Nine Reasons to Switch to a Variable-Capacity, Digitally Modulated Compressor

Jan 12, 16 | Solutions Spotlight

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In the foodservice, supermarket and transport industries, operators have varying options to attempt to overcome the hundreds of start/stop cycles a compressor can go through to produce the necessary refrigeration load on a typical day. Uneven rack systems still result in high cycling rates and do not offer the desired temperature precision. Hot gas-bypass systems are not energy efficient and are often unreliable. Even variable speed technology, while an effective form of capacity modulation, is cost prohibitive, especially when replacement costs are considered.


Copeland Scroll Digital™ and Copeland Discus™ Digital compressors deliver precise matching of capacity with refrigeration load
Copeland Scroll Digital™ and Copeland Discus™ Digital compressors deliver precise matching of capacity with refrigeration load

The Copeland Scroll™ and Copeland Discus™ digital compressors, on the other hand, offer a number of advantages in common refrigeration applications while overcoming the hurdles of some of the above-mentioned alternatives.

    1. Reduced food shrinkage
    2. Preserved brand
    3. Improved operator profit margins

Because digital modulation allows temperatures to be controlled within +/- 0.5 °F, operators can ensure they are maintaining the highest quality of perishable food items.

    1. Increased energy efficiency

Compared to other methods of modulation, digital compression is much more energy efficient and less costly to implement. Operators can expect as much as 10 percent energy reduction (up to 30 percent compared to hot gas-bypass systems).

    1. Fewer maintenance costs and improved system reliability

Digital modulation reduces start/stop cycling rates by up to 50 percent, which results in significantly less wear and tear.

    1. Reduced compressor cycling frequencies (from hundreds to teens)

One digital compressor can be used as the lead compressor and paired with fixed capacity scroll or semi-hermetic compressors.

    1. Lowered compressor investment
    2. Achieved energy efficiency targets

In multiplex refrigeration designs, a digital compressor can be used to run multiple fixtures throughout a restaurant or convenience store. Digital modulation has enough capacity to match the load of each fixture and/or allow the number of fixtures running to match the load requirements of the store at a given time.

    1. New-refrigerant friendly

Digital technology is available for the emerging class of refrigerants: new A1 refrigerants (such as recently approved R-448A and R-449A); R-744 in subcritical applications; and new blends as they become available.

This blog is a summary of article Variable Capacity Modulation Goes Digital in the latest edition of our E360 Outlook. Read the article in its entirety and download the digital edition.