Construction begins next month on the new facility, which was first announced in July and is scheduled to open late next year. Also known as The Helix, the new centre will provide a hub for fostering an ambitious, collaborative approach to conducting research to create new heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration technologies.
“Since we first conceived this project over a year ago, the support from the State of Ohio, the City of Dayton, and the University of Dayton has been tremendous. The interest and support from leaders in the hvacr industry around the world has also been truly remarkable,” said Ed Purvis, executive vice president, Emerson Climate Technologies.
“The needs of the markets we serve are changing dramatically, and the requirements for our business to innovate in the ‘new’ world of information technology and connectivity are much greater and much more challenging than ever. And we see The Helix as a hub where academic researchers and industry professionals can jointly test ideas and concepts at the system level in our real-world environments.”
When completed, the Emerson Innovation Centre will employ 30-50 people and focus on five hvacr industry markets: supermarket refrigeration, food service operations, residential connected homes, data centre cooling and light commercial buildings.
To support research on supermarket refrigeration, including alternative refrigerants and controls, Emerson will build a 2,500ft2 model supermarket, complete with refrigerated cases, dry goods shelving and integrated controls that include lighting and point-of-sale systems.
A fully operational 1,500ft² commercial kitchen will help Emerson and its collaborators tackle challenges in the food service industry, including connected kitchen concepts, new refrigerants and food safety.
The facility will also include a fully functional two-story, three-bedroom home with ambient temperature control to simulate seasons and climates. The model home will allow Emerson to develop innovations in heating, air conditioning and connected home concepts.
The approximately 1,000ft² data centre space is designed to expand the ability of Emerson Network Power’s Thermal Management business to deliver more holistic, next generation approaches to controlling the data centre environment and managing heat in the most effective way possible. Emerson engineers will use the space to develop intelligent and versatile cooling technologies and controls that improve energy efficiency, maximise free cooling and protect mission critical applications.
Emerson plans for the innovation centre to be a global hub of hvacr industry education. The facility will include three training rooms and the company plans to host industry meetings and hold forums on-site. Engineering education will also be a focus of the innovation centre and the company is working with the University of Dayton on plans to leverage the facility for classes and hands-on student experiences.
Ed Purvis, Emerson Climate Technologies’ executive vice president, describes his vision for the facility.