The Retrofit Option

March 8, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
An Oregon supermarket is one of a number of sites that have had retrofits using HFC-427A.

When CFCs began being phased out many years ago, the refrigeration sector was most dramatically impacted because R-12 and especially R-502 were vital to the sector. The industry was able to come up with HFC alternatives such as 404A and 507. But the initial cost and oil issue (a POE instead of mineral oil) of HFCs, caused many involved in low- and medium-temperature applications to look at HCFC-22.

But now with virgin R-22 being phased out, folks are revisiting a new range of HFCs specifically targeted for low- and medium-temperature system retrofits.

One example is HFC-427A, which has already accumulated case histories and a track record at a range of sites. The refrigerant has nearly identical operating pressures and similar performance characteristics to R-22 for use in a wide range of air conditioning applications, according to Arkema, which markets the refrigerant under the brand name Forane® 427A. Arkema recently issued a report on four such projects.



SUPERMARKET

The Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets in Roseburg, Ore., retrofitted three racks, each with three to four semi-hermetic compressors. Store maintenance manager Frank Bartyzal said he was interested in R-427A because it could match R-22 capacity and efficiency while reducing compressor discharge temperatures.

The retrofit involved compressors from 22 to 30 hp. The mechanicals included a low-temperature rack for ice cream cases (-25°F evaporator, -10° case temperature), a low- temperature rack for frozen food (-15°, 0°), and a medium-temperature rack for deli cases and store heat reclaim (20°, 38°). The overall initial charge was 2,400 pounds.

According to a statement from Arkema, “The retrofit was a success with case temperatures maintained at the desired set levels while reducing compressor discharge temperatures. In addition, the retrofit actually reduced the total operating energy costs of the racks by an average of 7 percent.”



WAREHOUSE-TYPE SUPERMARKET

Fiesta Food Warehouse in Fontana, Calif., also retrofitted three racks each with three to four semi-hermetic compressors. The structure is a warehouse type of store. Engineering supervisor Tim Grant was looking for a greener substitute for R-22.

In each store there were systems at 25°, 15° and 35° with a total of 12 compressors divided among three section groups with two receivers. The compressors used alkyl benzene oil which was kept following the conversion. No components were changed during the retrofit except the filter driers. There were minor setting adjustments to the TXV and controls to optimize the system.

According to Arkema, “The refrigeration racks at the store reached their set temperatures quickly after the retrofit. Operating pressures were at similar levels with R-427A as with R-22. Compressor discharge temperatures were significantly reduced after the retrofit, which indicates the compressors are now running cooler than before.”



BABY FOOD FACTORY

Les Aliments La Mere Poule is a baby food factory in Saint-Leonard, Quebec, Canada. The retrofit project involved a food preparation area where a R-22 refrigeration system uses a semi-hermetic reciprocating compressor with a rooftop-mounted condenser and a ceiling-mounted evaporator assembly. The total refrigerant charge was 55 pounds of R-22 and room temperature was the 55°F needed in the prep room during food processing operations.

According to Arkema, “Initial readings were taken to establish the system’s performance with R-22. Recovery of the R-22 was followed by a change of the compressor oil to POE, replacement of system filters, and deep evacuation. Optimizing of the system charge produced the same charge weight for R-427A as was used with R-22.” There were no other changes.

“Operating pressures with R-427A were close to those measured with R-22, while compressor discharge temperatures and amperage draw were both lower.”



COMPUTER ROOM AIR CONDITIONING

R-427A was used to retrofit an air conditioning system for a computer server room at the Canada Revenue Agency in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The room is cooled by two identical air conditioning systems. So in this case, it was decided to do a side-by-side comparison by putting R-427A in one system and the other continuing to use R-22. Each system has two individual circuits powered by reciprocating compressors. There were also reclaim systems for capturing high-side heat rejection for domestic water heating.

“After recovering the R-22 charge, the compressor oil was drained and replaced with POE, the filter drier was replaced and the system evacuated,” said Arkema.

“The service room is operating normally, with no noticeable differences in cooling performance. Operating pressures of the system were nearly identical for both refrigerants. A 40° decrease in compressor discharge temperature and noticeably lower compressor circuit draws were observed after switching to 427A.”

For more information, visit www.forane-us.com.

Publication date: 03/08/2010

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

Kyle Gargaro, editor-in-chief of The NEWS, hosted the 2014 ACCA CEO Forum. At the event, six well-known, highly respected company executives, Gary Michel, Ingersoll Rand/Trane; Chris Nelson, Carrier Corp.; Chris Peel, Rheem Mfg. Co.; Rod Rushing, Johnson Controls; Brent Schroeder, Emerson Climate Technologies; and Doug Young, Lennox; provided individual industry outlooks and fielded questions directly from attending contractors. Listen to the entire event on the NEWSMakers podcast. Posted on April 14.

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con