This year’s international gathering of refrigeration, AC, ventilation and heat pump companies and experts at Chillventa has been quite indicative – and helped us a lot to detect the trend of the HVAC-R industry in the era after the shocking slow-going of more or less two years because of unprecedented attack of the corona viruses. Whether history will repeat or not – that is unpredictable, but this dreadful period of Covid -19 pandemic has taught the entire HVAC-R community to reshape their modus operandi.
Major focused areas that received prominence in the Chillventa event included Sustainability, Energy performance of refrigeration systems, Circular economy, Indoor air quality, Indirect cooling and IT security.
Sustainability has been a common place word today – and truly the real sense or connotation (not meaning) of the word is gradually getting obscured under bizarre claims. Any way, that’s a different debatable area. Coming back to Chillventa: the event has been successful in presenting information on many truly sustainable technological developments. This time, I’ll highlight a few of them chosen arbitrarily (as everything cannot be included in this small article).
It goes without saying that refrigerants are at the core of any cooling system, and today’s climate conscious HVAC-R community all over the world is in search of eco-friendly refrigerants – where reduction of ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) and GWP (Global Warming Potential) have been the topmost priority. Under such circumstances, Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business Koura came to Chillventa 2022 with their next generation of refrigerants, including award-winning Koura Klea 473A and Koura Klea 456A.
Koura Klea 473A, recently named Refrigeration Innovation of the Year at the 2022 Cooling Industry Awards, offers a +85% GWP reduction to existing products on the market. It is designed as a non-flammable refrigerant to achieve high performance in ultra-low temperature cooling applications such as high value cold chain, vaccine storage, climate test chambers, transportation, and other medical uses.
Koura Klea 456A is a cost-effective, drop-in alternative to 134a that is helping the automotive aftermarket sector meet demand and maintain competitive pricing. Klea 456A refrigerant is non-flammable, with Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 626, which is a reduction of 46% in GWP when compared
Commenting on their development, Dave Smith, Vice President of Product Management and Strategy at Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business Koura, said, “Our product development is rooted in our investment in the best talent, research and development programs, and state-of-the-art technology processes, which enable us to meet the demands of our customers and advance the industry. Our two latest innovations are driving down the carbon footprint and are aligned with our commitment to innovation, sustainability and the environment – all while keeping our customers’ performance top of mind.”
GMCC & Welling
At CHILLVENTA 2022, GMCC introduced its R290 refrigerant (an extremely pure propane) product portfolio, including compressors specifically designed for R290 heat pump heaters, R290 variable-frequency heat pump heaters, and R290 air conditioners. To further improve the safety of R290, GMCC has adopted the compact design of compressors, optimized the clearances between valve plates, bearings and components, and greatly reduced the amount of R290 refrigerant in compressors with low-oil technology.
As an important initiative for low-carbon development and energy conservation, the demand for heat pumps in the global market, including Europe, has skyrocketed in recent years. GMCC & Welling has leveraged its first-mover advantage to not only bring new products to market, but also to align them with technological developments to integrate compressors, motors, and circulators into a total heat pump solution to deliver better performance in heating systems and water heaters.
For example, the integrated solution for R290 heat pumps, developed specifically for heat pump heating systems in Northern Europe, uses an environmentally friendly refrigerant with an evaporating temperature as low as -35°C, a compression ratio of up to 17, and a maximum condensing temperature of up to 83°C, as well as EVI’s patented continuous vapour injection technology with no backflow. Optimizing motors, blower motors and circulators with innovative technologies improve performance in terms of efficiency, reliability and noise reduction, ensuring the high-quality operation of products throughout their life cycle in harsh environments.
At the Chillventa 2022 trade show, Daikin Europe NV (a subsidiary of Daikin Industries Limited) showcased its extensive range of integrated solutions aiming at addressing the food processing, warehousing, food retail, horeca (hotels, restaurants and catering) and pharma sectors. Prominent amongst those solutions was the focus on sustainability with the launch of two new products based on natural refrigerants while meeting stringent standards for energy efficiency, low-noise and minimum total cost of ownership: 1) The Daikin Monoblock of the future – an ideal commercial refrigeration solution for limited spaces based on R290 (propane) that meets the industry’s demands for energy efficient, natural refrigeration solutions. 2) The Daikin CO2 ZEAS units – a new range of compact and high efficiency refrigeration condensing units based on the natural refrigerant CO2, combining performance with a small footprint, low energy running cost and low noise.
Monoblock of the future: With an extremely low GWP, the R290 (propane) natural refrigerant has no ozone depletion potential, while Daikin’s innovative Inverter Technology, means the Monoblock of the future is highly energy efficient, operates with low-noise and represents a low total cost of ownership thanks also to the fact it is easily retrofittable, easy to install and provides easy access for maintenance. Being compact, the units can also be mounted in ceilings and come with an innovative remote monitoring system with a dedicated App and Cloud Services for ease of use.
CO2 ZEAS: The full packaged condensing units, available in 8 to 12 HP and a 15HP models, provide energy efficient natural refrigerant cooling to display cabinets and evaporators from -40C to +50C. Its high energy efficiency comes from the Daikin two stage technology, which ensures a lower compression ratio at each step, lower energy consumption, lower discharge temperature, lower stress on the compressor and longer lifetime.
Commenting on their products, Olivier Lagrabette, Senior Manager, Refrigeration, Daikin Europe NV, said, “Our commitment for using natural refrigerants coupled with Daikin renowned energy efficiency and reliability is our answer to growing market and societal needs and is crucial in transitioning to a zero-emissions future – anticipated in Daikin’s Environmental Vision 2050 for reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2050 from a base year of 2019 throughout the entire lifecycle of its products.”
The system efficiency of a fan is based on multiplying the efficiency of the individual components. For a fan with EC motor, these are the components of the motor, commutation electronics, and aerodynamics unit. The greatest potential for improving the overall efficiency of the fan system is in the aerodynamic part. At Chillventa 2022, ebm papst representatives demonstrated various key elements for improving the energy efficiency of axial fans and explained the benefits in their subsequent operation.
Higher air flow rates and pressures thanks to new sizes: The axial fans in the AxiEco series from ebm papst are suitable for applications that require high air flows with a relatively high back pressure, meaning that ventilation and air conditioning devices can benefit from higher air flow rates. The AxiEco series has been successfully established on the market for two years and is now being expanded to include sizes 630, 800 and 910. The axial fan now makes air flows of over 25,000 m³/h and pressures of up to 700 Pa possible and is suitable for applications in chillers and evaporators, industrial process cooling, data centers and mobile refrigeration technology.
Compact, powerful and energy-efficient: With the new RadiPac series, the company has succeeded in significantly improving existing centrifugal fans. They operate with significantly higher efficiency levels and higher speeds, ensure more airflow and higher pressures – meaning that even high-pressure applications can be covered. The impeller developed according to the latest aerodynamic findings drastically reduces flow losses and further decreases the noise levels. Furthermore, for the first time, the new, most powerful EC motor, FanDrive DV280, has been used in the large RadiPac sizes. This delivers a torque of up to 180 Nm with outputs of up to 24 kW. It is used in the size 800 RadiPac and enables a free-air air performance of up to 50,000 m3/h and maximum pressures of 2,300 Pa.
Technologies presented in Chillventa 2022 have once again demonstrated how all the areas of the HVAC-R industry can be made much more sustainable with proper deployment of new ideas and components. It is said: sigma small improvements is equal to a big achievement, which is very true for the HVAC-R industry too.
After COP 27, globally it has been more clearly understood that we are not at a very comfortable position to prevent further global warming. Thus, now the ubiquitous HVAC-R industry has to play a major role to make it more sustainable – and that can start from small improvements.