Welbilt switches to propane

By Michael Garry, Feb 10, 2017, 03:51 1 minute reading

The former Manitowoc Foodservice has converted all of its reach-in and under-counter units to R290 from R404A in time for new DOE requirements.

R290 units from Welbilt at the NAFEM Show

In preparation for the imposition of new efficiency standards by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on March 27, 2017, Welbilt (formerly Manitowoc Foodservice) has completed conversion of its reach-in and under-counter refrigerator and freezer units for chain restaurants to propane (R290) refrigerant from R404A.

The full conversion of those units to propane, completed late last year, followed a rollout of R290 units by a large chain customer, said Sara Sunderman-Kirby, product manager for Welbilt’s Delfield brand, in an interview with Hydrocarbons21.com at the NAFEM Show yesterday in Orlando, Fla.

As part of its conversion, Welbilt, based in New Port Richey, Fla., trained its service network “to prepare for the upcoming demand,” she said. “We really just trained the public and our customers on the safety and good benefits of R290, because instantly when people think of R290 there’s a lot of hesitation because it’s flammable.”

We really just trained the public and our customers on the safety and good benefits of R290.”
– Sara Sunderman-Kirby, Welbilt

With the charge limit of 150 g for hydrocarbons, Welbilt’s smallest unit “only has as much charge as a Bic lighter,” Sunderman-Kirby said. “When we let them know that they feel a lot better.”

Some of Welbilt’s custom propane units used in chef centers are being designed to be portable to meet local building codes that require them to be removed for inspection. They will be available by March 27, she said.

Welbilt’s propane units are 15% to 17% more efficient than their HFC predecessors and meet the new DOE efficiency requirements, she said, adding that the cost of both equipment types is comparable.

Manitowoc Foodservice announced on February 6 that it is rebranding to Welbilt, Inc.

By Michael Garry

Feb 10, 2017, 03:51

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