Supermarket Refrigeration Systems Are Constantly Evolving

Apr 19, 18 | Cold Chain, Food Retail

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This blog summarizes an article from ACHR News, entitled “Supermarket Refrigeration Systems Are Constantly Evolving.” Click here to read it in its entirety.


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The supermarket refrigeration industry is becoming increasingly more complex. Emerging technologies for refrigeration system architectures and a shift toward more environmentally friendly refrigerants have both caused contractors to alter how they approach work in today’s market.

We recommend looking at the situation from the points of view of supermarket clients.

“Choosing a refrigeration system used to be all about energy efficiency, but many customers today have different things they’re trying to optimize,” we said. “Energy efficiency is still important, but many customers also are seeking to reach environmental or sustainability goals. In fact, for some, that’s their primary motivation. So, be aware that there will be some segmentation of the end-user base, depending on customers’ particular goals.”

Customers are pursuing refrigeration architectures because of the benefits they want to receive from them. Knowing the needs and goals of each individual client can help contractors provide clients with the proper architecture, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to service.

Customer needs and goals aren’t the only things evolving. Technological advances in commercial refrigeration are coming at a rapid pace, especially pertaining to CO₂ systems. Andre Patenaude, Emerson’s director of solutions integration, noted that these advances in CO₂ systems are benefiting both new and current technologies.

“Many of the energy-saving features on CO₂ systems can actually be applied to current HFC systems if end users want to keep their old systems but reduce their energy footprints and maintenance costs,” Patenaude said. “There are ways of significantly improving the systems we already have.”

Along with CO₂, propane is also gaining popularity as a refrigerant in smaller, self-contained cases. With its charge limit of 150 grams per refrigeration circuit, it can be easily integrated into display cases that combine several circuits.

“It’s not going to be any one thing that dominates the market in the future,” we said. “Given that, we think the best advice we can give to supermarket contractors is to discuss what their end users’ long-range plans are. Learn what’s important to them, and then help them understand the system architectures that would be the best options for their stores.”