Sales Pitches Take on More Significance

February 19, 2007
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DALLAS - Value added, smart, dramatically improves, bigger, bolder, better. These were some of the terms tossed about at the booths of exhibitors with refrigeration-related products at the 2007 International, Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo).

But in reality there was much more to those terms than sales pitches. For the refrigeration sector is in the midst of a major upheaval when it comes to energy efficiencies. More formal, detailed, and specific refrigeration equipment standards demanding higher efficiencies are formulating in California and are expected to head toward a set of national standards by 2010. That follows the recent move to 13 SEER standards for equipment on the air conditioning side.

So virtually everything that was new on the show floor in terms of refrigeration in general and condensers specifically had technological twists and turns geared to meeting mandated standards present and to come.

NEWEST TRENDS

A double-wall brazed plate heat exchanger was shown by the Canadian company Advanced Industrial Components (www.myaic.net). The company said the product had “a special corrugation pattern to promote highly turbulent flow” which “dramatically improves heat transfer rates and reduces the amount of deposit inside the unit.”

Billed as new at the booth of Refrigeration Research was a nondripping, suction accumulator exchanger-receiver designed to provide greater heat exchange and increased efficiency. The evaporator is flooded, liquid is subcooled while proper superheat at the compressor is maintained, and dripping is avoided because the surface is always above room temperature.

Armstrong Pumps (www.armlink.com) launched its A series line of ARI-400 certified heat exchangers. They are plate and frame heat exchangers. The company also announced an expansion in its line of brazed plate heat exchangers. The company said, “The ABX plate and frame heat exchangers are highly efficient, compact, and lightweight. They are predominantly used for radiant floor, pool heating, snow-melt, domestic water, and evaporator/condenser applications.”

Over in the condensing sector and primarily on the air conditioning side, Desert Aire (www.desert-aire.com) showed three new remote outdoor condensers (ROCs), the ROCF, ROCH, and ROCQ Series, said to provide customers an economical solution for their capacity requirements. All three ROC product lines are compatible with R-410A refrigerant and are also built with a patent-pending motor assembly for greater serviceability and reduced maintenance costs.

The Value-Add SystemPro™ condensing unit from Emerson (www.emersonclimate.com) was announced as the newest addition to the company’s fractional horsepower condensing unit product line. The models range from 1/4-to 1/2-hp. The units come with filter-driers and hermetic moisture indicators already in place. The product requires one braze joint for installation, versus the conventional four brazes.

“Its compact design and functionality make it an all-in-one, ready-to-go package that contractors can put right to work in the field,” said Bob Labbett, vice president of marketing for Emerson Climate Technologies distribution service center.

The SystemPro offering, already introduced in Canada, includes 26 models. “The Value-Add SystemPro approach is good for the contractor, the customer, and the industry as a whole, making it a necessity, not an accessory,” said Bill McMillen, vice president and general manager, TWC Services Inc., Atlanta division. “The Value-Add SystemPro provides higher system reliability, a solution to working in restricted spaces, reduced expenses, and less equipment downtime and business disruption.”

The KT3 condensate pump from Hartell (www.hartell.com) has three top inlets to provide flexibility during installation, increased motor torque for start-up, and a “full-flow check valve designed for virtually clog-free operation,” the company said.

As part of its InterLink™ commercial refrigeration parts brand, Heatcraft Refrigeration Products LLC (HRP) (www.heatcraftrpd.com) announced the Smart Defrost Kit™ (SDK), a defrost solution designed to reduce refrigeration operating costs and enhance product integrity.

The SDK is a standalone control module said to reduce the number of necessary defrosts by up to 40 percent on a typical electric defrost commercial refrigeration system.

After familiarizing itself with the system, the SDK evaluates the frost accumulation on the evaporator and determines whether or not the accumulation is significant enough to initiate defrost. Unnecessary defrosts are bypassed resulting in operational savings, more consistent box temperatures, and enhanced product integrity, the company said.

Krack featured a remote air-cooled condenser with extruded aluminum microchannel coil technology.

“In the past, there has been no reliable way to discern when a refrigeration system needed to be defrosted. The Smart Defrost Kit solves this problem by evaluating the refrigeration system and determining how much frost accumulation is on the evaporator coil. If there is not significant accumulation, then the Smart Defrost Kit determines that the scheduled defrost can be skipped, allowing the system to operate at a truly optimized level,” states Jim Kitchen, senior controls product manager with HRP.

Another addition to the HRP portfolio is air-cooled condensers. The Bohn Monarch™ and Larkin Solus™ Series condensers use integrated variable-speed motor technology to optimize fan speed for load requirements, reducing noise levels and making the unit more energy efficient.

“The Bohn Monarch and Ambassador Series of condensers address the two most pressing concerns for supermarkets regarding their refrigeration needs; energy and sound,” said Subodh Sharma, senior product manager for HRP. “In particular, the Bohn Monarch EC condenser provides the lowest energy consumption and sound levels available in the industry today.”

Krack (www.krack.com) featured a remote air-cooled condenser with extruded aluminum microchannel coil technology. Among the features were a smaller size and less weight to reduce building costs, modular design for faster assembly that shortens lead time, less internal volume to reduce refrigerant charge, electronic head pressure/coil reduction controls to reduce or eliminate winter flooding charge, and coil slabs that can be replaced from the rear of the module.

Nu-Calgon (www.nu-calgon.com) introduced Evap-Fresh, billed as “a novel product for both cleaning and disinfecting evaporator coils in one step.” It is designed for evaporator coils and refrigeration equipment, as well as HVAC applications.

For maintaining clean coils Parker/Virginia (www.virginiakmp.com) featured the triplets, a coil cleaning team designed to maximize system efficiency and energy. Blast-A-Coil is a concentrated solvent cleaner in a high pres­sure sprayer designed for refrigeration coils; Foam-Max, a concentrated alkaline-based, super high foaming, outdoor condenser coil cleaner; and Coil Klean, an alkaline detergent blend for use on evaporator coils, window unit coils, metal filters, fan blades, and blower wheels.

Billed as new at the booth of Refrigeration Research (www.refresearch.com) was a non-dripping, suction accumulator exchanger-receiver designed to provide greater heat exchange and increased efficiency. The evaporator is flooded and liquid is subcooled while proper superheat at the compressor is maintained, and dripping is avoided because the surface is always above room temperature.

“Bigger, bolder, and better” was the promotion from SWEP (www.swep.net) for its line of heat exchangers. For example, the B862 has 200 mm/8-inch ports for high mass flows. The copper brazed heat exchangers in the 800 Series “will satisfy customer needs in the HVAC, industrial, and refrigeration markets and is bound to become integral in applications within district heating and district cooling as well as within the geothermal areas,” said Nils-Gustaf Tobieson, president of SWEP exchange.

Tecumseh (www.tecumseh.com) showed a wide range of refrigeration and evaporator technology. There was the Vector multi-cell refrigeration system allowing specifiers to ask for a single, multi-circuited, multirefrigerant, multi-application modular refrigeration system; Cool Products evaporating coils matched with the company’s condensing units with models available for cabinets and refrigerated rooms; the Vector outdoor refrigeration and packaged units for cold storage with the Gen III units said to be lighter weight and more compact; a merchant shopper SRS with modular design for quick system changeout and faster up time; and a walk-in box complete refrigeration system (CRS) designed as a top-mount, plug-and-play unit with R-404A.

Weiss Instruments (www.weissinstruments.com) featured Xweb 500 controlling and monitoring gateway designed for supermarkets, convenience stores, kitchens, and food warehouses. The units can be placed on a desktop or mounted vertically, either surface mounted or recessed into an electrical panel.

WINE

Even with all the mandates coming down the road, the refrigeration sector also realized its importance in the more upscale aspects of leisure living. The rapidly growing interest in wine was reflected in several exhibits at the expo showing the latest in climate control for that product.

Apex (www.apexwinecellars.com) showed Cellartec which is said to be a 24/7 monitoring service to “give you peace of mind that your valuable collection is always stored under the proper climate conditions.” It is accessible online from anywhere, with personalized alert preferences and automatic service call options.

Cellarmate (www.cellarmate.com) is a self-contained packaged unit that can be placed through the wall or fully ducted.

Publication date: 02/19/2007

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