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issue: October 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Electronics Report
Cool Integration


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Refrigeration system engineers and end-users can now have performance information at their fingertips, thanks to a new controller with enhanced capabilities.

The latest addition to the E2 series of refrigeration controllers from Emerson Climate Technologies is said to offer equipment designers and supermarket operators a long list of benefits. According to the St. Louis, MO, U.S.–based company, its E2 RX facility management system controller contains new algorithms that improve refrigeration system performance by reducing compressor cycling and making compressor asset and performance information readily available. The controller manages low- and medium-temperature refrigeration cases, and it manages and monitors the refrigeration racks that contain compressors and valves necessary for proper system operation.

Dave Rohn, vice president of engineering of Emerson’s Retail Solutions division, says the real benefits come from improved integration between the new controller and the company’s Intelligent Store Discus v2.0 compressor technology. “This integration enables more information regarding the compressor’s performance to be shared with the engineers, service technicians, and users,” Rohn says. “Enhanced troubleshooting, improved maintenance records, and even reduced service calls are a few of the benefits of this integration.”

The technology behind the integration includes the controller’s new internal algorithms, integrated sensors inside the compressor, and the RS-485 Modbus communication bus setup between the two devices. The end result is reduced compressor cycling, which is a major cause of decreased equipment life. Reducing compressor cycling may even help reduce energy consumption. “The E2 has proprietary algorithms that prioritize the cycling of unloader stages before physically cycling compressors,” Rohn explains. “Emerson’s…compressor technology is also implemented with technology that denies the short cycling of the compressors.”

Together, the technologies can provide simplified compressor wiring on the rack; compressor fault and diagnostic information; quicker, simplified refrigeration controller setup; and additional control capabilities. The communication technology allows users to access data either through the keypad or remotely.

Integrating all of the technologies was not an easy design task, according to Rohn. “The challenge was to have the refrigeration controller algorithms operate the rack at peak efficiency in conjunction with the compressor electronics and algorithms,” he says. “Marrying these independent technologies, while maintaining optimal performance, was a unique challenge. This was overcome by integrating the solution in Emerson Climate Technologies’ Integration Center, where these technologies were jointly developed and tested by engineering departments from different Emerson divisions.”

Rohn says refrigeration system engineers looking to implement the new technology simply need to list out all points of control (outputs) and all control variables (inputs). “This is used to create a parts list of control equipment required,” he explains. “We also offer application engineers and knowledgeable sales engineers to assist an OEM’s product engineers when designing new and retrofit systems with E2.”

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Emerson Climate Technologies
 

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