Grocery and SupermarketVACAVILLE, Calif. /eNewsChannels/ — Integrated Comfort Inc. (ICI) of Vacaville, CA has recently completed DualCool installations on 14 Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) stores in northern and central California. DualCool is a retrofittable system that significantly improves the efficiency of rooftop cooling units (RTU’s) in dry climates. The patented DualCool technology is owned and manufactured by ICI.

DualCool uses a direct evaporative process to pre-cool outdoor air entering the condenser coil, and an indirect process (no moisture added) to pre-cool ventilation air entering the building. On retail facilities in hot dry climates, DualCool typically reduces annual cooling energy use and peak electrical demand by 25 to 40 percent.

This 2011 installation program resulted from a partnering effort of three affiliate members of the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC): Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Wal-Mart and ICI. UC Davis launched the WCEC in 2007 to accelerate the implementation of proven cooling technologies that take advantage of the unique characteristics of dry climates typical of the western U.S.

Walmart began testing DualCool on stores in California and Arizona in 2008. ICI introduced its “Generation 2” DualCool version in 2010. Prototypes of this higher-performance, lower-priced DualCool line were monitored by the WCEC in 2010, leading to this year’s Walmart demonstration program supported by PG&E.

“We are focused on leading the industry with implementation of cost-effective technologies that improve efficiency and move us toward a more sustainable future,” says Jim McClendon, Wal-Mart Director of Engineering. “We have been evaluating various evaporative pre-cooling products, and our major criteria are performance, durability, and favorable economics.”

The 2011 installations were supported by PG&E as a potential element of its Emerging Technologies program. Beutler Heating and Air of Sacramento, another WCEC Affiliate Member, installed the 115 DualCool units under a subcontract with ICI. The 14 stores stretched from Oroville in the north to Fresno in the south.

“We are always interested in technology that allows our customers to save energy during peak hours of operation,” says Dave Alexander of PG&E. “Thanks in part to the work of the Western Cooling Efficiency Center and their affiliate partners such as Wal-Mart and Integrated Comfort, there is a renewed interest in evaporative pre-cooling for hot dry climates. Over the next year we will continue to monitor performance and track energy savings on these installations.”

Mark Modera, Director of the WCEC, comments that “Retrofit cooling efficiency technologies are particularly needed because there are millions of RTU’s in use that will not be replaced for years. The WCEC is encouraging both new and retrofit cooling technologies, but the overall savings potential is greater in the retrofit category.”

“DualCool is designed for durability and easy service,” notes Dick Bourne, ICI Vice-President. “Our stainless steel enclosures, top-of-the line evaporative media, and high-performance cooling coils ensure long life, large peak demand reduction, and significant energy cost savings. We look forward to more partnering with key participants to cost-effectively improve the efficiencies of commercial cooling equipment.”

Company Information: Integrated Comfort Inc. is a privately-held California corporation that develops and markets energy-efficient cooling products and systems.

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