ATLANTA — Emerson’s AHR booth showcased its solutions and award-winning products in the areas of human comfort, cold chain, professional tools, and building infrastructure. It also featured the company’s 2019 Innovation Award winning product in the Refrigeration category — the Copeland Scroll™ fractional-horsepower, low-temperature compressor. Also on display were four other finalist products:
- Supervisory Controls, which is a total-facility platform that helps retailers large and small monitor, optimize, and control their refrigeration systems, HVAC, lighting, and more.
- White-Rodgers™ universal single-stage furnace control for ECMx blower motors, which is an Integrated Furnace Control that provides control of the gas valve, ignitor, flame-sensing circuit, and the furnace blower in both air conditioning and heating modes and also provides diagnostics.
- Ridgid® Press Booster & Rings for MegaPress® XL, which enables contractors to press steel pipe systems from 2½ to 4 inches. Attaching to an RP330 or RP340 press tool, it makes fast, flameless connections in less than 25 seconds.
- Sensi™ Multiple Thermostat Manager.
The Sensi Multiple Thermostat Manager is a software application that can manage and control multiple heating and cooling systems via one convenient online portal. It is a viable solution for light commercial spaces, such as schools, churches, and retail, because it can easily connect multiple thermostats, making for a better end-user experience, said Ed Blittschau, vice president of marketing at Emerson - White-Rodgers.
Both the Sensi Touch Wi-Fi thermostat and Sensi Wi-Fi thermostat can save users about 23 percent of HVAC energy consumption by adjusting the temperature using flexible scheduling, remote access, and geofencing. In addition, the thermostat is now Energy Star certified, which gives contractors the opportunity to enhance cost savings with rebates offered through utility and energy companies, said Blittschau.
Sensi thermostats also provide seamless comfort and convenient control to homes and families using mobile device apps and smart home platforms such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit™, and Wink.
The Copeland Scroll fractional-horsepower, low-temperature compressor utilizes liquid-injection technology and cooling discharge temperatures to reduce compressor stress and meet federal regulatory requirements. The ¾- to 1½-hp offerings extend the existing Copeland Scroll ZF*KA and ZB*KA compressor lines by allowing OEMs to combine compliance efforts into a single design cycle for smaller low- and medium-temperature applications and deliver high efficiencies with reliable performance.
The ZF*KA models are intended for low-temperature refrigeration duty types and are ideally suited for applications such as walk-in freezers and reach-ins. The new ZF*KA fractional horsepower compressors are rated for use with new refrigerant alternatives R-448A/449A and existing lower-GWP HFCs such as R-407A.
THE YEAR AHEAD
Emerson is focused on several issues this year, noted Andre Patenaude, director of food retail marketing and growth strategy - cold chain, Emerson. For air conditioning, new Department of Energy (DOE) regulations will force residential and commercial HVAC systems to be 30 percent more energy-efficient by Jan. 1, 2023, which means the industry will need to start sorting through the ramifications of these changes.
Regulations will also take centerstage in 2019, he said, as California has taken the lead on HFC regulations in the wake of a vacated SNAP Rule 20, and from all indications, other states seeking to do the same will mirror this approach.
“The EPA is currently working on new regulations that will likely restore its authority to regulate HFCs — but to what extent is still unknown,” said Patenaude. “Meanwhile, revisions to safety standards governing A2Ls and A3s will likely result in charge limit increases.”
As far as the cold chain is concerned, Patenaude sees opportunities for stores through the convergence of facility, mechanical, electronics, and software systems.
“Evolving store footprints add to the challenges of optimizing HVAC, refrigeration, and lighting for maximum reliability and energy efficiency,” he said. “To create ideal shopping environments and keep operational costs to a minimum, retailers need ways to automate the management of these systems and reduce the burden of labor-intensive reporting tasks. We’re working with our customers to develop a combination of equipment and facility management controls that help deliver reliable refrigeration, advanced facility controls, and remote monitoring and resolution services.”
There are several interesting trends in the cold chain as well, including e-commerce, click and collect, home delivery, and the last mile challenge.
“Research supports the continued adoption of omnichannel food retail,” said Patenaude. “Today, 20 percent of Americans purchase some of their groceries online — a number that is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2025. Among those who haven’t purchased groceries online, a large percentage state their willingness to do so, across all demographic sectors.”
Finally, the growing shortage of qualified technicians will continue to be the greatest challenges facing the HVACR industry today, said Patenaude.
“It’s estimated that 115,000 HVACR technicians will be needed by 2022 to fill industry jobs in the U.S.,” he said. “Solving this problem will require a holistic industry approach that mobilizes all stakeholders — from contractors and wholesalers to technical colleges, trade associations, and equipment manufacturers.”
Publication date: 2/18/2019