Natural refrigerants, integration and connectivity: how CAREL can help you achieve energy efficiency and sustainability

At the upcoming Euroshop, to be held in Düsseldorf from 26 February to 2 March, CAREL will demonstrate how to improve the performance of refrigeration systems while at the same time reducing the carbon footprint of the applications these solutions are integrated into, using three main tools.

CAREL know-how in Natref solutions
The first tool available to the commercial refrigeration market is the use of natural refrigerants, considered the most future-proof alternative for reducing the harm caused to the environmental by synthetic refrigerants. Specifically, CO2 and propane are the most widely-used in retail applications. To help its customers, especially OEMs, reduce the considerable research and development required, CAREL can now supply complete HeosBox units for semi plug-in cabinets operating on CO2. The same offering is available for manufacturers who prefer to implement Heos solutions using the individual components, in this case for both CO2 and propane. Semi plug-in systems, above all when cooled by a water loop, re cost-effective and sustainable, as the risk of leakages is drastically lower than in the traditional centralised approach with compressor racks and remote cabinets. Furthermore, the refrigerant charge can be reduced by up to 80% and the energy saving and maintenance options, including preventive maintenance, can be managed via Cloud.

There is now increasing demand for devices that can maximise energy usage and minimise waste. CAREL proposes DC technology, which involves continuous modulation of cooling capacity through synergy between electronic valves and variable-speed compressors driven by DC inverters. The synchronised action of these components not only optimises performance based on the actual load required, but also provides perfect knowledge of system operation. The Heos, HeosOne and Heosbox solutions are examples of components and semi-finished units for semi plug-in and plug-in cabinets with DC technology. The MPX range, on the other hand, is a series of controllers designed for remote cabinets, which incorporate energy saving functions even without embedded DC technology, in this case through the management of VCC compressors, including third-party models: MPXzero represents an entry-level option with thermostatic valve, while MPXone offers additional hardware capacity and performance, for example using an electronic expansion valve.

Synergy for sustainability
Sustainability is one of the key aspects in all the different stages of design and implementation of technologies in a food retail store. t-Store is CAREL’s modular and scalable solution that guarantees the highest levels of integration and optimisation of all the systems typically installed in a retail store, whatever the format. More specifically, it is a combined proposal of solutions and services that simplifies synergy between the typically highest energy consuming areas, reducing operating costs not only of food refrigeration, but also of heating and air conditioning systems, lighting and energy management, i.e. reading and monitoring the electrical parameters and overall consumption of the connected loads, so as monitor demand and avoid critical situations that can lead to hidden waste.
Moreover, in both the upgrade of existing systems and the introduction of new solutions, the emphasis always needs to be placed on simplicity and immediacy of use. Different combinations of options offered by CAREL allow considerable flexibility and adaptability: the solutions can be developed in collaboration with customers, offering all the necessary consulting. In the case of iJ, the family of parametric controllers for commercial refrigeration used in food service applications, CAREL offers software customisation and hardware configurability. Indeed, customers can create their own highly-customised appearance, using design elements such as textures, graphics and colours pertaining to the brand, and modifying the user interface with an application-specific and -vertical keypad.

Synergy also means ease of integration into the customer’s production environment. To meet this need, CAREL offers specific programming software, such as Sparkly, guaranteeing manufacturers the highest efficiency and flexibility in terms of production line programming. Integrating this software into production lines in fact fulfils quality and traceability requirements, managing functional tests at the end of the line and optimising logistics by reducing the number of products required with a single hardware solution.

A connected system is an efficient system
CAREL’s third tool for achieving sustainability is to no longer consider each “individual” unit but rather the concepts of connections and systems, and consequently multiple devices that exchange information with each other. All CAREL solutions feature a high level of connectivity, simplifying commissioning, monitoring and maintenance through specific software and dedicated apps. For example, the possibility for the iJW electronic controllers to be fully configured via a smartphone app or using a multilingual configuration wizard with guided questions, makes them readily accessible to technical personnel who are interacting with this type of product for the first time and who need to drastically reduce the time spent gathering information and in the field. Local commissioning via Bluetooth or NFC connection is immediate, as are service and maintenance. Finally, the same connectivity features can also be exploited by end users, through a dedicated app, allowing easier interaction with the refrigeration unit and simplifying daily tasks, such as automatically downloading HACCP temperature logs.