for the Safeway supermarkets, was faced with the dilemma of replacing another evaporative condenser. The water in Apache Junction is extremely hard and raised havoc with the copper tube bundles, according to Alford. And, since the supermarket chain believes in environmental stewardship, the solution had to include a way to save an enormous amount of water.