Recovery-recycling lightens up, reclamation expands

March 31, 2000
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DALLAS, TX — At the International Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigerating Expo-sition here, the recurring theme among manufacturers of recovery-recycling equipment was how light their equipment was for the service tech on the go.

Reclaimers, on the other hand, talked about expanding markets.

Robinair Div., SPX Corp., introduced its Cool-Tech line of refrigerant recovery units. Leon Cogswell, stationary product specialist for the firm, noted that all three units in the line are built on the same platform, using the same case design.

A heavy-duty, oil-less compressor and large condenser combine to minimize recovery time. The system has “a good center of balance,” said Cogswell, and the case is ergonomically designed. The back panel is concave and “hugs your leg, so it’s easier to carry.”

The Model 25200B provides automatic liquid lift for fast recovery, and automatic liquid-to-vapor switching. It handles medium- and high-pressure refrigerants, including R-410A. Recovery rates are 0.4 to 0.6 lb/min vapor and 5 to 7 lb/min liquid. Weight is 32 lb.

The Model 25175A provides manual liquid or vapor recovery for medium- and high-pressure refrigerants, including R-410A. Recovery rates are up to 1 lb/min vapor, up to 3 lb/min liquid, and up to 7 lb/min liquid lift. Weight is 29 lb.

The Model 25150A is a basic recovery unit for medium-pressure refrigerants. Recovery rates are 0.16 to 0.20 lb/min vapor and 3 to 5 lb/min liquid (using liquid lift). Weight is 27 lb.

Promax/Amprobe, a United Dominion Co., displayed the new RG5410HP oil-less refrigerant recovery system. A 6-in.-dia, high-output cooling fan and a three-row, 3/8-in. condenser coil provide for greater heat exchange and faster recovery, says the firm.

The compressor is field service-able; four repair kits are available. Six hex screws provide access to the inside of the case for easier field servicing. The system recovers CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants including R-410A. Recovery rates are up to 0.39 lb/min vapor, up to 4 lb/min liquid, and up to 10 lb/min liquid push-pull. The unit weighs 30 lb.

The new Stinger brand of refrigerant recovery systems was introduced by F.T. Industries, LLC. The machine is compact, “15% to 50% smaller than competitive units,” said John Sincavage, marketing manager. It weighs in at 24 lb.

The unit is said to allow the evacuation of a 3-ton air conditioning system in less than 5 min. According to Michael Tranchina, director of sales and marketing, “The Stinger is capable of doing this due to its advanced oil-less compressor with a single valve and liquid head design.”

Other features include a durable polymer housing. The machine can recover medium- and high-pressure refrigerants including R-410A. Recovery rates are 0.3 lb/min vapor, 4.5 lb/min liquid, and 15 lb/min liquid push-pull.

Recovering nicely

Leybold Inficon Inc. showed its new Xtract-R™ refrigerant recovery system, which the company says is now faster and lighter. Its new dc-powered, oil-less compressor is said to provide higher recovery rates and to be more liquid tolerant. The system weighs 29 lb.

The unit has a bigger fan for better cooling. The molded case is balanced to ease carrying. And pressure gauge indicators can be changed without taking the case apart.

It is designed to handle commonly used CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs, including blends such as R-404A and -410A. For R-22, recovery rates are 0.30 lb/min vapor, 2.2 lb/min liquid, and 10.5 lb/min liquid push-pull.

Ritchie Engineering Co. Inc. displayed its new Yellow Jacket® R60 refrigerant recovery system. Its 1¼2-hp reciprocating oil-less compressor, direct drive, and permanently lubricated cylinder walls make for a durable unit, says the company.

The system is also said to be cool running with no cutout in high ambient temperatures. The balanced polyurethane case eases handling.

The unit recovers common refrigerants including R-410A. Recovery rates are 1 lb/min vapor and up to 4 lb/min liquid. Weight is 29.9 lb.

Advantages of the new Model 600 recovery-recycling system from Thermaflo Corp., according to vice president of sales Nick Scuderi, is that it offers the “lightest compressor,” enabling its weight to be reduced to 23 lb. It also features a two-year warranty on parts and labor.

The 1-hp, belt-drive compressor provides more torque and pumping capability, said Scuderi. “At higher temperatures, it pumps better than the competition.” It handles the usual array of refrigerants, including R-410A. The unit recovers more than 10 lb/min liquid push-pull.

CPS Products, Inc., showed its Pro-Set® line of refrigerant recovery units. Offered in four models, the CR300 and CR400 use standard oil-filled compressors. The CR500 and CR600 have oil-less compressors.

The 400 and 600 both provide automatic liquid-to-vapor switching. “They do not need manual regulating,” stated Richard Koldewey, senior project engineer. The 600 has dual fans, enabling it to operate normally in 140°F desert heat, the company says.

The 300 and 500 use an advanced, piston-style suction valve for easier regulating of liquid or vapor refrigerant. And Koldewey noted that his firm has “broken the 20-pound barrier,” with the 500 weighing in at just 19.5 lb.

All four units handle a range of refrigerants including R-410A. The 300 and 400 have recovery rates of 0.65 lb/min vapor, 0.85 lb/min liquid, and 7 lb/min liquid push-pull. The 500 has rates of 1 lb/min vapor, 2.5 lb/min liquid, and 11 lb/min liquid push-pull. The 600 recovers at 1.25 lb/min vapor, 3 lb/min liquid, and 12 lb/min liquid push-pull. The 300 and 400 weigh 28 lb, while the 600 is 29 lb.

National Refrigeration Products, Inc., introduced its GS2000 oil-less refrigerant recovery unit. The unit incorporates a new, heavy-duty, 1/2-hp compressor which can pump liquid refrigerant directly while recovering CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs, including R-410A. It also offers a patented pump-out feature.

Recovery rates are up to 0.33 lb/min vapor, up to 3.5 lb/min liquid, and up to 10 lb/min liquid push-pull. Weight is 35 lb.

Back to a pure state

The Honeywell International, Genetron Refrigerants booth included information on the company’s reclamation program. David Fahr, reclaim manager, said the firm provides full reclamation of unmixed refrigerants at its Baton Rouge, LA facility.

Right now the facility is handling mostly R-22, although it can reclaim other refrigerants as well. “Ninety percent of the refrigerant we deal with is R-22,” said Fahr.

The company’s wholesalers deal with contractors who do recovery work. Wholesalers typically use 1,000-lb recovery cylinders to collect refrigerant. Honeywell is now supplying its major wholesalers with the J-Tech refrigerant identifier to measure the purity and identify contamination in refrigerants.

Contractors presently need to avoid any mixing of refrigerants. Fahr said the company is looking into doing separation, but “It’s awfully costly.”

According to Gib Gaeke, regional sales manager for Hudson Technologies Co., the firm is making its RefrigerantSide™ services program more suitable for service contractors by downsizing the equipment to handle smaller jobs.

With skilled technicians increasingly hard to find, the company is promoting that it performs refrigerant recovery and other services for the contractor, thus freeing up the contractor’s techs for more technically demanding work.

“With the ongoing shortage of technicians, we’re using technology to replace manpower,” stated Walter Phillips, vice president, sales and marketing.

Additional services include reclamation, chiller decontamination, system dehydration, and others.

CFC Refimax Inc. showed its RPS high-speed, portable recovery and reclamation system. Doug Romine, president, noted that the company has four units (two are explosion proof), providing East Coast coverage. The system is transported to a site to provide on-site reclamation, chiller dehydration, non-condensable (air) removal, mineral oil flushing, and other services.

Romine said the RPS can be pulled up to a chiller with moisture and standing water from ruptured tubes and “clean it up in 48 hours.” Contaminants are said to be removed at speeds up to 2,700 lb/hr.

The company plans to eventually expand nationwide.

At the booth of Refrigerant Services Inc., the company announced the formation of a jointly owned corporation with Pure Chem, Inc., for the processing of mixed refrigerants, alcohol, acids, and solvents using proprietary and patented technologies developed by both firms.

The new corporation will initially operate three facilities in Rhome TX, Longview TX, and Arvin CA, under the name of Pure Chem Separation Technologies, Inc. “No longer will incineration be the only solution for these complex refrigerant mixtures,” said Jim Thomas, president of Refrigerant Services.

The two companies’ technologies are said to provide high-yield separation, returning to the customer in excess of 95% of the refrigerants and solvents received. Chris Ludwig, president of Pure Chem, said that “This is extremely important to our customers with more valuable CFC refrigerants that are in diminishing supply.”

Perfect Cycle Corp. introduced its Model LPPD low-pressure pumpdown unit. The system features recovery, recycle, and reclaim modes of operation. It transfers refrigerant and evacuates a chiller system, purifying dirty refrigerant by removing oil, acids, and moisture. The system then recharges the chiller with the clean refrigerant.

The unit is offered in three capacity sizes of 1,600, 2,400, and 3,400 lb. Transfer rates are 2 lb/min vapor and 24.3 lb/min liquid. Processing rates are 1.5 to 3 lb/min. A high-pressure option is also available.

Sidebar: Guide to today's refrigerants

National Refrigerants, Inc., announced the publication of the third edition of its Refrigerant Reference Guide. In addition to information on traditional refrigerants, the guide includes up-to-date thermodynamic data and other information on the new HFC refrigerants and retrofit blends.

The first copy of the guide is free to anyone in the industry. Mary Anne Murray, marketing manager, remarked, “I’ve been told that contractors keep a copy of the guide in their trucks for easy reference.”

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