Should you plan on using CO2 (carbon dioxide) refrigerant
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In This Issue CO2 In Your Future ........................................................... 1 How To Become A Fan Of Savings .......................................... 2 Unfrozen Asset: Refrigeration Engineering & Contracting Co., Inc. ... 3 What Does The MSCA Star Rating Mean?............................................ 3 What Do You Know? .................................................................................. 3 To Our Readers ............................................................................................... 4 CO2 In Your Future: Breathe a Sigh of Relief? Issue 1 By Peter Comeau S hould you plan on using CO2 (carbon dioxide) refrigerant for cold storage or freezing in your facility? It is listed as non-toxic and non-flammable and interest in its use is gaining interest from facility operators and owners. Your decision depends on: • your individual requirements • considerations for cost of operation • cost of construction • reliability and availability of new types of system components • the current knowledge and experience base of local designers and contractors. At this point, possibly the greatest deterrent from designing and installing a major refrigerated facility using CO2 could be the lack of good experience over an ex- tended period of time. These systems are gaining popularity in Europe, driven by regulations banning the use of CFC’s and HCFC’s. Some countries also have severe regulations on the use of NH3. OSHA and EPA regulations in the US and Canada concerning the use of NH3 have not changed dramatically in the past decade. It remains to be seen how much the increased use of CO2 in industrial refrigeration will be scrutinized by OSHA and EPA. Recently, there have been reports from European refrigeration experts that the interest in CO2 refrigeration for industrial facilities might be slowing. I am not certain about the reasons for this shift, but I am aware that recent manufacturer problems with CO2 compressors are of concern. The more important advantages and disadvantages when you compare CO2 Peter, a mechanical to an NH3 (anhydrous ammonia) system are as follows: engineer with advanced CO2 INDUSTRIAL REFRIGERATION professional training degrees, has completely PRO CON mastered the field • Ammonia leaks although rare can be hazardous. • It is critical that CO2 and NH3 do not mix, of industrial and creating a corrosive compound. commercial refrigeration. • Can eliminate ammonia within refrigerated spaces. • It is critical that CO2 and water do not mix, • Drastically reduce ammonia charges and creating a corrosive compound. confine to mechanical space. • CO2 operates at higher pressures, requiring • CO2 is non-toxic and non-flammable. special components. • CO2 can be used with many metals, reducing • CO2 cost of operation is higher than NH3 weight of unit coolers. systems for storage freezers. • CO2 cost of installation is higher due to more specialized and additional components. • There is currently less knowledge base on CO2 than on NH3 refrigeration. Continued on page 2 Refrigeration Engineering and Contracting Co., Inc. • www.reccousa.com GUEST CORNER How To Become A Fan Of Savings From a presentation by John P. Flynn, summarized by Peter Comeau (CO2 in Your Future? Continued from page 1) M ost of today’s refrigeration 7. Reduced “wind chill” and noise Conclusion systems take advantage of for workers. CO2 industrial refrigeration systems VSDs (Variable Speed Drive) are being built in the US and the DRAwbACk? or VFDs (Variable Frequency Drive) to number of future projects of this One of the major concerns in making maximize cooling efficiency on their type will increase. Facility owner the change to VFDs is that it will be main compressors and reduce energy demands for more CO2 systems will difficult to maintain consistent room costs.* Most of tomorrow’s systems will drive the refrigeration industry to temperatures—that the far reaches of go even further. Savvy refrigeration gain more knowledge, produce better the room might not receive the cold designers are starting to apply the VFD components and provide contractor air or that there will be stratified room principle to evaporative condenser and operator training. The level temperatures. However, in practice it fans and evaporator fans in refrigerated of interest will increase as more is often the case that there is very little spaces. facilities are built with this method of difference in temperature throughout 7 ADvANTAGES: the space with VFD driven evaporators. cooling. However, CO2 refrigeration There are at least seven reasons this In any event, a knowledgeable refrig- will not completely eliminate NH3 method of saving energy through eration designer can recommend refrigeration, as both refrigerants these airside components is becoming minimum evaporator speeds when are equally important parts of the so popular: considering required air throw distances, same system. A careful study must be 1. The aggregate horsepower on airside product requirements of airspeed, and made of many more facts about both equipment is substantial. temperature uniformity requirements. refrigerants before you can make an educated decision on which type 2. The reduction of consumed of system to select. We are ready to horsepower of the fans on airside The VFD drives represent a large work with you to plan either a CO2 equipment is much greater than with capital expense, but a review of the or NH3 system. compressors. In fact, it is by a factor expected load profile including pull of 3 (cubic). For example, if you down requirements, duration of reduce the speed by half, the ideal storage, seasonal operating conditions horsepower consumed will be just and the cost of power should be 1/8 of the full speed horsepower. evaluated to determine the payback 3. Because the capacity of the potential. Furthermore, many local condensers depends upon the utilities have rebate programs to ambient conditions, there is excess underwrite your cost and provide you capacity during a majority of the with a quicker return on investment. year allowing operation at less than *If you’re not sure about your installation, full load capacity (or at energy call 781-396-8780. Refrigerated Work Room Evaporators saving reduced speed!). 4. Newer fan drive motors are compatible with VFDs. Older motors should be evaluated for compatibility and for the length of the wiring run. Output filters may be necessary to protect the motors from VFD harmonics. 5. Quieter operation when at reduced speed and the elimination of belt noise during motor startup. 6. Reduced stress on the motors and lower in-rush current as the motors are smoothly ramped up to speed upon startup. 2 • IceSage Unfrozen Asset: F or Peter Comeau, the key to operate day-to-day; we took more of a unfreezing his company’s growth long view of it. (In terms of) knowing Refrigeration potential has come from opening what we had for assets and liabilities at Engineering and the door to expert assistance, as well as shaking up his business model. any given point in time, we had to take somewhat of a guess.” Contracting Co. Inc. Its been 11 years since Comeau and his Beginning in 2001, the Comeaus REFRIGERATION SERvICES FIRm wife, Lori, purchased Refrigeration engaged a series of business consulting REALIzES POTENTIAL wITh Engineering and Contracting Co. Inc., firms to assess operations and offer bETTER bIz PRACTICES also known as RECCO, which was advice on IT and software systems founded by Bill Hoover and Fred Antoon training, management practices and staff Boston Business Journal - Monday in 1969, for an undisclosed amount. training. Over the past two years, says October 30, 2006 - Sean McFadden Comeau, the company’s annual fees for Becoming chief of the Woburn-based, these services have exceeded six figures. full-service refrigeration systems design/installation/maintenance outfit, Ed Johnson, a partner at Feeley & says Comeau, who had actually begun Driscoll PC, a Boston-based CPA/ his tenure with RECCO back in 1977, consulting firm that RECCO has engaged required a fundamental shift in thinking. on an ongoing basis, observes, “Their strength was that they had a lot of repeat “Before we purchased the business, I had customers. So they were obviously no idea how much more of my time would doing something operationally well. be spent on education and managing Accountability and reporting were the big change,” says Comeau, who had previous areas that we needed to work on.” engineering and sales experience but limited management expertise. To view the last half of the article, please visit www.reccousa.com and A major concern, says the 56-year-old go to Cool Info. president, was that the appropriate systems weren’t in place to grow the company: “As a contractor, we didn’t INSIDE RECCO What Does the MSCA Star Rating Mean? Now you can benefit from working with an MSCA Star contractor. The Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) is the premier organization skilled highly skilled If you’d like to HVACR contractors. Only highly qualified engineering companies can subscribe to IceSage qualify for a UA Star Certification. It online or by mail, requires the exclusively ANSI-accredited and ISO 9000 qualified 1200 hour, five please email with year training program and more. your address and To receive the elite designation of MSCA Star, companies have to qualify first as a preference. UA Star. Then they have to demonstrate industry-leading competencies and performance in safety, training and education, and customer service. RECCO is proud to be among the less than 70 nationwide firms to qualify as a MSCA Star. It assures you of the finest service possible. IceSage • 3 To Our Readers More than the Tip of the Iceberg– tips that can help you increase efficiency, We hope that the tips you receive will help you in your business. To help us conserve energy, save money and deliver sage advICE that you want, prepare for the future. You are please email us your email address if receiving this newsletter because you we don’t have it. 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Throughout the • What to Expect from an Northeast and beyond RECCO has Efficiency Audit earned a reputation as the place “Where the Experts Go For Solutions.” Refrigeration Engineering & Contracting Co., Inc. 22 Sixth Road Woburn, MA 01801-1735 781-396-8780 Fax: 781-938-4171 www.reccousa.com Email: email@example.com Licenses: MA RCO20505 • RI 0006904 • CT 390632 If you have received Ice Sage in error or would like to unsubscribe, put VA 2705-042115A unsubscribe in the subject line and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.