When walking into the LG Components 2020 AHR booth, one of the first things a visitor would see is LG Component’s display of compressors. In 2006, LG started selling compressors into the U.S. market. In the first year, it sold 16,000 compressors. This past year, the company sold 1.6 million in the U.S. market. And at the 2020 AHR Expo, the company announced the addition of a new compressor to its product line — the R1. The product will launch in late spring 2020.
The R1 compressor is engineered for energy-efficient operation in residential and light commercial applications It has evolved from LG’s traditional scroll compressor and rotary compressor, providing efficiency improvements including a hybrid scroll wrap, a lower-sound-generating structure, and a mid-bearing scroll assembly that reduces tilting movement, thereby lowering wasted energy usage.
“The LG R1 variable speed compressor combines LG’s dedication to high-precision performance and energy-saving technology, providing OEMs and their customers with a durable, cost-efficient solution designed to meet the needs of most residential or light commercial applications,” said Minhee Jang, director of engineering and quality, LG Component Solutions USA.
At the press conference announcing the launch of the product, Mike Robertson, senior account manager for LG, explained that the compressor takes the best of rotary technology and of high-side scroll technology, and merges it into one.
“The compressor takes the scroll mechanism, has a shaft that penetrates through the scroll, and actually oscillates,” Robertson said. “It gets the scroll, mid-shell, closer to the oil supply. By moving it to the center, it becomes more stable and we get more efficiency.”
He added that this also means that oil does not need to be pumped as far to lubricate key moving parts, reducing the likelihood of oil loss.
“We’ve got additional efficiency in the tune of about 10 percent over our already flagship product,” said Jerry Edwards, LG Components sales engineer. “We have 20 percent reduction in weight over our flagship model, and a 4db reduction in sound. The unit is quieter, weighs less, and is more efficient. Everything our customers love.”
Designed specifically for the North American residential market, the compressor has a wide operation range of 10-150HZ, offering a 15:1 turn-down ratio. With LG’s ultra-high mechanical efficiency, it features an overload protector that prevents damage in abnormal conditions, copper stubs for easy brazing, and precision-calibrated bypass valves that facilitate a smoother, easier start-up by relieving pressure and protecting against over-compression.
R1 was the focal point of the LG Components booth this year, but the company also took time to highlight some of its other current compressors.
“The high-side scroll compressor allows us to enjoy a high efficiency level, and to be able to pump refrigerant through long line sets,” said Robertson. “One of the things that that the high-side shell compressor allows us to do is enjoy [an improved vertical separation] of 360 feet.’
“LG developed this next-generation refrigeration scroll compressor for applications that require a solid and reliable refrigeration system,” said Minhee Jang, director of engineering and quality, LG Electronics USA Component Solutions. “This is a tightly calibrated, cost-effective compressor, complete with new innovations that improve the performance of the refrigeration system, prevent damaging conditions, and create value for contractors and business owners.”
The company also featured the unitary duty rotary compressor, which has reinforced mechanical parts and an oil charge that allows use in unitary systems, especially split systems. Robertson said that LG engineers designed a way to allow that compressor to equalize pressure through a solenoid valve so it can start naturally on its own, without the use of a hard start kit.
“Rather than adapting an existing compressor design, our research and development team took a fresh look at how to apply a rotary solution in a standard unitary application without using additional electrical components,” said Kwangho Kim, president of the LG Solutions division. “We’ve stress-tested the compressor extensively under harsh conditions to ensure leading efficiency and performance that distributors and contractors can recommend with confidence.”
The LG unitary duty rotary’s patented restarting solenoid valve mechanically equalizes pressure between the compressor shell and the low side of the system, creating a start-up process that is much smoother and less taxing on the components. The solenoid valve opens when power is interrupted to the compressor and closes when the compressor is energized.
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