Innovations Stress Energy Efficiency

February 13, 2006
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Technology at KeepRite included a medium profile unit cooler.
CHICAGO - The air conditioning sector may have its 13 SEER, but things aren't quite that simple on the refrigeration side. The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), the recent National Energy Policy, and the state of California all have something to say about what efficiencies should be in refrigeration equipment. But those ratings vary from product to product and from size to size.

Even now there is some sorting out to do. So the latest offerings at the 2006 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), had as a theme: Innovations, but never at the expense of energy savings.

A refrigeration system from Danfoss (www.acr.danfoss.com) provides self-contained direct cooling for beverage vending machines and glass door merchandisers. The units mate directly with supply and return air ducting. Chilled air is delivered directly into the cabinet duct. Return air is also direct. Units are said to be the size of a small suitcase and are stackable. According to the company, one benefit of the technology is that it is "refrigerant neutral." In this context, the company said, "This is an ideal means for cabinet builders who want to launch a new refrigerant, including CO2, at their own pace, because (the unit) does not require cabinet builders to re-engineer a refrigeration system, since engineering is done by Danfoss."

Emerson Climate Technologies (www.emersonclimate.com) introduced its Control Linkâ„¢ Anti-Condensate Controller (ACC), a controller for anti-condensate heaters, most commonly found in refrigerator doors. Produced by Emerson's Computer Process Controls division, the controller features improved algorithms and allows for a greater degree of energy savings than has ever before been possible, said the company, through its ability to maintain a specific differential between a refrigerated case's dew point and its frame temperature.

At the booth of Econofrost Night Covers/Promolux Lighting (www.econofrost.com) was Securifrost, a locking night cover designed to prevent access to retail refrigerated display cases. The product is made of woven aluminum and was said to be easy to clean. In addition to the locking aspect, the product keeps cold air inside the case during the closed hours of a store.

New defrost technology was introduced by Heatcraft Refrigeration Products LLC (www.heatcraftrpd.com) as a means to reduce refrigeration operating costs and increase product integrity. The Smart Defrost Kitâ„¢ evaluates the refrigeration system and determines how much frost accumulation is on the evaporator coil. If there is not significant accumulation, then the Smart Defrost Kit establishes that the scheduled defrost can be skipped, allowing the system to operate at an optimized level. The kit is designed to reduce the number of defrosts by 30 percent to 40 percent for a typical refrigeration system. It is compatible with Bohn, Larkin, Climate Control, and Chandler electronic defrost commercial refrigeration systems.

Heatcraft also announced a hot gas defrost system that utilizes a dedicated electronic controller. The system is said to considerably shorten defrost times while offering energy savings over electric defrost. The company said the approach provides faster pull-down time, higher latent load applications, and smaller horsepower requirements. The company said the system operates in all outdoor ambient temperatures without the use of water tanks or other thermal storage devices. The control board automatically compensates for changes in ambient temperatures.

In yet another development, Heatcraft announced InterLink - a commercial refrigeration replacement parts brand. The brand provides parts and accessories for commercial equipment from Bohn, Larkin, Climate Control, and Chandler. They will be distributed through wholesalers and distributors. Ken Rothgeb, vice president of sales and customer service, said, "Our goal is to provide our wholesale customers with a broad selection of commercial refrigeration replacement parts at the best lead times in the industry."

Shell and tube evaporator design gets the once over at the booth of Standard Refrigeration. The company’s TXG Series has a 3-foot tube length through 130 nominal tons of capacity and up to 190 tons at 3-½-foot tube length.
KeepRite Refrigeration/National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Canada Corp. (www.keepriterefrigeration.com) showed the KLP line of low profile unit coolers with air, electric, or hot gas defrost for –30°F and above room temperatures. The line comes in 12 sizes from 4,300 to 39,000 Btuh at a 10° temperature difference. Also in the offing is a medium-profile unit cooler line designed for large walk-in coolers and freezers.

In addition to also having air, electric, or hot gas defrost for –30° and above room temperatures, the latter line comes in 12 sizes from 18,000 to 88,000 Btuh at a 10° temperature difference.

Manchester Tank (www.mantank.com) offered a 400-psi refillable 30-pound refrigerant cylinder. It is said to be good for the new high-pressure refrigerants like R-410A as well as the lower pressure gases.

A lubricant supplement from Nu-Calgon (www.nucalgon.com) called Zerol Iceâ„¢ was developed to improve a system's oil lubricity, resulting in less friction drag and reduced energy consumption in air conditioning or refrigeration systems.

Standard Refrigeration (www.stanref.com) highlighted the TXG shell and tube evaporator series that has 3-foot tube length through 130 nominal tons of capacity, and up to 190 tons at 3-½-foot tube lengths. The company noted that products are tested in accordance with ARI Standard 480-95.

New from Testo (www.testo.com) was a refrigeration system analyzer for real-time superheat and subcooling readings. It was billed as "a digital window into refrigeration systems."

Liquid receivers were shown by Westermeyer (www.westermeyerind.com). The four high-pressure receivers have a 675-psig maximum working pressure and are said to work with CO2 as well as R-410A.

Publication date: 02/13/2006

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