In a test comparing an R448A-based ice merchandiser with a comparable unit using a propane (R290) condensing unit or an R290 refrigeration unit (including evaporator), U.S. manufacturer Tecumseh found that the R290 merchandisers used 40% and 34% less energy, respectively, and about 70% less refrigerant charge.
The case study was part of a presentation by Mario Gauna and Anthony Chambon, two Application Engineers from U.S. based manufacturer Tecumseh, at the ATMO World Summit 2022.
The ATMO World Summit 2022, organized by ATMOsphere (publisher of Hydrocarbons21.com) was held online around the world on March 30 and 31.
Tecumseh used its Celseon 2.0 condensing unit and its Complete Refrigeration System (CRS), both incorporating R290 and both with single-speed compressors, in the test. The ice merchandisers, which are typically located outside of convenience stores, were evaluated according to the ASHRAE-72 method of testing open and closed commercial refrigerators and freezers.
With the R290 systems, Tecumseh found “significant reductions in energy consumption and a reduction to the total charge amount needed to optimize this application,” said Gauna.
“Our evaluations revealed the Celseon 2.0 condensing unit performed with an energy savings of 40% and our Complete Refrigeration System recorded a 34% reduction in energy consumption when compared to the original R448A design,” he noted.
Seventy percent less refrigerant by volume was used to maintain optimal cabinet temperature in both of the R290 units.
In the study, the 2.8m3 (100ft3) baseline ice merchandiser used 510g of R448A, a 0.5HP hermetic compressor, a capillary tube metering device, and a 9.5mm (0.38in) tube-and-fin condenser
“As a pre-charged system, [the CRS] will eliminate the need for any unnecessary expenditures and is already optimized for any desirable cabinet temperature needed.”Anthony Chambon, Tecumseh
The same-size ice merchandiser with the Celseon 2.0 condensing unit retained the evaporator of the baseline unit and also used a capillary tube metering device. But it employed 138g of R290, and a 5mm (0.20in) tube-and-fin condenser with a slight modification.
The CRS is a self-contained system (with 130g of R290) that removes the evaporator from the cold space, “increasing the usable area for pack-out or merchandising,” Gauna said. No other adjustment was needed to the baseline cabinet configuration in the study.
Available in top-, bottom- or side-mount options, the pre-charged CRS “eliminates the need to invest in flammable refrigerant charging equipment,” added Gauna. It can be used in supermarkets, convenience stores and professional kitchens.
“As a pre-charged system, [the CRS] will eliminate the need for any unnecessary expenditures and is already optimized for any desirable cabinet temperature needed,” added Chambon.
Tecumseh introduced the CRS in 2019.
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