TORAD Engineering LLC has tested a new 40-ton spool compressor designed for medium-pressure refrigerants, such as R134a, as well as low- and ultra-low-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants such as R513A and HFO-1234yf. The compressor has demonstrated improved efficiency and performance characteristics compared to scroll, screw and magnetic bearing centrifugal compressors. The technology is targeted toward commercial chillers with compressor capacities under tons and where the spool compressor has a cost advantage over legacy compressors. Financial support for the project came from five leading global manufacturers of commercial compressors and air conditioning chillers.

“Closed cycle testing of the prototype spool compressor proves the technology is an attractive alternative to legacy compressors utilizing medium-pressure refrigerants,” said Joe Orosz, COO of Torad. “The spool compressor’s excellent performance at both full-load and part-load chiller conditions, combined with its low manufacturing cost, provides a viable path to affordable, high-efficiency chillers.”

Greg Kemp, TORAD’S founder and CEO, added: “Worldwide regulatory groups have made it clear that ultra-low-GWP refrigerants [with a GWP less than 10] will be mandated in the future; the only real question is, how soon? The air-conditioning industry is facing a genuine challenge regarding the delivery of ultra-low-GWP air-conditioning products that are more energy efficient as well as affordable. TORAD’s spool compressor has the potential to help meet these challenges.”

TORAD Engineering, LLC