ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Tecumseh Products Co. announced that it worked closely with Hussmann Corp. to launch the first United States-based grocery store using propane (R-290) refrigerant. The newly opened Austin, Texas supermarket built by H-E-B Grocery uses self-contained refrigerated display cases throughout the store in order to comply with the lower charge requirements of hydrocarbon refrigerant R-290. A majority of the display cases and walk-in coolers utilize Tecumseh condensing units, over 40 percent of which are equipped with the company’s new AE2series high-efficiency compressor.

Tecumseh said it leveraged over 10 years of hydrocarbon application and compressor knowledge in developing the R-290 condensing units. The units are designed to deliver high efficiency and reliability while complying with the stringent safety approvals required for hydrocarbon refrigerants. Extra precaution was taken to minimize potential refrigerant leak points yet still allow for ease of serviceability. The reduced sound level of the AE2 compressor is another benefit, especially when considering the use of self-contained display cases.

Beyond application and design expertise, Tecumseh extended the use of its Global Technology Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., to validate refrigeration system performance for several display case types. Hussmann design and application engineers were able to remotely monitor the performance tests and work hand-in-hand with Tecumseh refrigeration engineers and technicians to make the appropriate system adjustments and condensing unit design changes.

“We are fully supportive of Hussmann and H-E-B Grocery Stores in their move to environmentally-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerants,” said Jeff Fordeck, Tecumseh North America vice president, sales and marketing. “While this project had its challenges, the resourcefulness and expertise of Tecumseh and Hussmann personnel are what ultimately contributed to the successful refrigeration system design.”

Norm Street, Hussmann’s director of new technology development, said, “We couldn’t agree more with Fordeck’s comment. Tecumseh was a key partner in proving out the refrigeration system design in terms of both performance and safety. While R-290 offers inherent efficiency improvements, the limited charge requirement presents some unique challenges that we were able to collectively overcome.”

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Publication date: 8/5/2013