IKK Expo Spotlights New Technologies
Hvacr may be a global marketplace, but a stroll thorough the six buildings at the most recent International Trade Fair for Refrigerating and Air Conditioning (IKK) here, finds more than a few twists and turns among the 700 exhibitors.
Here is a look at some of the new technologies unique to the overseas market, as well as those familiar to U.S. contractors.
REFRIGERATIONFolks at the booth of the Italian company Konfiskat noted that Germany has rules now requiring that restaurants, hospitals, and institutions not leave garbage cans out in high heat. Booth officials expect the regulation to spread throughout Europe.
So, the company announced that it is offering refrigeration units capable of holding one or two standard-size garbage cans. The units run on R-134a. The small condensing unit can be raised from inside to the top of the cabinet for servicing.
Whipped cream tops off many a hot drink and dessert in Europe, so refrigerated whipped cream machines are important. The German company F. Vaihinger said its units’ evaporating coils are precisely arranged around the dispensing pipe and there is an exact fitting of insulated material to ensure an effective cooling process.
Defrosting assistance was provided by Zoppas Industries of Italy. Its DID defrosting intelligent devices were said to measure the thickness of frost and ice and signal the defrost cycle.
An indication of wide-ranging interest in packaged refrigeration units was the appearance of Los, a company from Slovenia showing a unit with three recips and an oil-equalizing pipe connection.
ICE MACHINESRotating evaporators for making flaked ice have been very slow to catch on in the United States. But every year at the IKK show, more and more European companies are showing this alternative to the auger technology.
A variation on the rotating evaporator this year came from Geneglace of France. Its icemaker has a static evaporator. A pump carries water from the base to an upper water tray. Water runs continuously on the cold surface where it freezes. The refrigerant evaporates inside a double wall and freezes the water. A helocoidal reamer driven by a motor sweeps the surface and cracks off the ice.
Kibernetik AG showed a technology that freezes water into snow and compacts the snow into ice. Uses were listed as food display, medical research, and even for use in ice packs.
Ice is still rarely offered in restaurant drinks in Europe, but small ice dispensers make their appearance from time to time. One such unit from Scotsman was designed for filling cups and pitchers.
NordCap of Germany showed ice machines with what is called “double-defrosting” systems using water and hot gas.
Buus of Denmark showed rotating evaporator technology that including a belt drive off a motor. The company included a unit running on ammonia with options including use with or without a compressor, stationary or marine design, saltwater or freshwater operation, direct expansion or for pump operation.
Wessamat of Germany used a horizontal evaporator that has a wave-like motion to create the cubes. A tray under the coils kept water from dropping into the bin. The tray pulls away just prior to harvest, which is done with the use of hot gas.
Omega Engineering showed larger-scale ice banks from the Netherlands which use a falling film chiller and dynamic ice harvesting.
SUPERMARKET TECHNOLOGYSupermarkets in the United States usually use a water mist to keep produce fresh. A new technology shown at IKK involves reverse osmosis and an ultrasonic humidifier to provide the needed spray. The technology shown by Controls Engineering of the Netherlands was said to better control dust- and bacteria-related problems.
Secondary-loop technology, given only a passing nod in the U.S., received more focus at IKK. One company, Integral of Ger-many, has developed pumpable ice slurry which it said “is not just yet another brine, but a superior two-phase secondary refrigerant with the performance characteristics of a directly evaporating refrigerant.” The ice is circulated through the pipework and the cabinets’ heat exchangers instead of through a direct-expansion refrigerant.
DEM of Sweden showed a dozen component packages for secondary cooling and showed how the technology can simplify installation of the units in a supermarket.
Open horizontal display cases of frozen products obviously bother Remis of Germany. The company showed sliding glass covers that can be retrofitted over such cases. The company contends that the add-on can improve energy savings while allowing a clear view of the products.
Frigotech of Sweden made much ado about its SQD “soft and quick” defrost system, designed to achieve more even and stable storage temperatures for refrigerated and frozen foods. The concept was based on a cold transfer medium consisting of organic salts.
In the U.S., the places where large quantities of products are stored are usually called walk-in units. In Europe the term is “cold rooms.” They were shown in abundance from companies based in countries ranging from Italy to the Czech Republic.
Such cold rooms also came in modular form for assembly on site. A concept from Roma of Germany uses a cell format to allow expansion as storage needs grow.
LARGER COMPONENTS, CONTROLSKTK Klimatechnik of Italy had products billed as providing “free cooling.” These are water chillers said to work best where the production of chilled water is needed year round and where there are low outdoor temperatures. The water coil uses a glycol-water solution cooled by outdoor air.
Attention at The Trane Company’s booth was on air-cooled helical-rotary liquid chillers with direct-drive compressors. Challenger is the brand name of a water chiller controlled by a frequency inverter from the Swedish company DEM.
Copeland told the European audience about optimized commercial refrigeration scrolls, 2-hp semi-hermetic units for refrigeration, a “trio scroll” for air conditioning applications, and R-410A scrolls.
The Germany company Bock introduced two-stage semi-hermetics with intermediate coolers. Applications include deep freezing. Bitzer unveiled a range of new products including compact screw compressor and air- and water-cooled condensing units.
Mycom featured industrial reciprocating compressors. Man-europe highlighted four-cylinder tandem units said to help in part loading.
Heatcraft showed nylon-based heat exchangers as an alternative to copper or aluminum.
Invensys, based in France, used a large display to promote its many brand names; Ranco is the best known in the United States.
Honeywell took it acquisitions of companies that make valves, driers, temperature displays, and sight glasses, and put all the components under the Honeywell name in the booth. (The expo took place before the announcement that General Electric had acquired Honeywell.)
Sporlan showed one of its newest products, the See-All combination moisture and liquid indicator for use with a number of refrigerants. Parker Hannifin turned its attention to TXVs and automatic expansion valves with stainless steel power elements welded in.
Alco, operating out of Emerson Electric facilities in Germany, promoted AlcoNet, an open-network protocol with the LON standard.
Attention at Aspen Pumps of Great Britain was on what it calls peristaltic rotary types, said to run quietly. If they should run dry, they do so “without fear of damage or any embarrassing noise.” DiversiTech/Wagner showed relay and hard-start capacitors. Mueller focused on valves, filter driers, and solder joint pressure fittings.
DiversiTech decided to key in on access fittings, line tap valves, anti-vibration pads, and its chemical products.
Stateside Flexible Products showed what it calls an anti-crossover nozzle, said to eliminate chemical crossover in froth spray foam systems. J/B featured superheat gauges and digital scales. CMP talked about valve plate assemblies to fit Bitzer compressors. And Imperial noted its specialty tools.
RectorSeal featured its Acid-Away product for burnouts. Robinair had tube-cutting equipment. Henry Technologies showed refrigeration ball valve and vibration eliminators. And a digital vacuum gauge from Supco was introduced at the show.
Publication date: 11/13/2000