Tecumseh Helps Launch First U.S. Supermarket Using Eco-Friendly Propane Refrigerant 

Originally published: 08.07.13 by HVACR Business Staff


ANN ARBOR, MI – Tecumseh Products Company worked closely with Hussmann Corporation to launch the first U.S. based grocery store using eco-friendly propane (R290) refrigerant.  The newly opened Austin, TX, supermarket is the “greenest” store built to-date by H-E-B Grocery.  Self-contained refrigerated display cases are used throughout the store in order to comply with the lower charge requirements of hydrocarbon refrigerant R290. A majority of the display cases and walk-in coolers utilize Tecumseh condensing units, over 40% of which are equipped with the company’s all-new AE2 series high-efficiency compressor.

Tecumseh leveraged over ten years of hydrocarbon application and compressor knowledge in developing the R290 condensing units, which deliver high levels of efficiency and reliability while complying with the stringent safety approvals required for hydrocarbon refrigerants. Extra precaution was taken to minimize potential refrigerant leak points yet still allow for ease of serviceability. The reduced sound level of the AE2 compressor is another inherent benefit, especially when considering the use of self-contained display cases.        

Beyond application and design expertise, Tecumseh extended the use of its Global Technology Center to validate refrigeration system performance for several display case types. Hussmann design and application engineers were able to remotely monitor the performance tests and work hand-in-hand with Tecumseh refrigeration engineers and technicians to make the appropriate system adjustments and condensing unit design changes.

“We are fully supportive of Hussmann and H-E-B Grocery Stores in their move to environmentally-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerants,” said Jeff Fordeck, Tecumseh North America vice president, sales and marketing. “While this project had its challenges, the resourcefulness and expertise of Tecumseh and Hussmann personnel are what ultimately contributed to the successful refrigeration system design.”

Norm Street, Hussmann’s Director New Technology Development, said, “We couldn’t agree more with Fordeck’s comment.  Tecumseh was a key partner in proving out the refrigeration system design in terms of both performance and safety.  While R290 offers inherent efficiency improvements, the limited charge requirement presents some unique challenges that we were able to collectively overcome.” 

For more information: www.tecumseh.com