DAYTON, Ohio — A model supermarket, complete with refrigerated display cases, dry goods shelves, and point-of-sale terminals is under construction by Emerson Climate Technologies as one of five research areas within The Helix innovation center on the University of Dayton campus. The 2,500-square-foot supermarket module will support research on supermarket and convenience store refrigeration, including system controls and alternative refrigerants, plus lighting and HVAC.

“Our work in The Helix will be highly collaborative,” said Mitch Knapke, director food retail marketing and business development at Emerson Climate Technologies Refrigeration business. “We look forward to the opportunity to get into this space with our customers and industry partners to test and evaluate new approaches to the retail experience, from food safety to lighting to HVAC and new refrigerants.”

Emerson’s supermarket module will include a transcritical CO2 booster refrigeration system, which will chill the model supermarket’s refrigeration cases, walk-in cooler, and support the HVAC system. The CO2 system will also be used efficiently to provide building heat, hot water, and even heat the sidewalk to melt snow.

Testing and research in the supermarket module will include temperature and humidity variations using an environmental chamber that can simulate -20° to 120°F. The facility will also feature Emerson controls and sensors.

“We want to study the entire supermarket and c-store experience, not just from an equipment standpoint but from the point of view of a shopper,” said Rajan Rajendran, vice president, system innovation center and sustainability for Emerson Climate Technologies. “We want to make this as real world as possible, looking at system performance on very hot days, for example, and evaluating systems holistically for their environmental impact.”

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Publication date: 9/4/2015

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