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Hussmann Launches MicroDS with using propane (R290)

Date: 02 November 2018
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Hussmann Corporation has unveiled a new refrigeration system that is charged with environmentally safe propane (R290), a natural refrigerant.

The new line, Hussmann’s MicroDS, is now available for low- and medium-temperature merchandisers, the kind consumers would commonly see inside the 236,000 grocery, supercenter, dollar, convenience and drug stores throughout North America to refrigerate perishable foods, such as meat, produce and dairy products.


Hussmann’s MicroDS refrigeration system is charged with up to 150 grams or just 5.7 ounces of propane — slightly more than a half-cup.

Importantly, the small amount of propane used in the MicroDS system is 90-95 percent less refrigerant than is typically required in other refrigeration systems that are charged by hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), said Richard Gilles, senior product leader for Hussmann’s Distributed Systems Group.

“Propane is scientifically proven to be safe for the environment,” he said. “For example, in the event of any leakage, propane has a tiny global warming potential (GWP) of 3 compared to commonly-used HFC refrigerants, which have GWP
ratings greater than 1300.”

Furthermore, Hussmann’s MicroDS is a self-contained and hermetically sealed system to lessen propane from leaking into the atmosphere, Gilles said.

Hussmann CEO Tim Figge called MicroDS is “a great addition” to the company’s line-up.

“Hussmann is a global leader in delivering the most customer-focused refrigeration solutions and merchandising display units across the food retail industry,” he said. “And, with MicroDS, we are providing an excellent option for customers to use natural refrigerants with lower installation costs and increased merchandising visibility.”

A major scientific and technological achievement with MicroDS is “that we’ve developed a system that can provide excellent refrigeration in full-sized grocery merchandisers, even open multi-deck, with such a small propane charge,” Gilles said.

He added that the new propane-powered systems are easy to install and maintain and are “future-proof” in terms of state and federal regulations regarding refrigerants and their impact on the environment.

Gilles also explained that “micro” distributed systems only use propane, whereas larger and more complex “macro” systems must rely on other refrigerants.

Hussmann has installed the new propane units in several grocery stores in test markets, and based on their performance and reliability, Gilles said he is confident the line will quickly grow.

“In time, I believe MicroDS will be among the predominant refrigeration systems, especially for the American food retail industry,” he predicted.