New regulations concerning the energy efficiency of commercial refrigeration equipment will come into effect March 27, 2017.
Over the next 30 years, the new standards will help cut carbon pollution in the United States by about 142 million metric tons, around the same as the annual electricity use of 14.3 million U.S. homes.
Why Commercial Refrigerators are Central to the Strategy
Commercial refrigerators, freezers and combination units are used to keep important, perishable products from thawing and going bad. Any wasted product is a loss for the retailer. Commercial refrigeration units must operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The new regulations require this type of equipment to become much more efficient, in some cases reducing the allowable energy use by about 50%. The benefits are twofold:
- Equipment becomes more economical for businesses to own and operate.
- Reduced demand on the electricity supply grid, a major challenge for utilities companies (especially during peak periods).
Meeting These Goals
To achieve these extreme goals, refrigeration manufacturers must completely redesign the equipment. This includes changes and improvements in most of the components and integrated systems through the entire refrigeration unit.
Every model must be completely reengineered, extensively tested and recertified for safety. The major changes we foresee include:
- Use of new refrigerants like propane R290, which runs about 10 to 15% more efficiently.
- New glass door technology reducing the level of door heating required to prevent condensation forming on exterior surfaces.
- New glass door technology improving the insulating value of transparent doors.
- Implementation of new electronically commutated motors (EC motors) which reduce motor energy consumption by as much as a whopping 70%.
- General, overall improvements to the design of the refrigeration system.
Why Wait? We’re Already on It
We figure a good thing is a good thing, and why wait to implement these environmentally and economically encouraging standards until 2017?
The new, compliant, energy-efficient models from Minus Forty will be available in the 4th quarter of 2015 – well ahead of the government mandated 2017 deadline.