Phoenix, Arizona — SEER2, a mechanical design, controls, energy, and implementation firm specializing in sustainable refrigeration and energy efficiency, has recently expanded their support for the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) to the silver level. The NASRC is an action-oriented 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to creating a climate-friendly future for refrigeration through natural refrigerants.
SEER2, which is part of Diehl Equipment Company, Inc., offers expertise in HVAC and refrigeration projects, energy and controls, and compliance and sustainability. Their experience includes managing projects that have helped supermarkets transition to the use of natural refrigerants.
SEER2’s experience is particularly relevant given the recent shift in the supermarket industry toward the use of low-global warming potential (GWP) and natural refrigerants. Supermarkets are pursuing these solutions as a part of their overall commitment to sustainability and in response to a growing body of government regulations concerning the use of high-GWP refrigerants.
At the federal level, the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act was signed into law in December of last year as part of the COVID 19 relief package. This legislation calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to issue regulations requiring the phase-down of the production and consumption of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years. Additionally, California has approved new regulations that will require supermarkets to use refrigerants that have a GWP below 150 in all new stores and set companywide GWP reduction targets for existing stores.
Natural refrigerants, including ammonia, CO2, and hydrocarbons, are climate-friendly and future-proof from a regulatory standpoint, but are associated with a unique set of market barriers that have prevented their scaled adoption. Existing facilities, which represent the greatest opportunity for emissions reduction, are particularly challenging because natural refrigerants are not a drop-in solution and require a financially and logistically challenging system replacement.
NASRC is a 501c3 nonprofit working in partnership with the supermarket industry to drive actionable solutions to natural refrigerant barriers and make them a feasible business choice for supermarkets. The organization recently released a report demonstrating retailer demand for natural refrigerant technology solutions that would allow for the modular transition of existing facilities during the replacement of legacy equipment.
“Retailers need solutions to migrate their existing systems over to low-GWP and natural refrigerants over time,” said Danielle Wright, NASRC executive director.
SEER2 is helping to shape unique solutions to these challenges and has coordinated a number of innovative partial conversions to natural refrigerants in existing facilities, including a recent conversion of a supermarket’s legacy low-temperature cooling system to a CO2 cascade system, for example. The project contributed to a significant overall reduction in the store’s GWP.
“We have been very impressed with how the NASRC has effectively used a moderate budget to drive change and adoption of natural and low-GWP refrigerants in the commercial refrigeration industry,” said Brad Person, president and owner of SEER2. “With a group like NASRC that has significantly moved the needle forward for sustainable refrigerant solutions, we were glad to continue and increase our support.”
“SEER2 has been a great partner over the years,” said Wright. “Their increased support demonstrates their strong commitment to developing innovating solutions for supermarkets in the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants.”
In addition to SEER2, NASRC’s membership network represents more than 38,000 US food retail locations and stakeholders from virtually every sector of the commercial refrigeration industry, including service contractors, manufacturers and suppliers, consultants, engineering firms, trade associations, distributors, and nonprofits.