Several have started producing units, with further rollouts on the way.
Master-Bilt R290 unit
Following the lead of major foodservice equipment OEMs like True Manufacturing, Beverage-Air and Welbilt (Delfield), several other manufacturers are in the process of converting their units from HFCs to propane (R290).
The companies exhibited their products in May at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago, where they discussed their plans.
Master-Bilt, New Albany, Miss., has converted its small “novelty” merchandising cases to R290, and is in the process of transitioning its other foodservice cabinets to R290 as well, including its Fusion line, according to a company representative who declined to be named.
Continental Refrigerator, Bensalem, Pa., has so far converted a sandwich-unit freezer to R290, and is engaged in R290 tests on its other foodservice units, said Sean Maloney, a salesperson for the company. In line with this transition, Continental has issued an R290 service manual on principals and best practices for servicing hydrocarbon refrigeration equipment.
Blue Air Commercial Refrigeration, Gardena, Calif., plans to transition its foodservice equipment to R290 in the near future, said James Pak, chairman/executive vice president.
Over the past year, Chinese manufacturer ICCOLD has switched to R290 for glass-door coolers sold in the U.S., said David Chee, sales manager.
SandenVendo America, Dallas, has partnered with a large beverage company to test 60 vending machines that use R290 as a refrigerant, and now plans to begin producing the R290 machines on a new production line, said Mike Weisser, president and CEO.
SandenVendo previously had used CO2 and R134A as refrigerants in its vending machines