On June 27, Danfoss officially opened the doors and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil its latest Application Development Center (ADC) in Tallahassee, Florida.
Danfoss’s executive committee, regional management, customers, and Tallahassee’s mayor were all on hand for the event.
The ADC features three fully automated test facilities capable of accommodating residential and commercial air conditioning and heat pump equipment, including 1.2- to 50-ton rooftop units and air-cooled chillers up to 150 ton in size.
Additionally, the lab will be able to test mildly flammable refrigerants at global nameplate voltages with real-time data acquisition and performance analysis. The 22,000-square-foot space was created, at least in part, to keep up to date with compliance regulations, testing requirements, and changing efficiency standards in North America.
“One of the major drivers behind this significant investment is the increasing needs of our customers to comply with the unprecedented number of U.S. EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and DOE [Department of Energy] regulations and testing requirements,” said John Galyen, president, Danfoss North America, back when the groundbreaking event for the facility was held in 2015. “We feel it is critical for us to help our industry prepare for the transition ahead to meet low-GWP [global warming potential] refrigerant targets and higher energy-efficiency levels. There is not enough existing lab capacity in the U.S. to meet the demands, so this investment will enable our customers to accelerate the path of their next-generation equipment.”
THE OPENING EVENT
To witness the opening of the center, guests filled the large area outside of the ADC’s test chambers as the company’s executives spoke about their goals and expectations for the facility and the entire network of ADCs that Danfoss has. The Tallahassee location joins facilities in Ames, Iowa; Nordborg, Denmark; Oragadam, India; and Haiyan, China.
“Our objective is to make each of our Application Development Centers a place where local Danfoss application experts work with our customers in a collaborative, innovative environment that accelerates technology and propels business,” said Stefan Pietrek, senior director, global applications, Danfoss. “This ADC is designed to support testing specifically for the North American air conditioning market.”
This center is not Danfoss’s first foray in Tallahassee, as the company opened a manufacturing facility in the city about a decade ago. Tallahassee’s mayor, Andrew Gillum, said, “To be standing here 10 years later, I have to say it’s probably one of the best decisions our commission ever made.”
Gillum went on to say, “The team at Danfoss has made and continues to make tremendous investments in our community that not only bring good-paying jobs and economic growth but a level of engagement that is helping Tallahassee define itself as a 21st century city.”
The initial investment in the ADC coincided with Danfoss’s launch of a new global brand identity — Engineering Tomorrow — which, according to Galyen, emphasizes how the company is “providing technologies and solutions that do more with less today by showcasing its broad portfolio and expertise to meet the world’s growing set of challenges in infrastructure, a safe food supply, energy efficiency, low-GWP, and climate-friendly solutions. Toward that end, we are helping the industry prepare for the regulations and standards shaping our future.”
Attendees of the grand opening were also treated to a tour of the facility, during which tour guides demonstrated what specific segments of the ADC could perform and accomplish.
Danfoss and local research partners Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), and Florida State University (FSU), then provided an innovation demonstration to attendees.
“The Application Development Center will provide the multidisciplinary infrastructure needed for HVAC, where together with our customers and research institutions, like FAMU/FSU, we can accelerate innovation and create greater value for all stakeholders,” said Ricardo Schneider, president of Danfoss Turbocor® Compressors.
This demonstration showcased Danfoss’s Turbocor Compressors as well as some of the cutting-edge technologies Danfoss is currently experimenting with, such as augmented reality and 3-D printing.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the facility is a controlled chamber that can create a wide range of extreme weather conditions, from freezing temperatures all the way to sweltering heat. As a whole, the ADC is designed to support testing, especially for the NAM air conditioning segment that comprises air conditioning split units, rooftop units, and chillers in climactic controlled chambers.
Per Danfoss, a test of roon air conditioning (RAC) and small rooftop air-handling units (RTUs) in side-by-side climatic chambers range from 1.2-12 tons of refrigeration (TR), a test of RTU/small chillers in over-under climatic chambers ranges from 5-50 TR, and a test of air-cooled chillers ranges from 50-150 TR. The laboratory will also be prepared for testing of units charged with flammable refrigerants.
Gregory Handzel, manager of the ADC, explained during the ceremony that the collaboration facilitated by the ADC will help air conditioning equipment manufacturers improve performance through system-level testing.
“This lab enables engineering teams to validate new concepts and develop products and solutions that solve key challenges in today’s market,” he said.
During the event, Danfoss also showcased some of the statistics behind the building’s creation. The chilled water system at the ADC holds 1,200 gallons and includes a 50-ton testing pit and 45 double-insulated prismatic skylights.
“Danfoss has a long tradition of innovation,” said Galyen, summarizing the event, the facility, and what is to come. “This new Application Development Center affirms our commitment to helping our customers engineer tomorrow and advancing energy efficiency and climate-friendly solutions.”
Publication date: 9/4/2017