Category : SCR News & Updates

Deliver Safer Air with New Technology


The current state of the world has everyone thinking about safeguards, especially regarding indoor air quality. For companies, organizations, and institutions both large and small, safety is the top priority. While the task of purifying indoor air during a global pandemic may seem daunting, Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) and SCR have the answer. Thanks to NeedlePoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI), SCR can deliver safer air with new technology.


GPS’s patented NPBI system uses a facility’s existing heating and cooling system to provide cleaner indoor air. Throughout the process, ions steadily attach to airborne particles. Opposite polarities combine to become larger particles, which allows the system to more quickly recognize, capture, and eliminate them.

In June 2020, GPS conducted a laboratory study in collaboration with Aviation Clear Air. Initial testing revealed a 99.4 percent reduction on a COVID-19 surface strain after 30 minutes. This neutralization is the earliest example by an air purification enterprise.

This technology is ozone-free and subsequently environmentally friendly. What’s more, it can be installed in any system inside any building, from airports and arenas to hospitals, office buildings, places of worship, universities, and everything in between.


NPBI targets airborne particles, pathogens, and odors to deliver clean, healthy indoor air while also saving energy. This scientific and cost-effective approach functions by:

  • Targeting particles. Ions attach to air particles, making them larger and more easily captured by filtration systems.
  • Eliminating odors. The technology reduces indoor odors to basic compounds. What remains is fresh air, free from volatile organic compounds.
  • Reducing pathogens. The process destroys viruses, spores, and bacteria, rendering them inactive and unable to replicate.
  • Saving energy. By requiring less fresh, outdoor air, this system saves about 30 percent on energy consumption costs.

Clean indoor air is an incomparable resource, especially right now. With more than 250,000 satisfied installations, GPS’s NPBI system is a proven way to deliver effectively safer air through existing components. Contact SCR today to learn how this technology can work for you.


SCR Scholarship Programs Focus on Success


Each year SCR provides great opportunities for students looking to explore career options in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R). Through its Scholarships and Internships Programs, students gain valuable experience to use post-graduation. Keep reading to learn about these programs and how they are set up to help participants focus on success.


The scholarships and internships available through SCR are virtually intertwined. This means that students in the scholarship program can complete their internship at the same time.

“Most of the programs have some kind of internship built into the curriculum,” said Kelsey Combs, Human Resource Generalist at SCR. “So, they would do that internship with us.”

These programs are offered regionally to accommodate SCR’s branches and service areas:

  • Central: St. Cloud, Duluth/Superior
  • Metro: Twin Cities area
  • Northern: Brainerd/Baxter
  • Southern: Mankato, Rochester

The number of available scholarships varies, Combs said. “We base it upon our projected needs, and that changes from year to year,” she added.


Applicants must complete a mechanical aptitude test to determine if the HVAC/R program is a good fit. The test analyzes things like mechanical inclination, knowledge of tools, and spatial reasoning to assess proficiency and ability to learn the intricacies of the trade.

The program allows students to intern in different departments, gaining hands-on experience in service, refrigeration installation, and controls.

“We try to get them to rotate through all of them, but it depends on their area of study,” Combs said. Broader degrees such as HVAC require knowledge in more areas, whereas other programs are targeted toward specific departments.


To qualify for the Scholarship and Internship Program, students are required to:

  • Enroll in one of the HVAC, HVAC/R, Electrical Construction, Instrumentation, or Residential Plumbing programs
  • Successfully complete a Mechanical Aptitude Test
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Commit to working for SCR following graduation

For the Central and Northern branches, the post-graduate employment requirement is two years. For the Southern location, students receive a full-ride scholarship and then need to commit to working for SCR for three years after graduation.

“But most employees end up staying long-term,” Combs said, “so this program has been really successful.”


Because these programs are so popular, many of them have wait lists for enrollment. To avoid eligibility issues, Combs suggests students plan ahead.

“If somebody is thinking about pursuing a degree in HVAC, you have to be ahead of everyone else,” she said.

Students interested in the Scholarship and Internship Program can apply on the SCR website or on Combs also said a lot of applicants are referred by current employees or encouraged by instructors at the local colleges to apply.

To learn more about this program and its focus on success, email


Making a Line Change at Lund Ice Arena


As with most things, the day often comes when once-modern technology falls by the side of that which is newer and more-improved. Such is the case on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. The crew at SCR recently replaced and upgraded the chiller system at Lund Ice Arena. Keep reading to find out how this new system works and why the enhancement was necessary.


In the indirect type of ice rink refrigeration system, a refrigerant cools a brine, a salt water- or glycol-based anti-freeze solution. This cooled brine water runs underneath the ice through steel piping. These lines are usually contained within a slab of concrete that is kept at about 22 degrees. Any water above this concrete slab then freezes, creating the rink.


Lund Ice Arena’s 30-year-old system is being upgraded to a more advanced operation from Hillphoenix Inc., the leader in commercial and industrial refrigeration systems and one of the first to introduce technologies for the reduction of global warming emissions.

With continual repairs and replacement parts becoming scarce due to the age of the equipment, a complete system replacement just made sense. Furthermore, the old ice rink chiller system was using more than 3,000 pounds of chlorodifluoromethane, or R-22. This colorless gas often used as a refrigerant is hazardous to the environment if it leaks out of the system.


This new system uses an environmentally friendly refrigerant called Opteon XP40™ to cool a secondary glycol solution. The solution is then pumped through the floor to freeze water and make the ice. Advanced technology electronically controls how the ice is created and maintained, including:

  • Electronic expansive valves that control refrigerant flow to the direct expansion evaporator
  • An electronically commutated motor to determine or fluctuate speed for the condenser fans

Additionally, the automated system allows for more control over scheduling temperature adjustments when the ice is not in use. All the major components are in sight, ensuring easy observation and the potential for greater efficiency all around.


The Montreal Protocol took effect in January 1989. The treaty outlined a plan to phase out the production of substances responsible for reducing the ozone layer. As of January 1, 2020, production of HCFC refrigerants, including R-22, has been phased out in North America.

For safety and sustainability purposes, Hydrofluro-Olefins (HFO) refrigerants were designed as an alternative. The Chemours Company introduced Opteon™, the official refrigerant solution of the NHL®, as an HFO refrigerant.

The Opteon™ XP40 (R-449A) cools like R-22 (or HCFCs) but offers a host of environmental and energy benefits:

  • Non-ozone depleting
  • Low Global Warming Potential
  • Regulatory compliant
  • Low toxicity and non-flammable
  • Excellent energy efficiency performance
  • Cost-effective when compared to other technology

SCR’s technical expertise and team approach have made us the Midwest’s leader in refrigeration, HVAC, building automation, food service, and service & maintenance. To learn more about our comprehensive approach and full-service capabilities, contact us.


A Message to Our Valued Partners


We want to communicate that we are proactively planning and communicating with our employees, vendors, and customers regarding COVID-19. We want to assure you that we are remaining open for 24/7 service as we always have. Below are precautions that we are taking to ensure the safety of our employees, their families, and our customers.

  • We will not be requiring our field techs to get a signature from customers. They can either take a photo of a signed piece of paper or we can email the customer a copy of the service ticket.
  • We will dispatch our service techs from their house to limit gathering at our office.
  • All our employees are to limit off-site meetings to business-critical meetings to keep projects and business moving forward.
  • All our employees are to stay home if they are sick or showing symptoms and provide a fitness-for-duty/return-to-work notice from a physician before returning to work.
  • Employees who have been exposed to someone with a positive COVID-19 test will self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • If we have an employee at an office who tests positive, that office will close and run only emergency service until further notice. We will set up remote dispatching.
  • All office locations will be cleaned at minimum twice per week.
  • We are cancelling or postponing any company meetings, trainings, or functions of groups larger than 10 people.
  • We are providing hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes/cleaners for employees.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your support in keeping all of us healthy and safe.