A manufacturer of modular chillers has announced its entry into the retrofit market and is in the process of adding HVAC contractors to perform the retrofit work. Sparta, Wis.-based Multistack® said the new business is called Maglev Retrofit Solutions.

“By retrofitting existing systems with MagLev technology, hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment upgrades can be avoided, while still allowing the building owner an opportunity to make a positive step with regard to energy consumption and CO2 emissions,” said Mark Platt, president and CEO of Multistack.

Platt said the retrofits would involve its MagLev compressors and its proprietary Maglev control system multi-compressor touch screen controller.

“MagLev is short for magnetic levitation, and it means what it suggests,” said Dan Thatcher, Maglev Retrofit Solutions executive vice president. “In this compressor, the motor shaft levitates in a magnetic field, nearly eliminating frictional losses and reducing wear surfaces. Retrofit contractors will be able to apply this technology to chillers of all types - packaged units, condensing units, in water cooled, and air cooled environments - generating energy reducing upgrades that until now were unheard of. “

He added that much of the energy reduction in the MagLev compressor system is due to the integration of variable-speed technology in the compressor motor to help ensure that the compressor operates at peak efficiencies regardless of system load. The company uses Danfoss Turbocor compressors, which are oil-free and have magnetic bearing, variable-speed compression.


Platt said, “Retrofit contractors who partner with MagLev Retrofit Solutions will have to pass through an extensive screening process, participate in multiple training programs, and be committed to providing the type of service Multistack has built a 20-year reputation on. These stringent guidelines will ensure that each MagLev Retrofit Solutions territory is served by the very best contractor group in the industry.”

The training will encompass both start-up and installation procedures. Those who successfully complete the program will be identified as MagLev Retrofit Contractors. Platt said the company is currently in the process of developing that contractor base and plans to eventually have about 100-200 contractors involved.

He said, “Looking forward into the next decade, our country will become more focused on environmental issues than ever before. Being able to retrofit older equipment with modern technology will be a business with almost unlimited growth potential. An extensive catalog of solutions, exceptional distribution capabilities, and a commitment to excellence will ensure that Maglev Retrofit Solution’s contractors will be poised to make the most of this business by being equipped with the best solution possible backed by the best company possible.”


Platt said the decision to enter the retrofit sector came in response to industry feedback. “As one of the early adopters of Turbocor technology, the MagLev team has more experience applying these complex compressors than anyone in the industry, and the industry knew it.”

That early adaptation of Turbocor technology enters into the equation, he said. “Being on the ground floor of a new technology and seeing all the good and bad that went with its introduction has given our team the highest level of experience in the industry. Through that experience we were able to develop the Multistack FlexSys controller - allowing complete control of the compressor at full and part load to create maximum efficiency. The team has developed a control package that logs data, allows fine tuning without a separate laptop, and controls up to eight compressors at once.”

From there the focus on retrofit grew. “Over the past several years, we have been approached by many of our industry friends to aid in both the OEM equipment as well as the retrofit side of the Turbocor business,” said Platt. “As a result, more than two years ago, we began a joint venture with Mesa Energy Systems, an Emcor company in Southern California, to develop a controller suitable for both the OEM and retrofit businesses.

“It made sense to transfer that business model over to the people who needed it most - retrofit customers.”

For more information, visit www.multistack.com.

Publication date:10/12/2009