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Give Your Refrigeration System a CO2 Boost

Capable of Making a Difference — Give Your Refrigeration System a Boost

Many businesses in recent years have been looking to “future-proof” their operations and the food retail industry is no exception. Supermarkets, convenience stores, and other food retail establishments have been turning to products and services that offer an environmentally friendly alternative for their business. Refrigeration systems and display cases are no exception. Companies are seeking equipment that withstands the impact of climate change, is energy-efficient and can accommodate technological and regulatory changes for the foreseeable future. When it comes to refrigeration systems, advances in technology have given manufacturers the ability to build and create systems that stand up to those

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CO2 Booster Systems Explained

Advances in technology have made the use of environmentally friendly CO2 refrigerant in booster systems practical across a wide range of applications. Since early this decade, supermarkets in North America have increasingly been coming to rely on these systems. Industrial operators are also beginning to appreciate their advantages. But not everyone understands how they work. Since the middle of the last decade, CO2 has been used as a refrigerant in both secondary and cascade-type systems across the grocery and supermarket industry. These approaches rely on CO2 as either a single-phase secondary coolant, or as a lower cascade direct expansion refrigerant.

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CO2 offers unexpected benefit: less product shrink

By Derek Gosselin Hillphoenix Systems Product Manager Today’s grocery shoppers demand more fresh offerings — from cut fruit to prepared meals — and this changes the profitability equation for supermarkets. Fresh sells, but as perishables become a larger percentage of a store’s mix, it’s essential to extend how long those products are fit for sale. That’s why grocers are adding doors to refrigerated display cases and employing new, moisture-retaining cooling technologies like Hillphoenix’s Coolgenix cases in the meat department. But there’s another product-shrink solution that comes as a bonus prize in a carbon dioxide-based refrigeration conversion: consistent cooling. Traditional hydrofluorocarbon-based

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CO2 Training Eliminates the Fear Factor for Refrigeration Technicians

Most technicians aren’t ready for alternative refrigeration changes on the horizon, but Hillphoenix is working (and training) hard to change that. By Rusty Walker Hillphoenix Senior Corporate Trainer One thing really surprised contractor Kurt Hugger about his CO2 training session: How simple it was to learn the alternative refrigeration system. “A lot of people are intimidated by CO2. But, honestly, it’s very easy to work on,” Kurt told me after completing one of our on-site training sessions at a supermarket in California where his company, CHM Mechanical, is based. “There are different components and pressures,” he noted, “but it operates

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Convenience and Drug Stores: Future-Proof Your Business with Natural Refrigeration

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC Convenience stores and drugstores have long had the luxury of being blissfully unaware of refrigerant environmental regulations. Historically, most retailers in this sector were able to meet their refrigeration needs with self-contained refrigeration equipment that uses less than 50 pounds of refrigerant, meaning that most of the EPA’s Section 608 regulations did not apply. Some larger convenience stores or other stores with slightly greater refrigeration needs may have used cool rooms and single condensing units, but overall, it was uncommon to hear of a convenience store with a full refrigeration system. But

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Ease of Installation Simplifies the Path to Small-Format CO2 Refrigeration

Ease of Installation Simplifies the Path to Small-Format CO2 Refrigeration

For small-format retailers interested in making the switch to natural CO2 refrigeration, their options just got considerably more appealing. AdvansorFlex, the latest addition to Hillphoenix’s evolving Advansor CO2 platform, is engineered to ensure straightforward installation and smooth operation from day one. Whether part of a new store construction or a remodels, the installation of refrigeration equipment is a major consideration in terms of project costs, feasibility, and completion time—particularly when minimizing downtime is part of the equation. With AdvansorFlex, scalability and ease of installation now go hand-in-hand. Less Onsite Prep Every feature of the AdvansorFlex CO2 system is designed with

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Easy Maintenance Is a Bonus with Small-Format CO2 Refrigeration

Easy Maintenance Is a Bonus with Small-Format CO2 Refrigeration

In 2014, research firm Packaged Facts reported that the average size of supermarkets has been trending smaller since 2006. At the same time, consumers have continued to ask for more fresh and convenient food options, and supermarkets — along with small-format retailers such as drugstores and convenience stores — have responded by increasing their fresh and prepared food selections. And just as space is becoming more limited and offerings are becoming more complex, retailers are trying to keep up with environmental regulations to reduce or eliminate HFC refrigerants. Fortunately, there are new, sustainable CO2 refrigeration systems that make it easier

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Advansor CO2 Everything is Under Control

Everything’s Under Control!

How sweet the sound! For businesses that rely on refrigeration for their very existence, like retail food, food processing, cold storage warehouses, biopharmaceutical, and such, having that process under control is the very measure of the health of their business lifeline. There could be no sweeter or more comfortable words to hear than “everything’s under control with your refrigeration process.” Many of these types of businesses are increasingly turning to CO2, a natural refrigerant solution, for their refrigeration needs, driven in large part by their desire to “future-proof” their operations against the specter of costly, regulatory-mandated refrigerant change-outs. Hillphoenix has

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Food Retailers Discuss the Future of Sustainable Refrigeration at Hillphoenix Tech Symposium

Nearly 30 ATMOsphere America attendees took a road trip from Atlanta to Hillphoenix’s Conyers, Georgia, headquarters for a day of delving into refrigeration technologies and trends — and a firsthand look at the latest cooling technology for food retailers. Hillphoenix’s June 24 Technology Symposium, managed by Supermarket Sense, was called “State-of-the-Art is Due for an Update.” It covered refrigeration topics and trends crucial to supermarkets, convenience stores and other food retailers. Among them: Current regulations and anticipated regulatory changes Emerging alternative refrigeration case technology, including developments in Hillphoenix’s Second Nature® CO2 Booster, Cascade and Secondary systems Ways to extend product

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For most utilities, natural refrigerants are a tough sell

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC The fundamental difficulty with the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is that, for most utilities in the country, greenhouse gas emissions in and of themselves are irrelevant. Most of the world’s population thinks that energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are one and the same, but utilities are well aware that this is not the case. In the utility world, these two concepts are separate, but related. Energy efficiency equals greenhouse gas reductions, but greenhouse gas reductions don’t always equal energy efficiency. While the vast majority of policy-makers in the world

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Future-Proof Your Refrigeration

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC People ask me all the time if the EPA is ever going to get off their backs about the refrigerant they use. My answer is always the same: The only way that will happen is if the industry stops using refrigerants that harm the environment. For the first time since the EPA started regulating refrigerants in supermarkets, it is possible for a supermarket to operate using 100% natural refrigerants. With the use of CO2, we have a refrigerant that is safe for the ozone layer and for our climate. The EPA’s refrigerant

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Hillphoenix AdvansorFlex CO2 Brings Sustainable Refrigeration to Retailers of All Sizes

Hillphoenix, a pioneer in designing environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems, now brings HFC-free refrigeration to small and medium-sized retailers. The company’s new AdvansorFlex CO2 refrigeration system delivers all the benefits of natural CO2 refrigeration in a compact and scalable format that is perfect for stores of every size. As part of the evolving Advansor CO2 platform, AdvansorFlex is an environmentally sustainable HFC-free system that uses non-toxic, non-flammable CO2 as its only refrigerant. Both Advansor CO2 and AdvansorFlex CO2 are part of Hillphoenix’s industry-leading Second Nature® line of alternative refrigeration systems. Because it relies solely on plentiful, all-natural CO2, AdvansorFlex is DOE

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Hillphoenix earns fifth EPA GreenChill Award

Hillphoenix congratulates all the 2015 GreenChill Environmental Achievement Award recipients who, along with Hillphoenix, were recognized by EPA Greenchill at the GreenChill Partnership’s annual Achievement Awards on September 29. Hillphoenix, a pioneer in designing environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems, received a 2014-2015 Achievement Award – Store Certification Excellence from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership program. It’s the company’s fifth GreenChill award since the program launched in 2007. For the third year in a row, Hillphoenix was the only non-grocery recipient of a GreenChill Store Certification Excellence award. “We are honored by this recognition from EPA GreenChill. Since GreenChill was established

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Just Because It’s Difficult Doesn’t Mean We Shouldn’t Try

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC This is the second article in a three-part series on sustainability and refrigerants. In part I of my series on communicating about sustainability in refrigeration with consumers, I discussed why it is difficult to make refrigeration relevant to stores’ consumers. Notice I said difficult – not impossible. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a challenge. And if there is anything we all love in this industry, it’s a challenge. I received my first lesson in the relevance of supermarket refrigeration to

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Lack of uniform modeling solutions hinders natural refrigeration adoption

Last month, we discussed the lack of effective performance baselines for natural refrigeration systems and how that makes it difficult for utilities to provide natural refrigeration incentives. In this article, we’ll talk about the second challenge faced by end users and utilities: the lack of good modeling software for natural refrigeration systems. When seeking incentives from utilities for natural refrigeration, modeling new system performance is key to calculating anticipated savings. “Modeling” entails determining what the energy consumption of a particular technology is, taking all variables into account and using mathematical formulas to ensure that all numbers are accurate. It’s important

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Natural Refrigerants: The Path Forward for Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration

Ever since the Montreal Protocol has been put in place, the search for natural refrigerants in commercial and industrial refrigeration has continued to be the top priority in the industry. These regulations to phase down Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) to protect the earth’s ozone layer and to address climate change and its negative effects have long-term significance, not just in the environment, but also to food retailers across the globe. Looming government regulations have food retailers looking for refrigerant alternatives with low Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) to be used on their refrigeration systems. Below are

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Natural refrigeration is a challenging sustainability issue for consumers

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC This is the first article in a three-part series on sustainability and refrigerants. In this day and age, most supermarket companies recognize that their customers care about the environment and their communities. Customers want to spend their money at businesses that share those values. They want to feel good about where they shop, so they want to know that their grocery store is helping to make their community a better place. Given these facts, and given the enormous progress that many supermarket companies have made in reducing the environmental impact of their

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Prepare for Refrigerant Regulation Changes; Future-Proof Your Business

Prepare for Refrigerant Regulation Changes; Future-Proof Your Business

EPA’s SNAP Phaseout Schedule for Alternative Refrigerants The wait is over. Food retailers and the refrigeration industry were in a holding pattern for months while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considered its next move on alternative refrigerants. Then, in mid-July, a 90-page ruling published in the Federal Register (pp. 42870-42959) confirmed what Hillphoenix and other industry experts had anticipated: Widely used refrigerants R-404A and R-507A would join the list of alternatives being phased out under the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. Now retailers and manufacturers have the facts. Like the ruling or not, the industry finally can take

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Small-format stores capitalize on “fresh” opportunities to boost sales

Small-format stores capitalize on “fresh” opportunities to boost sales

By Margie Proctor Hillphoenix Marketing & Design Specialist Whether they’re stopping at Starbucks or a convenience store, Americans increasingly want fresh options. The desire for fresh and healthy foods runs the gamut from snacks to ready-made meals. Just look at the research: 78% of consumers are on a mission to eat more fresh and fewer processed foods, according to the 2014 Gallup Study of Cooking Knowledge & Skills. “Health” to consumers now is more about food purity than traditional dieting, and they are eating more fresh foods, reports global information company The NPD Group. Fresh-format retail sales are growing 12%

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Small-format stores capitalize on “fresh” opportunities to boost sales

Small-Format Strategies: Merchandising tips that make every square foot count

By Margie Proctor Hillphoenix Marketing & Design Specialist In small-format stores, every square foot counts. That’s why it’s important for convenience, discount and drug stores to save space, while also maximizing merchandising opportunities. So, what can small-format stores do to make the most of their space and ensure that small feels special to shoppers? Here are a few strategies: Elevate endcaps Don’t stuff end caps with past-their-prime discounts or the staples shoppers already know you sell. Instead, use that prime real estate to showcase goods that will surprise and delight your customers. For example, encourage shoppers to bring home a

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Smooth Operators: Small-format retailers simplify ongoing operations with CO2

Smooth Operators: Small-format retailers simplify ongoing operations with CO2

Over the past several years, some notable trends have brought changes to the retail refrigeration space. Grocery stores are getting smaller, fresh-food options are gaining ground at retailers of every size, and ozone-depleting refrigerants continue to be pushed out by natural and sustainable options. At the spot where small-format, fresh-format, and sustainability converge, retailers may find themselves in unfamiliar territory when it comes to selecting refrigeration equipment for a new location or a store remodel. With the old distinctions between big- and small-format offerings becoming more than a little blurry, retailers are in need of a new kind of refrigeration

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Sustainable Refrigeration: Tips for simplifying a complex topic

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC In Parts I and II of the series on sustainability and refrigerants, I listed some of the reasons why it can be difficult to communicate with grocery shoppers about sustainable refrigeration. This third installment provides tactics for clear, simple, and compelling communication — as well as tips to avoid common mistakes. First, I need to address readers who expect a fill-in-the blank communication template that works for everyone and every topic. Stop reading now. You are going to be disappointed. The truth of the matter is, there is no universal formula for

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The Future for Naturals is Now: Utility Incentive Success Stories

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC Much has been written over the past few months about the potential for utility incentives based on natural refrigerant use in supermarkets. The word “potential,” as well as the nature of the articles, suggests that utility incentives for naturals are a thing of the future. Not so! There are plenty of examples of successful incentive projects for stores that use natural refrigeration systems. The discussion about utility incentives for naturals normally centers around how our industry can get utilities to adapt their existing incentive programs to better fit the world of natural

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To understand the future of commercial refrigeration, look to CO2’s past

By Derek Gosselin Hillphoenix Systems Product Manager Using carbon dioxide as a refrigerant seems like a new solution to today’s challenge of lowering the global warming potential of commercial refrigeration systems. But, as industry researcher James M. Calm has documented, the use of CO2 as a refrigerant actually stretches back to 1866. In subsequent decades CO2, ammonia and other early refrigerants took a backseat to organic fluoride-based cooling compounds. The first among them was synthesized dichlorodifluoromethane, or R-12, developed in the late 1920s. In 1930, fluorocarbon refrigerants were introduced to the market and quickly became the standard. It took us

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Utility Incentives: Lack of standard industry benchmarks still a challenge

If you’re going to reward improvement, you need a baseline against which to measure it. Therein lies one of the many challenges facing refrigeration end-users seeking utility incentives for upgrades and new installations. As utilities, manufacturers and end-users work together to make newer, more energy efficient equipment more affordable through incentives, the lack of standard industry benchmarks makes the process complicated, fragmented and inconsistent. Manufacturer calculations are apples and oranges Within the refrigeration manufacturing industry, there is no uniform energy performance baseline for either CO2 or DX systems. Each manufacturer has its own set of tools for calculating energy consumption,

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Future Proof Your Investment

What Would You Give for a Truly “Future-Proof” Investment

“Change is the only constant in life.” Somewhere along the line, most of us have heard that saying. After all, it’s been around a long time — a matter of fact, most people would never guess that the author was a Greek pioneer of wisdom named Heraclitus who lived around 500 BC in the days before Plato and Aristotle. It’s hard to argue that the statement is anything but an unequivocal truism. We face changes every day of our lives. The impact of those changes on each of us can run the gamut from negligible to life-altering. Ignoring the inevitable

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Your customers should understand sustainable refrigeration just enough to care

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC The difference between mediocre communication and compelling communication lies in your message’s credibility, appeal, relevance, and distinctiveness. However, just like in refrigeration, when you fail to look at the whole picture, you wind up changing certain elements only to bring others out of whack. You lower your head pressure to save energy, but in doing so you lose heat reclaim capacity, which uses more energy, which brings you right back to square one. Similarly, in communication, overdoing it on one element, like distinctiveness, makes it harder to achieve another element, like credibility.

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CO2 Booster Systems Explained

Advances in technology have made the use of environmentally friendly CO2 refrigerant in booster systems practical across a wide range of applications. Since early this decade, supermarkets in North America have increasingly been coming to rely on these systems. Industrial operators are also beginning to

Continue Reading

CO2 offers unexpected benefit: less product shrink

By Derek Gosselin Hillphoenix Systems Product Manager Today’s grocery shoppers demand more fresh offerings — from cut fruit to prepared meals — and this changes the profitability equation for supermarkets. Fresh sells, but as perishables become a larger percentage of a store’s mix, it’s essential

Continue Reading
Advansor CO2 Everything is Under Control

Everything’s Under Control!

How sweet the sound! For businesses that rely on refrigeration for their very existence, like retail food, food processing, cold storage warehouses, biopharmaceutical, and such, having that process under control is the very measure of the health of their business lifeline. There could be no

Continue Reading

For most utilities, natural refrigerants are a tough sell

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC The fundamental difficulty with the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is that, for most utilities in the country, greenhouse gas emissions in and of themselves are irrelevant. Most of the world’s population thinks that energy use

Continue Reading

Future-Proof Your Refrigeration

By Keilly Witman KW Refrigerant Management Strategy LLC People ask me all the time if the EPA is ever going to get off their backs about the refrigerant they use. My answer is always the same: The only way that will happen is if the

Continue Reading

Hillphoenix earns fifth EPA GreenChill Award

Hillphoenix congratulates all the 2015 GreenChill Environmental Achievement Award recipients who, along with Hillphoenix, were recognized by EPA Greenchill at the GreenChill Partnership’s annual Achievement Awards on September 29. Hillphoenix, a pioneer in designing environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems, received a 2014-2015 Achievement Award – Store Certification

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