Copeland™ Compressor Electronics Technology Gives Contractors a Sixth Sense

Mar 21, 17 | HVACR Industry & Tech Tips, Industry Trends

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refrigeration system

This blog is a summary of the article Copeland™ Compressor Electronics Technology Gives Contractors a Sixth Sense from our recent edition of E360 Outlook. 


Compressor failure is a worst-case scenario in commercial refrigeration applications. For supermarket operators, it can mean catastrophic product losses compounded by the expenses of system maintenance, repairs and compressor replacement. For the service technician whose responsibility is to properly diagnose and prevent system faults before they occur, system failures can blemish their reputation.

In a perfect world, retailers would keep a dedicated service technician on-site to continuously monitor refrigeration system performance. But in reality, this scenario is just not feasible. That’s why the advent of built-in compressor electronics — like Emerson’s Copeland compressor electronics technology — is revolutionizing the commercial refrigeration service paradigm. Compressor electronics technology provides continuous system monitoring, placing protection and diagnostics at the contractor’s fingertips.

As contractors more frequently encounter these units in the field, the challenge is to not only embrace their obvious benefits, but to exploit their capabilities to their maximum potential.


Communications-enabled connectivity

Designed with advanced communication capabilities, compressor electronics technology allows contractors to accurately diagnose and troubleshoot system issues — either at the customer’s site or remotely via mobile device access.

    • PC interface kit— once at the customer’s site, contractors can connect their laptop to the compressor electronics module via a USB to RS485 cable. Software then gives the contractor visibility to real-time system data and historical performance to help them quickly analyze and troubleshoot system issues.
    • Remote access — for maximum contractor benefit, compressor electronics technology can be paired with a facility management or site supervisory system controller to extend its data to remote technicians in the field, a monitoring service, or a service department headquarters. With remote access, historic system data can be quickly accessed to analyze and troubleshoot errors.


Failure protection

One of the most obvious benefits of compressor electronics technology is its ability to protect the compressor from damage, primarily through its system trip or reset functions, including:

    • Incorrect phase rotation protection (scroll only)
    • Discharge temperature protection (optional on Discus™)
    • Oil pressure protection (Discus™)

In the event of a lockout condition that warrants compressor shutdown, compressor electronics technology will stop the compressor until the event has been cleared by the contractor (either remotely or on-site). Fault alarm codes tell the contractor the source of the issue so they can begin troubleshooting. This not only saves retailers the cost of replacing a compressor, it saves contractors time by providing advanced diagnostics through troubleshooting apps to determine the root cause of the problem in preparation for repairs.

Advanced diagnostics

Compressor electronics technology gives contractors a wealth of historical system data that they can use, both for troubleshooting current issues or preventing system failures before they happen. Following is a partial list of faults and key performance indicators available:

    • Over current protection
    • Over/under voltage protection
    • Unbalanced load detection
    • Liquid Injection
    • Anti-short cycle time delay
    • Digital fault code display/remote alarming
    • Locked rotor protection
    • Motor overheat protection (Discus)
    • Welded contactor protection (Scroll)


On-board compressor diagnostics make good sense

While the emergence of compressor electronics may present a learning curve for some contractors, there’s no questioning their benefits. Technicians can leverage the wealth of information available at the compressor to evaluate the entire refrigeration system. Not only does compressor electronics technology allow contractors to analyze and perform key actions remotely, it also gives them the tools to quickly and accurately diagnose system issues and conduct more productive s