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Weaver Markets was having a problem with the low temperature ice cream freezer case at its Adamstown, Pa., supermarket. Quality and value have been hallmarks of the family owned markets for almost 50 years so displaying and selling frozen desserts that weren’t quite frozen was simply unacceptable.

Store manager Mike Weaver called in Dwain Weaver (no relation) and his team from Triangle Refrigeration to have a look. Dwain quickly discovered that the R22 refrigerant used to cool Weaver’s medium and low temperature cases was underperforming.

To keep the cases cooled, the system needed to maintain low suction pressure. This caused the compressors to work harder, overheat, burn oil and break down sooner than they should, driving up energy use and total cost of ownership.

With production of R22 phasing out anyway, Dwain began looking for replacement refrigerants several years ago. At that time there were no refrigerants that could replace R22 without requiring costly modifications to the refrigeration system.

In early 2011, Dwain met with Paul Sullivan of the Fluorine Products business of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, a leading developer and manufacturer of non-ozone-depleting refrigerants. Honeywell was looking for a supermarket to demonstrate its Genetron Performax® LT refrigerant for Emerson Climate Technologies, which was considering approving Performax LT for use in its Copeland® Discus® compressors.

Dwain immediately thought of Weaver Markets. “Performax LT is a direct replacement for R22,” Dwain said. “So we were able to do the complete retrofit in the mechanical room without disrupting store operations, without thermal expansion valve changes or adjustments. All we had to do was change oil and replace filters and seals and we were up and running in about two hours. The whole process was completely invisible to customers and store employees.”

Honeywell conducted a baseline energy consumption test before and after the changeover. They found energy savings of 10 percent on the medium-temperature case and 15 percent on the low temperature case. The store reports that the system is performing better than it did with R22, maintaining frozen treats at the right temperature to help customers beat the heat during a warmer than normal Pennsylvania summer.

Although the discharge temperature of Performax LT is lower than R22, Dwain was able to retain the liquid injection system, which rarely comes into play on the low temperature compressors during high ambient.

“The workload on the compressors appears to have been reduced, they’re running much cooler and maintenance costs are down because we don’t have to change oil as often,” Dwain added. “We’ve had to make a few minor adjustments and fix some small leaks, which is to be expected. I am looking for opportunities to recommend a Performax LT retrofit to my other supermarket customers.”

As a result of the successful retrofit project, Emerson approved Performax LT as a retrofit solution for supermarkets and single/multicompressor refrigeration solutions with its Copeland Discus compressors with R22.

Performax LT refrigerant is specifically designed to replace R22 in new and existing supermarket refrigeration systems. It provides similar performance to R22, but requires fewer equipment modifications, has lower global warming potential (GWP), and offers improved capacity and efficiency versus most popular low and medium-temperature refrigerants. For more information contact Paul Sullivan at paul.sullivan@honeywell.com.

To learn more about Weaver Markets, visit www.weavermarkets.com.
To learn more about Triangle Refrigeration, visit www.trianglerefrigeration.com.

October 18, 2012