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Copeland Digital Scroll Technology Used in Commercial Refrigeration
Dec 26, 2002
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Emerson Climate Technologies, a business of Emerson, has announced the availability of its Copeland Digital Scroll(TM) technology for application in the refrigerated transport industry. Thermo King, a division of Ingersoll-Rand and a manufacturer of climate control systems for global transportation industries, will use the Emerson technology to bring temperature control to refrigerated transport containers.

According to Copeland, Digital Scroll offers cooling equipment manufacturers a new way to modulate, or automatically adjust, the capacity of the compressor from 10-100 percent, so it precisely matches the refrigeration load. This approach has shown to increase energy efficiency by as much as 30 percent in transport applications, and is capable of holding a precise temperature to plus or minus half a degree, the company says.

"Over the years, we have carefully modified our scroll design to meet the specific needs of commercial refrigeration equipment, which experiences greater demands and harsher operating conditions than the traditional air-conditioning applications," said Thomas E. Bettcher, CEO of Emerson's Copeland Corporation division and business leader for Emerson Climate Technologies. "Now with Digital Scroll technology, we are working with companies like Thermo King to solve critical problems in a variety of applications."

In order for Copeland Scroll technology to efficiently operate within the higher compression ratios experienced by commercial refrigeration applications, Emerson says it has designed a more robust scroll that could guard against the heat buildup and gas re-expansion associated with these conditions. By incorporating additional new design features, such as vapor injection -- which increases system capacity while keeping the scroll elements cool -- the compressors can run more efficiently at continuous operation. According to the supplier, there are currently more than 500,000 Copeland Scroll compressors installed in commercial refrigeration systems globally.

Thermo King Chooses Copeland Scroll

Thermo King worked closely with Emerson to custom-design the Digital Scroll technology to power the company's Magnum(R) heating and cooling unit. The result is the first container refrigeration unit with the ability to precisely maintain -35 degrees C (-31 degrees F) in any ambient temperature condition, the companies claim.

This means transport companies can ship a wider variety of cargo at various temperature levels, from frozen ice cream to cool fruits and vegetables, with just one refrigerated container unit. The technology can also reportedly maximize product freshness, reduce bacteria growth, increase shelf life, and better maintain the quality of the product when it reaches its destination.

"Our sea containers face the worst operating conditions imaginable. They travel to every corner of the world, through extreme temperatures, sometimes running for hours-on-end in a high ambient environment," said Bob Johnson, vice president and general manager of Thermo King's Container Division. "Compressor reliability is crucial, and we have chosen Copeland Digital Scroll technology because we are confident it will easily meet our requirements."

The technology is also said to extend the usable life of containers. Currently deep frozen shipments (-29 degrees C/-20.2 degrees F) are limited to containers that are less than five years old. Thermo King's Magnum offers cooling capacity to maintain -29 degrees C throughout the 15-year life of the container. Its 20 percent lighter weight even allows many freight transporters to increase their cargo capacity by as much as 2.6 percent.

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