ICOR Moves From Recovery Units To Refrigerants

May 5, 2002
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When he was a service technician, Jim Tieken and his coworkers “daily experienced the lack of simple-to-use, efficient, and economical refrigerant recovery equipment.”

This prompted Tieken and his colleagues to develop, design, and patent the Spooter II and Spooter 134 refrigerant recovery pumps. They were developed to offer service techs an inexpensive tool that meets EPA requirements. In the process, they gave their inventor experience in manufacturing.

Tieken’s company, ICOR International of Indianapolis, IN, has expanded to include a variety of refrigerants and refrigeration products.

REFRIGERANT REPLACEMENTS

“When government regulations necessitated the reclamation of R-12,” Tieken said, “the company recognized the need for a safe, affordable alternate refrigerant, so we developed and patented Hot Shot™ (R-414B), a refrigerant blend which duplicates R-12’s operating characteristics.”

The HCFC-based refrigerant was said to have less global warming potential than the CFCs it was replacing.

The company’s next objective was to come up with an R-22 alternative that could be used in existing systems. The refrigerant, NU-22™, is a direct replacement for R-22 and is non-ozone depleting. It is described as a patented refrigerant blend with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and comparable to R-22, with lower operating pressures and discharge gas temperatures.

After a series of independent tests were conducted, NU-22 was found to be nontoxic and nonflammable. It has an ASHRAE designation and safety classification of A1. It’s energy efficient, and it’s compatible with all standard system oils (mineral oils, alkylbenzenes, and polyolesters), said Tieken.

STRONG SALES

Company officials reported that they are already two to three years ahead of their projected sales for the product.

“Even though the price of R-22 is at its lowest level in years, and the federal mandate banning the use of R-22 is several years away, the desire to ‘go green’ is growing in popularity throughout the country,” said Gordon McKinney, national sales director for ICOR.

“We had anticipated a strong response from the service industry to the product, but mostly in the form of inquiries and not necessarily orders this early in the process.”

ICOR officials said the bulk of their sales and inquiries are coming from the commercial air conditioning and refrigeration segment. That includes military installations, federal facilities, industrial gas manufacturing facilities, and food processors.

McKinney said both equipment and component manufacturers and wholesalers-distributors are showing interest in the refrigerant.

Jim Terry, ICOR International product engineer, said, “We are confident that this product will be accepted and used by several equipment manufacturers in the future. Manufacturers can continue to produce their equipment utilizing R-22-designed components and lubricants, and this will enable the service industry to limit the number of replacements necessary to service both new and existing systems.”

In the education area, ICOR’s ICARE (Instructing Customers on Alternative Refrigerants for the Environment) program offers product educational seminars across the country. The company says it welcomes inquiries from anyone interested in an educational program regarding the selection and use of alternative refrigerants.

ICOR also was recently registered as an ISO 9001:2000 company. Its 42,000-sq-ft production facility is on a 21-acre site. General manager Jim House commented, “We have the ability to add 400,000 square feet of production area and increase our on-site refrigerant storage to 50 million pounds.”

For more information, call ICOR International at 800-497-6805 or visit www.icorinternational.com (website).

Publication date: 05/06/2002

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