Like other companies working in the sector, Heatcraft Refrigeration Products faced a new set of DOE Annual Walk-In Energy Factor (AWEF) standards taking effect on Jan. 1 of this year.
Viewing the regulatory requirement as a larger opportunity, Heatcraft made a few contractor-friendly improvements big and small on its ½- to 6-hp Air-Cooled Condensing Unit (2020 Model). For its efforts, the company not only delivered ahead of the AWED deadline but came away with the Gold medal in this year’s Refrigeration & Ice Machines category.
Asked for access improvements he has appreciated on the new models, John Dieffenbach, owner of Refrigeration Service Company in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, had a clear winner.
“The swing door,” he said, referring to the new design that can still be removed but no longer needs to be. While Heatcraft has made other modifications, “that’s a big one,” he said.
“It’s a simple thing, but it really helps the technician a lot.”
The door also features captive fasteners, eliminating the scenario of searching for a screw that may have been dropped while accessing the panel.
Behind the door, the electrical box itself is larger and more accessible. Room to house all the factory-mounted components means no more oversized crating — and reduced chances for any damage during shipping. Elsewhere in the box, wiring is now secured with reusable clips, so there’s no more clipping of wire ties.
The company mentioned raised base valves, now accessible without removing the cabinet. Access ports open to field piping saves additional time. The liquid line assembly (filter and sight glass) is standard on all models.
On the performance side, Heatcraft reduced the number of operational gaps when using high-glide refrigerants at high ambient and suction temperatures.
As for service and maintenance, the condensing unit features QR codes that direct technicians to online technical information and resources. Other configuration labeling details the selected options per unit.
Sold under the Bohn, Larkin, Climate Control, and Chandler brands, the line offers medium- and low-temperature air-cooled condensing, available with microchannel coils standard on all units. Heatcraft reports that energy-efficient EC motors are also standard on the C1 cabinet.
Heatcraft designed these condensing units for the most common commercially available refrigerants, including R-404A/R-507A, R-407A/C/F, and R-448A/R-449A.
The units may be used primarily to meet walk-in food service needs, but they can also serve in medical/pharmaceutical applications and environmental test chambers. All design improvements aside, contractors perhaps appreciate no feature more than a lack of callbacks.
With proper installation and commissioning, Dieffenbach said, that has been his company’s experience.
“Their units are always reliable.”
When very low headroom clearance is a fact of life in walk-in coolers or freezers, the Center Mount EcoNet® Enabled Unit Cooler is designed to serve, with most models measuring 11-1/8 inches in height. That profile plus other attributes opened the door to Heat Transfer Products Group LLC, which picked up a Silver in this year’s Refrigeration & Ice Machines category.
Capacity for these one- through five-fan models ranges from 3,700 to 32,400 Btuh at 10°TD, with an air flow range spanning 572 to 3,150 cfm.
Units mount flush to the ceiling to provide for extra storage space. As of July 1 this year, each model also uses dual-speed EC motors, compliant with California Title 24 requirements and new DOE regulations.
The units incorporate an innovative, proprietary independent defrost system. The technology utilizes two temperature sensing devices that independently control the individual coil defrost heaters to ensure both coil surfaces achieve complete defrost. This defrosting methodology delivers more stable room temperatures, lowers operating costs, and contributes to less food spoilage and loss.
The two-way airflow provides for even air circulation and consistent temperature. Center Mount units also feature enhanced copper hairpins for maximum heat transfer while reducing refrigerant charge.
Carel Industries S.p.A. designed its new Bronze-winning iJ electronic controller to “cover and overcome” the typical requirements of merchandisers and food display equipment.
The iJ is a simple and smart controller that enables new ways to interact with the final units through its NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi, or 2G connectivity. This enables IoT services with a cutting-edge user experience to simplify unit installation and diagnostic. Moreover, the company explains, iJ is a complete platform, from small to large formats, with the possibility of entirely changing controller style, color, and graphics to integrate an aesthetic into the final unit design.
The device works with vertical or horizontal food storage coolers, display cases, beverage coolers, and ice cream refrigerators, but it can also serve in scientific applications to meet pharmacy and laboratory needs.
Users may appreciate easy replacement of the field controller thanks to a guided procedure via smartphone app. It is possible to recover the unit configuration even when the controller is broken, downloading it via NFC in a standard spare controller by just touching the controller display with the smartphone. All these operations can be done also when the cooler is powered off to increase the safety during maintenance operations.