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Keeping refrigerated food fixtures cold when ambient temperatures routinely reach 100 degree F often exceeding 115F is a challenging task. Apache Junction, Arizona., is one of the harshest and hottest climates in the United States. These extreme climates, combined with rooftop temperatures in excess of 130 Fahrenheit, rules out the option of using air-cooled condensers.
Faced with the task of replacing yet another evaporative condenser, Safeway Maintenance mgr. Burke Alford was in a dilemma. Water in Apache Junction is extremely hard and raised havoc with the copper tube bundles. Safeway’s belief in environmental stewardship meant, the solution had to include a way to save an enormous volume of water.
Burke was then made aware of the new hybrid condenser technology. Because he had no previous experience with these systems, Burke was originally reluctant to consider this new technology. Faced with the cost of replacing condensers, decision makers began to consider the hybrid option.
Burke really became a believer in this new technology, when Paul Noreen of Muller Industries maker of such equipment came to Apache Junction during the retro fit. The project went smoothly; Burke realized there is nothing mysterious, or complicated with hybrid condensers.
According to Noreen, “The main advantage to using a hybrid condenser versus an evaporative condenser is the enormous water savings seen in the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Safeway has seen significant water savings in just 12 months of operation.”
He added, “Another advantage to using the hybrid condenser is the modular design where each condenser serves an individual refrigeration rack. During service this offers an advantage of not having to turn off the entire store refrigeration load for service.”
Safeway is now considering using the hybrid condensers for another Phoenix location. In addition has ordered 5 hybrid condensers earmarked for a location in Northern California.