Working with refrigerants these days requires recovery, recycling and sometimes reclamation. This is becoming especially important with the phaseout of R-22.

Refrigerant recovery machines have been a part of an HVACR service arsenal for more than 20 years, when regulations against venting went into effect.

At one time, more than 50 companies were producing such machines. Today, that has dwindled to a handful or so. But there still remains a need for such equipment. That is because the refrigerant venting ban remains in effect; there is a need to replace older, aging models; and technicians are encouraged to use the newest technologies.

The most recent Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition in New York City had a number of manufacturers showing their more recent products. Not all were brand new at the time of the expo, but what was being shown represented some of the newest approaches to mandatory refrigerant recovery.

To assist contractors in keeping up with the latest products,The NEWSis providing this listing of exhibitors at the expo who were drawing close attention to recovery/recycling equipment. Companies are listed alphabetically and information is based on printed information supplied by the companies at the expo.

Appion Inc.( had the G5 Twin that comes with what the company said was “an extra heavy duty crankcase” for driving twin pistons. The twin pistons were used to allow for greater throughput in both the liquid and vapor phase. The crankcase is isolated from the refrigerant to allow the main drive of the unit to last longer because the bearings are not being washed in refrigerant. The unit pumps vapor or liquid refrigerant without throttling, the company said.

The twin cylinders also even out the loads while delivering greater pumping speeds for both liquid and vapor.

CPS( showed the Cyclone 1-hp Pro-Set which has a 1-hp oil-less reciprocating compressor. There was an automatic low-pressure shut-off feature that turns the unit off when the recovery is completed. The unit is configured to work with R-410A with a 550-psi high pressure shut off switch. A built-in suction filter is located under the suction port.

The Vortex AC has ceramic bearings designed to allow longer life.

Inficon( has the Vortex AC refrigerant recovery machine that the company said combines the high performance and durability of its previous Vortex with several design changes and a three-year replacement warranty for the entire machine. The company said the compressor has been upgraded with ceramic bearings designed to allow for longer life, and increased recovery rates.

Promax( showed Model RG5410EX refrigerant recovery machine. The product is said to have “extremely fast” recovery of all commonly used CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs including R-410A. An automatic low-pressure cut-off switch turns the machine off at 15 inches of vacuum, eliminating wear and tear on the machine, according to the company. Auto-purge helps clear any residual refrigerant, leaving the machine “ready to go” for the next service call. There is also a padded handle grip to aid in the carrying of the machine to jobsites.

The Powermax is a 22-pound recovery system with a 1-hp oilless compressor.

REFCO( showed Powermax, 22-pound recovery system with a 1 hp oil-less compressor. There is a two-hose refrigerant recovery system. One connection system provides automatic, straight through, liquid vapor operation. There is also a self-evacuation feature. Recovery rates are up to 5 pounds per minute liquid and 1/2-pound per minute in vapor.

Ritchie Engineering Co.( showed the RecoveryXLT refrigerant recovery machine that was promoted as a way to “work smart” on the jobsite.

According to the company, “The quickest way is not always the best way. If, in refrigerant recovery, you slug the compressor with liquid, it can cause premature compressor failure.” So the company said the XLT “has a built-in constant pressure regulator valve that regulates the refrigerant input to protect the compressor.”

In addition, the device has a single valve control for changeover from liquid to vapor to purge. There is also automatic shutoff at 15 inches of vacuum and automatic restart if pressure rises.

Publication date:03/10/2008