SKOPE’s resource efficiency developments catch judges eyes

SKOPE Industries Ltd has been named a finalist in the Project & Product: Resource Efficient Design category of the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards.

SKOPE have developed a new cooler that uses CO2 as the refrigerant, eliminating the need for the high global warming R134a refrigerant (HFC = Hydrofluorocarbon). It is this product that has been selected as a finalist in the awards.

Through considerable investment in Research and Development, SKOPE has designed the B600F-3 CO2 refrigeration system to be very cost effective, whilst maintaining its high refrigeration capacity to ensure the rapid chilling of product. Most importantly, the B600F-3 uses less energy than its R134a predecessor (which was Very High Efficiency in its own right).

Dominic Blissett, SKOPE’s Refrigeration Design Engineer

Dominic Blissett, SKOPE’s Refrigeration Design Engineer

As there are tens of thousands of beverage coolers in Australasia that could utilise CO2 as a refrigerant, the potential for reduction in power consumption, combined with reduction in environmental impact, is large.

Dominic Blissett, SKOPE’s Refrigeration Design Engineers, says SKOPE was awarded a Research & Development Grant by the Callaghan Innovation, Science and Innovation Grants this year. “It is through considerable investment in Research & Development that we have been able to design this product,” says Blissett.

SKOPE’s new environmental test chamber significantly increases testing capacity, ensuring faster project turnaround times and improved accuracy. Blissett explains that almost any environment can be simulated within the chamber, ensuring the cabinet’s performance in the harshest of climates.

“The new environmental test chamber was key to the success of this project, as we tested the refrigeration system in varied conditions, loads and ambient conditions using a ‘Dynamic Heat Loading Simulator’. We can replicate any condition then push it further if it’s not enough to meet the SKOPE standard,” says Blissett.

SKOPE sets its standards high to ensure client expectations are exceeded. “We design products that are made to last, with a focus on durability and extended product life. SKOPE is recognised on the global stage for our work in energy efficiency and natural refrigerant systems.”

Nineteen projects are finalists in the premier engineering awards, New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards 2014.

Winners in the People, Projects and Products, and Practice categories, along with the Supreme Award, will be announced on November 28th at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland.

A list of the NZEE finalist’s is available here or by visiting www.nzeeawards.org.nz/news/14-10-Finalists-announced.cfm

Breaking down the MEPS jargon

The Australian Government’s energy rating site, is the ‘go to’ source when you want a direct comparison of the MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standard) of varying commercial refrigerated cabinets in the market today. At first glance, the comparison data can look a little daunting as the information includes the brand and model, whether it meets the high efficiency level, the cabinet classification and its efficiency figure.

MEPS has two levels of compliance: minimum and high efficiency levels. Each cabinet type has a specified limit at which it is deemed to comply. This limit is the efficiency level and is not a true consumption figure but a calculated one.

High efficiency cabinets use less power than the minimum efficiency cabinets per day per m² of the total display area (visible product in the cabinet). The high efficiency level will either be a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. ’Yes’, means the cabinet complies with the specific limits set out in the standard for that type, ‘no’ means it meets only the minimum efficiency levels.

The “cabinet classification” consists of two parts: the Climate Class and the Product Class:

Climate Class Test environment                                  
3 24°C ambient up to 60% relative humidity
4 30°C ambient up to 55% relative humidity
5 40°C ambient up to 40% relative humidity

When looking at the Climate Class, it is important to factor in the relative humidity figure when understanding how well a cabinet performs, and while Climate Class 5 is listed, it should be remembered that 40°C and 40% RH are uncommon conditions although the tested cabinet will operate in those conditions.

Product Class Product temperature range
M1 -1°C to +5°C
M2 -1°C to +7°C
L1 -21°C to -15°C
L2 -21°C to -12°C

A cabinet classification example of 3M1 would mean the cabinet was tested at Climate Class 3 (25°C – 60%RH) and complies with the Product Class M1 (product remains between -1°C and +5°C for duration of the test).

“Efficiency” is shown in kWhr/24hr/m² or kilowatt hours per 24 hours per m² of total display area. The efficiency is a ratio of the cabinet’s Total Energy Consumption (TEC) divided by the Total Display Area (TDA).
 It is not the actual energy used in a day. TEC is the actual amount of energy consumed by the cabinet per 24 hours and is given in kilowatt-hours per 24 hours (kWhr/24hr). TDA is the visible product display area of the cabinet and is given in square metres (m²).

To find out what the cabinet will consume each day, divide the Efficiency Number by the Total Display Area (TDA is shown on the compare products comprehensive detail page).

Below we will compare three cabinets with the same efficiency figure and all tested at the same climate class of 25°C ambient in 60% RH.

Brand A    Brand B   Brand C   
High efficiency Yes Yes No
Cabinet classification 3M1 3M2 3M1
Efficiency 7.75 7.75 7.75
Total Display Area (m²) 1.10 0.85 0.70
Actual power consumption (kWhr) 7.045 9.117 11.071

Brand A uses the least amount of power, has the largest product display area, meets high efficiency standards and will retain all product below 5°C.

Brand B uses more power per day and meets high efficiency standards but it is unsuitable for perishable product types as it maintains some of it products above the 5°C limit.

Brand C has the same efficiency figure but doesn’t meet the high efficiency level as it consumes too much power for the amount of product on display.

In the case of commercial refrigeration manufactured in or imported into Australia and New Zealand, all cabinets are tested to the same standard and must be compliant with AS 1731.14-2003, which specifies the mandatory requirements. If you are looking for a specific cabinet and it doesn’t appear on the website, then it may not comply for various reasons. For example, it may use too much power or it doesn’t maintain correct product temperatures.

SKOPE’s refrigeration products perform to and in the case of many of our products above MEP standards. For our customers, this means using less energy to deliver the same performance and saves on running costs over the entire life of the product.

When choosing refrigeration, check out the energy rating site to compare models and look for the MEPS ‘High Energy Efficiency’ tick on our products.