ACHRNEWS

Refrigeration focus: aftermarket repair, technology upgrades

April 7, 2000
Refrigeration got its due at the annual IAHR Expo. For the benefit of our contractor-subscribers who work in this market, here is a look at some of what was shown.

For contractors who are not near wholesalers who stock products of Parker Hannifin Corp., the company was promoting its e-commerce.

Included was an aftermarket Web site where products can be purchased with a credit card. Booth officials said the site would not underprice a wholesaler, and shipping time could not beat a nearby wholesaler who carries Parker products.

The company also introduced the Cool Tool Kit, a package containing the most common parts needed for field repairs and maintenance of Flo-Con valves. The kit contains diaphragm kits, O-ring/ gasket kits, cartridge repair kits, solenoid repair kits, an instructional How-To video, and service and operating bulletins.

Mueller featured angle isolation valves that were said to offer optimum flow characteristics and positive shutoff. The latter is achieved by using a special internal metal-to-metal seat.

Sporlan drew attention to a number of products, including step motors with integral gear reduction for regulation of valves, a step discharge regulator to electrically operate discharge gas bypass valves, and a redesigned assembly of the replaceable-core Catch-All filter-drier.

Alco offered a line of stepper motor controls as a means to improve payback on control technology that needs to be installed on supermarket refrigeration cases. Stepper motor-driven controls can be used as both expansion devices and as evaporator pressure regulators.

A microprocessor-based electronic controller designed to manage both the temperature and defrost cycle functions of a commercial refrigeration unit was introduced by Ranco North America. The Paragon ERC-2 electronic refrigeration control was said to eliminate the need for an individual defrost timer, temperature control, thermometer, fan delay switch, defrost termination switch, and alarm relay.

For happier customers

Less scale build-up on cooling towers and condensers means fewer nuisance service calls for contractors — and happier customers. That was one reason Baltimore Air Coil highlighted its FXV closed-circuit cooling tower and CXV evaporative condenser.

The units feature what the company called clean coil technology, designed to reduce scaling potential. This is accomplished through thorough wetting of the coil surface, less evaporation on the coil, and colder spray water.

Good vibrations may have made a good song theme in the 60s, but such shaking is not needed in a refrigeration system. Condensing units as well as fans were among components targeted for the Series AWRS Spring-Flex restrained isolators from Vibration Mountings & Controls, Inc. The isolators are said to eliminate high-frequency vibrations.

Less wiring on-site means less set-up time for coolers and condensers. Technology from Russell included the Navigator, a refrigeration controller said to eliminate the need for wiring between the unit cooler and the condensing unit. The controller comes factory set but can be field adjusted.

For contractors who need heat transfer equipment built to spec and help figuring out those specs, Heatcraft noted its ability to do just that.

Remote and air-cooled condensers from Bally Refrigerated Boxes featured the BCH Series for smaller indoor and outdoor applications (up to 10 tons nominal capacity).

ArctiChill featured horizontal- and vertical-discharge remote condensers. The company emphasized the quality of its cabinets as a distinctive feature.

For aftermarket applications, Standard Refrigeration offered its TX Series of chiller barrels, which would replace most major oem shell and tubes with minimal repiping and less cost.

Thermal Components told contractors that its “Tech Center” offers “technical support in the development of brazed aluminum, parallel-flow coils to meet specific applications.”

Heat exchangers, condensate

Meanwhile, the Expo gave no clear trends in heat exchanger technology. Instead there was a gamut of sizes and technologies.

And for example, the WP9 heat exchanger from WTT America was said to offer capacities up to 100 tons evaporating and 140 tons condensing.

Flat Plate showed small-sized heat exchangers. The company credits technology breakthroughs for allowing the reduced size, while “outperforming traditional shell-and-tube and coaxial-type devices.”

The selling point for the DV47 and DV57 heat exchangers from Swep is that they can deliver cool water at full or part load. They offer dual circuits, so the user can run either of two refrigerant circuits, or both, and get full heat transfer.

Dealing with condensate is one of a contractor’s toughest tasks. Expo exhibitors had a range of solutions. Some examples:

EDC International highlighted the Pacific, a condensate pump loaded with flexible internal mounts, a safety-sealed water compartment, thermal overloads, and a separate alarm circuit. A single-ended design for water connections is designed to help the unit fit into smaller spaces.

EZ Trap Inc. introduced clean-out fittings for condensate drains, said to eliminate the need for disassembling the trap and opening the unit for cleaning. A see-through concept allows for the use of a brush to clean traps or drain pans.

Taco said its FE frame-mounted, end suction pump features a base with a built-in drain pan that collects condensation and any leakage from seals.

For those contractors involved in large industrial and large commercial refrigeration systems, Hansen Technologies featured refrigerant pressure regulators with iron bodies and stainless steel springs.