Naturally Cool: NASRC's New Commercial Track at IIAR Conference & Expo

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For the first time, the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) has curated a NEW Commercial & Food Retail Track for the 2019 IIAR Conference & Expo (March 3-6, Phoenix, Arizona). While this event has traditionally focused on the industrial sector, this new track will incorporate the NASRC’s network of industry experts to explore groundbreaking ideas and trends in commercial refrigeration through technical papers and presentations, and panel discussions.

The IIAR Conference & Expo is widely recognized for bringing together a diverse group of industry experts to provide the largest natural refrigerants product exhibition in the United States, highlighting the latest technology innovations and products from leading manufacturers, contractors, and other service providers. With over 1,500 attendees last year, this conference provides opportunities to network and collaborate with some of the greatest minds in the natural refrigeration community.


Get a sneak peak of a few of the Commercial & Food Retail Track sessions below:

Case Study: The First Commercial Propane/Carbon Dioxide Cascade Refrigeration System in North America

This technical paper and presentation will discuss the first and only propane/CO2 cascade system in a North American supermarket, a pilot project intended to investigate the viability of this previously unused system option. Authors will explore the project roadmap and system design, approval and permitting process, cost comparison, and performance to date of this unique system.  

Supermarket Experiences With Low-Charge Ammonia

This panel discussion will mark the first discussion of end-users who have adopted ammonia/CO2 cascade systems. Panelists will examine their experiences with low-charge ammonia, including system performance, and barriers to adoption. This session will provide insights around questions, such as whether the perceived danger of ammonia is a true barrier, and what other barriers have prevented more supermarkets from considering low-charge ammonia systems.

Ready Or Not: Is Commercial Service Readiness A Barrier To Adoption?

Service readiness, including availability of service technicians, training resources, and certification programs, is often cited as a barrier preventing the adoption of natural refrigerant technologies. But is service readiness truly a barrier? Or is it a symptom of low adoption rates? This panel, composed of end users and service contractors, will explore this question and identify areas to address this barrier, true or perceived.

Click here To See A Full Commercial & Food Retail Track Agenda

NASRC Seminar Highlights Roadmap to “Future-Proof” HFC Alternatives in Supermarkets

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Baltimore, Maryland – On January 10th, the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) presented a Natural Refrigerant Seminar and Live CO2 Demo at the Danfoss Headquarters. Sponsored by CoolSys and Danfoss, the seminar shared insights on natural refrigerant applications in supermarkets, and why they are considered a “future-proof” alternative to HFC refrigerants. This seminar was attended by food retail end-users, service contractors, and other commercial refrigeration stakeholders, as well as utilities, government agencies, and nonprofits.

Danielle Wright, the Executive Director of the NASRC, kicked off the seminar with an overview of natural refrigerants, which include ammonia, carbon dioxide (CO2), and hydrocarbons. Wright discussed the significant climate benefits that natural refrigerants offer compared to commonly used hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, citing that HFC refrigerant leaks in U.S. supermarkets result in roughly 152 billion pounds of CO2e emissions annually. Wright also reviewed the wide range of natural refrigerant equipment options available on the market and the benefits and barriers to adopting these technologies.

One significant factor driving food retailers to consider natural refrigerant options is the increasing refrigeration regulations at the state, federal, and global level. Christina Starr of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) provided an overview of current refrigerant regulations and the role they are playing in the adoption of natural refrigerants. Most notably, Starr discussed the increasing commitments to reduce HFCs at the state level. Given the considerable climate benefits that low-GWP refrigerants offer, many states are announcing HFC regulations to help meet their climate goals. California was the first state to make a commitment to phase-down HFCs, with a goal of reducing HFC emissions by 40% by the year 2030. More recently, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Washington have announced HFC regulatory commitments.

“It is critical for States to understand the burden HFC regulations place on the supermarket sector,” said Danielle Wright of the NASRC. “Food retailers have a huge potential to help these states accomplish their climate goals, especially if proposed regulations reduce the barriers preventing the adoption of climate-friendly refrigeration alternatives.”

Incentive programs for low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants are one solution states are exploring to help offset the incremental costs that have been cited as a barrier to supermarket adoption of natural refrigerant-based technologies. Incentive programs have the power to accelerate the adoption of low-GWP refrigeration technologies, moving them closer to reaching economies of scale. Thus, these programs can decrease the cost barriers that prevent many supermarkets from adopting low-GWP technologies beyond the states administering the programs. In California, Senate Bill 1013 was signed into law in 2018, which included the approval of a state-wide incentive program for low-GWP refrigerants. Other committed states have announced an interest in pushing for incentives as well.

The second half of the seminar focused on CO2 as a refrigerant. Tony Lundell and Eric Smith of the International Institute for Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) presented on the status of their CO2 safety standard, expected to be finalized within the next year. This standard is intended to specify the minimum requirements for the safe use of CO2 as a refrigerant in industrial and commercial applications.

Peter Dee of Danfoss followed IIAR, with an overview of the “mega-trends” the commercial industry is experiencing, such as a rise in digitalization, increasing urban populations, and a changing climate. He also shared insights on the technological advances that have improved the performance of CO2 transcritical systems, allowing this technology to be adopted by more supermarkets. With refrigeration accounting for roughly half of a supermarket’s annual electricity use, the energy performance of a system is a significant cost consideration. The improved performance of CO2 transcritical has made it a viable option for more supermarkets in more geographic locations.

Danfoss closed the seminar with a live demonstration of a CO2 transcritical system using their mobile training unit. Attendees left the event with a more in-depth understanding of natural refrigerant options, the latest technology trends, and the barriers and solutions influencing the adoption of these technologies.

The NASRC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on advancing natural refrigerant adoption in supermarkets. The organization specializes in facilitating regionally focused and interactive events that leverage the expertise from their extensive network of members. NASRC members include manufacturers, service contractors, consultants, engineering firms, trade associations, nonprofits, refrigerant distributors, and nearly 21,000 supermarket locations in the United States.

Click here for a full list of NASRC members.

NASRC Member Discount at Natural Refrigerants Conference & Expo

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NEW Commercial & Food Retail Track 
Natural Refrigerants Conference & Expo

March 3-6th, 2019
Phoenix, Arizona 

Don't miss the NEW Commercial & Food Retail Track at the 2019 IIAR Conference & Expo in Phoenix, AZ. NASRC members access IIAR member registration rates (a $700 discount).

The IIAR Conference & Expo is widely recognized for bringing together a diverse group of industry experts to provide:

  • The largest product exhibition dedicated to the natural refrigerants industry;

  • The latest technology innovations & products from leading manufacturers, contractors, and other service providers;

  • Extensive networking opportunities. With over 1,500 attendees last year, this conference provides opportunities to network and collaborate with some of the greatest minds in the natural refrigeration community;

  • NEW! Dedicated Commercial Track with technical paper presentations, workshops, and panel discussions focused on food retail applications.

For the first time ever, the NASRC has incorporated our extensive network of industry experts to explore groundbreaking ideas and trends in commercial refrigeration. 

Click here to view the Commercial & Food Retail Track agenda.

Güntner U.S. Joins The North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council As A Gold Member

Rolling Meadows, Illinois— Güntner U.S. has joined the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) as a gold member. The NASRC is an action-oriented 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to overcoming the barriers preventing the widespread adoption of natural refrigerants in supermarket applications.

Natural refrigerants, which include carbon dioxide (CO2), ammonia (NH3) and hydrocarbons, offer future-proof solutions to increasing refrigerant regulations at the state, federal, and global levels. In addition to regulatory compliance, natural refrigerants also offer flexibility for the future, environmental sustainability, and in some cases energy efficiency benefits which lead to cost savings.

However, natural refrigerants are not widely adopted throughout the commercial refrigeration industry due to a unique set of barriers, including high upfront costs, slow-moving codes and standards reform, and a lack of available service technicians who are trained in natural refrigerants. NASRC works with Güntner U.S. and their other member organizations to directly address those barriers.

“Our mission at Güntner US is to provide innovative and high-quality heat exchanger products which are tailored to the specific needs of our customers. We are strong believers in the need for natural refrigerant applications in all retail and industrial markets and are proud to join NASRC.”

-Miguel Garrido, Güntner U.S. President

Güntner U.S. is part of the international global Güntner group, a component manufacturer of coolers, evaporators, air-cooled condensers, dry coolers, adiabatic coolers/condensers, and evaporative condensers for commercial refrigeration, industrial refrigeration, HVAC, and energy & process cooling applications.

Güntner has been an international leader for natural refrigerant technologies, and is well-known for their heat exchangers, which are designed to operate with natural refrigerants.

“Rapidly changing markets and regulatory updates demands strong cooperation with trustful experts to guarantee the reliability and life cycle of refrigeration equipment using all natural refrigerants. Güntner guarantees long-term partnership with our customers and joining NASRC further supports this effort.”

-John Gallaher, Business Development Manager of Güntner U.S.

In addition to manufacturers and suppliers like Güntner U.S., NASRC members include service contractors, consultants, engineering firms, trade associations, nonprofits, refrigerant distributors, and over half of the supermarket locations in the United States.

 “We are very excited to welcome Güntner U.S. to our network of industry leaders. As a global advocate for natural refrigerant technologies, their expertise will be of great value to our work to address the barriers of natural refrigerants.” 

-Danielle Wright, Executive Director of NASRC

For a complete list of NASRC members, click here.

More information about Güntner U.S. is available at www.guntnerus.com.

R3 Retail Development Joins the NASRC as A Silver Member

Camas, Washington—R3 Retail Development, an efficiency-oriented consulting firm, has joined the NASRC as a silver member. R3 Retail Development’s services include energy management, design, construction project management, building commissioning, and equipment supply. In 2018, they were named a Top 10 Energy Management Solutions Provider in the U.S. by Energy CIO Insights Magazine.

The NASRC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who works with over 100 commercial refrigeration stakeholders to overcome the unique barriers preventing the widespread adoption of natural refrigerants in commercial food retail applications.

R3 Retail Development has designed refrigeration and controls systems for the supermarket and light industrial industries for many years, and embraces new technologies that benefit long term sustainability for businesses and the health of the planet. 

“The transition of the industry back to natural refrigerants is a major step forward in the supermarket and cold storage industries to help reduce harmful effects on our environment. With HCFC and HFC refrigerants being phased out and becoming cost prohibitive, we work closely with our customers and vendors to evaluate natural refrigerant options to meet current corporate financial and sustainability objectives and mitigate future risk associated with refrigerant choice.”

-Rick Ferguson, Chief Engineer and Co-Owner of R3 Retail Development

Natural refrigerants, including carbon dioxide (CO2), ammonia (NH3) and hydrocarbons, offer many benefits to commercial food retailers, including flexibility for the future, regulatory compliance, and in some cases energy efficiency gains.

Despite their benefits, the supermarket industry has been slow to adopt natural refrigerants due to unique hurdles to adoption, including high upfront cost, out of date codes and standards, and a lack of trained service technicians.  

NASRC works directly with their members to tackle these barriers head-on through actionable solutions. In addition to R3 Retail Development, NASRC members include service contractors, manufacturers and suppliers, consultants, engineering firms, trade associations, nonprofits, refrigerant distributors, and over half of the supermarket locations in the United States. 

“It’s great to have R3 Retail Development join us in our work to overcome the barriers preventing the adoption of natural refrigerants by supermarkets. Their unique expertise touches on all facets of the industry and will no-doubt be a great value-add to our work.”

-Danielle Wright, Executive Director of the NASRC

More information about R3 Retail Development is available at https://r3retaildevelopment.com/.