Contractor Photography: Megan Miller
The Facilitator Through installations, training and industry initiatives, contractor Source Refrigeration – led by its chief engineer Bryan Beitler – is helping food retailers and others transition to natural refrigerants By Michael Garry
n July 25, 2012, Supervalu unveiled the first all-natural-refrigerant system in the U.S. at a remodeled store in Carpinteria, Calif.
The cascade refrigeration system employs ammonia on the rooftop and CO 2 in the store. This was the first time that only ammonia and CO 2 were used in a U.S. supermarket’s refrigeration system (the first all-CO 2 transcritical system would come a year later); today there are three more U.S. stores with this cascade system. Now owned by Albertsons, the Carpinteria store represented a turning point for natural refrigerants in the U.S. Many parties played important roles in this installation, including Supervalu and the manufacturers Hillphoenix (provider of the CO 2 rack) and Mayekawa (supplier of the ammonia rack). Another key player was the main contractor for the project, Source Refrigeration & HVAC, which participated in the design, installation and maintenance of the technology. (Source no longer services the store.) It was a task no U.S contractor had ever tackled before at a supermarket. “We selected Source because of their commitment to training a workforce for next-generation refrigeration and because of their executive-level commitment to being involved with, and accountable for, the success of this history-making project,” said Richard Heath, at the time Supervalu’s director of energy innovations and projects.
At that time, Source, based in Anaheim, Calif., had just begun to install CO 2 refrigeration (mostly pumped systems using HFCs on the high side). Since then, Source has gone on to deploy many more CO 2 systems, including cascade and transcritical, for a total exceeding 50 – likely the most of any U.S. contractor. As Heath noted, the company has committed itself to teaching its technicians about the art and science of natural refrigerants, staking out an industry-leading position in the training arena. The individual who has orchestrated Source’s natural refrigerant activities is Bryan Beitler, its Accelerate America