Voting open for Accelerate America's Innovation of the Year award

By Michael Garry, Jun 07, 2019, 14:42 3 minute reading

Cast your vote via the link below; the winner will be announced at ATMOphere America on June 17.

Voting is now open for Accelerate America's Innovation of the Year award. 

The award, to be voted on by the public leading up to the ATMOsphere America conference in Atlanta, recognizes companies that have developed an innovative natural refrigerant-based product expected to have a significant impact on the market. 

This year’s nominees are (see below for detailed description for each):

  • GEA's BluAstrum Ammonia Chiller 

  • Hussmann's microDS R290 Micro-Distributed Merchandiser Solution

Voting closes on June 17 

Voting is now open to the public, and closes at 3:00 pm EDT on June 17. The Accelerate America Awards, recognizing people and organizations excelling in advancing natural-refrigerant technologies, will be presented during a special ceremony at the ATMOsphere America 2019 conference in Atlanta on Monday June 17 beginning at 5 pm.

In addition to Innovation of the Year, there are four other awards presented:

  • Best in Sector: Food Retail 
  • Best in Sector: Industrial 
  • Best Contractor
  • Person of the Year

To submit your vote, click here

GEA BluAstrum Ammonia Chiller

The GEA BluAstrum chiller offers very high efficiency and compactness, and provides a low-charge natural refrigerant solution with ammonia.

The BluAstrum’s development focused on energy efficiency, using a highly efficient compressor especially adapted for speed control and with a vi range of 1.8 to 5.5.

Staunch collaboration with the heat exchanger manufacturer enabled close approach temperatures and a best-in-class performance to be realized.

This design and subsequent in-house performance testing resulted in the further development of liquid injection systems to provide flooded operation. In addition, designs for the liquid control and oil-return systems resulted in exceptional levels of performance.

The BluAstrum has an extremely low ammonia charge, between 0.38 and 0.64 lbs/TR across the range while high energy efficiency provides excellent SEER figures. Its compact design offers solutions with 50% less footprint when compared with traditional ammonia chiller designs.

Moreover, controlled by the GEA OMNI panel with the latest smart-sequencer, multiple unit installations become more efficient.

The design also grants the end user a competitive solution with low capital cost. Its high operating efficiency provides an excellent ROI as well as the all-important reduction of greenhouse gases.

From an operation and maintenance point of view, all service valves and components are easily accessible.

As an industry leader, GEA is committed to be a provider of refrigeration solutions using natural refrigerants.

Hussmann microDS R290 Micro-Distributed Merchandiser Solution

Hussmann is offering a full-size grocer merchandiser solution using propane (R290) refrigerant called microDS.

microDS is a simple micro-distributed solution that uses non-toxic, environmentally safe propane, a natural refrigerant that has excellent thermodynamic properties. Commonly used HFCs have a global warming potential (GWP) greater than 1,300 while propane has a GWP of 3, and its ozone depletion potential is zero.

Even with a tiny amount of propane – 150 grams or 5.3 liquid ounces per circuit – Hussmann has commercialized full-sized 12-foot open merchandisers and 5-door freezers.  This means that a complete supermarket would have a total refrigerant charge of less than 100 pounds or 95-99% less. 

Based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership, American supermarkets have an average refrigerant charge of 3,500 pounds, and a leak rate of 25% per year. That means the average supermarket leaks about 875 liquid lbs of HFC refrigerant per year. Collectively, those leaks cause roughly 206.5 million lbs of refrigerant to evaporate from the stores every year. The microDS merchandisers are a major innovation because they are hermetically sealed, charged, programmed, and tested during manufacturing to all but eliminate refrigerant leaks. 

Another important feature of the moicroDS solution is that the heat is rejected through a simple closed water-loop and air-cooled (dry) fluid cooler system. This helps reduce installation costs and timing as well as service-level support. With service personnel numbers shrinking, moving away from complex racks in mechanical rooms is becoming more and more important.  Eliminating the need for a mechanical room allows the grocer to repurpose the space in a remodel.

The ground-breaking and innovative microDS store solution is a game-changer in refrigeration with the potential to dramatically shift the industry to natural refrigerants.

By Michael Garry

Jun 07, 2019, 14:42

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