IIAR, NASRC, Partnership Delivers New Technical Track

At this year’s IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference and Expo, held in Phoenix, the IIAR announced its partnership with the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council. Through this partnership, educational programming at the conference was expanded to include a Commercial and Food Retail education Track.

Launched in 2015, NASRC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing and promoting the use of natural refrigerants in commercial applications. The organization brings stakeholders from the industry together to help clear the hurdles preventing natural refrigerants from being widely embraced in the commercial sector.

“As the refrigeration industry continues to grow, we here at IIAR have seen cross-over in the use of natural refrigerants within the industrial and commercial sectors,” Eileen McKeown, IIAR vice president of marketing and sales said. “With new technology, it is now possible to use natural refrigerants in ways that were previously deemed impractical. By expanding our annual conference to include a commercial technical track, we have created new opportunities to broaden our scope.”

Many conference attendees in Phoenix came from the retail food sectors of the refrigeration market, which created new networking opportunities for conference attendees and highlighted the technical opportunities to learn and advance their understanding of natural refrigerants throughout the refrigeration industry, McKeown said.

“Our partnership with NASRC helped us kick-start this program,” she said. “IIAR continues its work to promote the safe and efficient use of natural refrigerants wherever they are being applied.”

Three technical papers were presented in the newly formed commercial track:

Natural Refrigerant System Selection Comparisons in Commercial Systems

Presented by Dustin Lilya, specialty services production manager at DC Engineering, this session provided insights from an engineering consultant’s perspective regarding how natural refrigerants compare to each other in terms of market penetration, cost, energy efficiency and performance in the commercial sector.

The First Commercial Propane/ Carbon Dioxide Cascade Refrigeration System in North America

Presented by Tristam Coffin, director of sustainability and facilities for Whole Foods, Keilly Witman, owner of Kw Refrigerant Management Strategy, and Tom Wolgamot, principal at DC Engineering, this case study examined the first and only installation of a supermarket using a propane/CO2 cascade rack system. The session outlined the regulatory approval process and the journey from concept to final product.

Fire Hazards and Mitigation Measures of ASHRAE Class A3 Refrigerants in Commercial Refrigeration Applications

Presented by Scott Davis, president of Gexcon U.S., this session explored the options available for assessing fire risks associated with propane as a refrigerant and evaluated methods to reduce these risks, specifically when charge sizes are larger than currently mandated limits.

These sessions brought a new, important focus and prioritization to the educational materials presented at the conference. “IIAR’s emphasis on technical research and unique, data-driven content are well-positioned to support the needs of the commercial sector,” Danielle Wright, director of NASRC said.

“We received very positive feedback from supermarket stakeholders that see the benefit in this type of educational program. There is much we can learn from the industrial sector’s in-depth experience with natural refrigerants. We are honored to have partnered with IIAR on the launch of this commercial track and look forward to supporting its growth in future years,” Wright added.