Emerson-innovation-centreUSA: A transcritical CO2 refrigeration system is to be a major feature of Emerson’s Helix innovation centre when it opens in December.

A model supermarket, complete with refrigerated cases, dry goods shelves and point-of-sale terminals will be a feature of the Helix announced last year and currently under construction on the campus of the University of Dayton.

The 2,500ft² supermarket module is one of five modules currently under construction at the Helix, a 40,000ft² facility costing $35m. Emerson Climate Technologies says that the Helix is intended to foster an ambitious, collaborative approach to conducting research to create new technologies that address hvacr industry challenges.

The supermarket module will support research on supermarket and convenience store refrigeration, including system controls and alternative refrigerants, plus lighting and hvac.

“Our work in the Helix will be highly collaborative,” said Mitch Knapke, director food retail marketing and business development at Emerson Climate Technologies Refrigeration business. “We look forward to the opportunity to get into this space with our customers and industry partners to test and evaluate new approaches to the retail experience, from food safety to lighting to hvac and new refrigerants.”

Emerson’s supermarket module will include a transcritical CO2 booster refrigeration system, which will chill the model supermarket’s refrigeration cases, walk-in cooler and support the hvac system. The CO2 system will also be used to provide building heat, hot water and even heat the sidewalk to melt the snow.

Testing and research in the supermarket module will include temperature and humidity variations using an environmental chamber that can simulate -30°C to 50°C. The facility will also feature Emerson controls and sensors.

“We want to study the entire supermarket and c-store experience, not just from an equipment standpoint but from the point of view of a shopper,” said Rajan Rajendran, vice president, system innovation centre and sustainability for Emerson Climate Technologies. “We want to make this as real world as possible, looking at system performance on very hot days, for example, and evaluating systems holistically for their environmental impact.”

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