It was a moment of triumph for Steve Trulaske, owner of True Food Service Equipment.
On 21 May, at True’s large National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show booth in Chicago, he had just received EPA’s 2016 Energy Star Emerging Technology Award in the residential/commercial refrigeration category for 42 of his company’s propane (R290) units. The metal-plated wooden award cited True’s “environmental leadership through the design and manufacturing of innovative technology”.
He held the award aloft, taking in the applause of colleagues and onlookers.
True’s award-winning refrigerators and freezers all met the EPA requirements of being at least 5% more efficient than predecessor units and using a refrigerant with a GWP of 15 or below. In fact, the True units are on average 25%-30% more efficient than the models they replaced, which used HFCs, noted Todd Washburn of True, which offers more than 150 R290 units in all.
Kirsten Hesla, product manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, presented Trulaske with the award.
The retail and foodservice industry is gravitating toward hydrocarbon refrigeration equipment, Trulaske said. “The large supermarkets and restaurant chains are moving quickly,” he told hydrocarbons21.com at True’s NRA booth.
To support the interest in hydrocarbon systems, True, based in O’Fallon, Missouri, has “made an enormous investment in making sure our service network is hydrocarbon-prepared in North America and throughout the world,” Trulaske said.
True has built refrigeration units that use CO2 as the refrigerant, but opted to commit to hydrocarbon as its standard. “We have a clear understanding of the difference between CO2’s capabilities and hydrocarbons, and we distinctly believe in hydrocarbons for our applications,” he said. In addition to having a much more limited base of component suppliers, CO2 units did not meet federal energy efficiency requirements, he said.