REDUCING REFRIGERANT LEAKS IN SUPERMARKETS
See this article about how contractors and supermarket guys are trying to reduce refrigerant leaks. http://contractingbusiness.com/refri...rigerant-leaks
I also need Philadelphia-area COMMERCIAL REFRIGERATION contractors who do a lot of work in supermarket environments to sit on a panel discussion during this year's Comfortech.
Terry McIver, Content Director, ContractingBusiness.com magazine.
Leak searching, particularly in a supermarket, is as much an art as it is a skill.
You need good tools, and the H-10 is the best that I have ever used, but more than good tools, you need good people. People who know that, if you've got to add gas, THERE'S A LEAK!
It's a matter of making leak detection and repair a priority. A good PM program is critical for reducing leaks.
I agree wholeheartedly with JP. While refrigerant leaks have always been a concern in the supermarket business, it wasn't until about 25 years ago that the industry really got serious and began tracking leak rates in stores.
Back then, I was working as a refrigeration engineer at a chain of 65 stores and we participated in a national refrigerant leak rate survey sponsored by FMI. The results at that time indicated an average leak rate of about 35%. Now, a quarter century later, according to this article, that rate has been reduced to 25%.
This is a significant reduction, but at first glance, it doesn't really look like much of an accomplishment. However, if you consider that the typical store's total refrigerant charge has been reduced by possibly 40-50% of what they were in those days, the pounds of refrigerant lost per year per store is actually much lower than the new leak rate numbers suggest because leak rates are based upon the total system charge.
As JP points out, effective leak detection requires the proper tools and personnel who have the training and experience.
These people also need to have a sense of awareness to spot potential problems and a sense of urgency to do something about it. Then finally, they must have the support from above to be allowed the time and materials to get the job done right.
I believe that our major chain's leak rate is single digits.
They won some sort of greenie award in 08.
Good tools and ample time solves many problems, I have found.