The Worldwide Refrigeration Controls Market
In the global market, such products are needed for broader ranges of refrigerants and equipment than are used in the United States. Some products are well established in the United States, others may never find their way here. But should new technologies reach the U.S., manufacturers just may have the controls needed.
Here are some of the players and their products. They include companies unique to the United States who are making a push into the European market; companies with a presence only overseas; and companies headquartered in the United States, but with an established presence throughout much of the world.
Alco (St. Louis, MO) introduced what it called “a new platform that includes all control systems for commercial refrigeration.” For the high-pressure side, it featured controllers for condensers, condensing units, and compressor racks. For the low side were its display case controllers and cold room controllers, both with or without integrated superheat controls for electronic expansion valves. All products were said to be able to be linked to the LON protocol.
Sporlan Valve (Washington, MO) displayed its electric expansion valves. The step motor flow-control valves were designed for precise control of liquid refrigerant flow.
The booth of Parker Climate & Industrial Controls (Cleveland, OH) was staffed with employees from the company’s United Kingdom and Italian offices. A focus was on valves and protectors for systems using halocarbons.
Danfoss, headquartered in Hasselager, Denmark, again had the largest exhibit space. The company noted that two standard Maneurop reciprocating compressors were being offered in a single package with a compact design but large cooling capacity. Also noted were Performer Model scrolls in the 20- to 25-hp range.
Among the offerings of Johnson Controls (Milwaukee, WI) were compact digital controllers for general-purpose and multistage control.
Elreha of Germany showed cold storage controllers for electronic expansion valves that work with temperature only. The company said a pressure sensor was not necessary.
Dual-flow restrictor control was offered by Aeroquip (New Haven, IN). The product was billed as a cost-effective alternative to cap tubes, check valves, and strainers.
Electronic oil level control was the focus at the booth of Temprite (Europe) Ltd. Its Opti-Level control was developed for use with scroll compressor systems. An oil level switch is mounted directly on a sight glass port and a compact solenoid valve to mount directly on the compressor.
Helical oil separators were featured at the booth of Henry Technologies (Melrose Park, IL). According to the company, “The helical oil separator features a centrifugal flow path, achieving approximately 99% efficiency of oil separation with low pressure drop.” Also shown was the Optronic electronic oil level regulator for use with compressors that don’t have oil pumps, such as scrolls. It is said to be suitable for high- and low-pressure oil systems.
COMPRESSORSBitzer (Sindelfingen, Ger-many) featured five innovations. The CSH65 compact screw compressor covered the 35- to 60-hp range and completed the company’s range in the lower power brackets. The Octagon® eight-cylinder semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors have capacities of 60 to 70 hp and feature integrated pulsation mufflers and capacity controls.
Tandem compressors based on the Octagon design had two and four cylinders for compact parallel compressor operation, particularly for commercial refrigeration applications where high load variations and energy-efficient operation were needed at both full and part load. The company also showed air-cooled condenser units with Octagon and EuroScroll® compressors, water-cooled condensing units, shell-and-tube condensers, and liquid receivers.
Copeland (Sidney, OH) had one of the most extensive rollouts. In the compressor category, there were small semi-hermetics for transport and small stationary condensing units. On the higher end were air conditioning application scrolls in 25-hp single and 50-hp tandem configurations for use in cooling only and in reversible heat pumps. Also for air conditioning: 60-hp semi-hermetic compressors for use with R-134a.
The hoopla the company had been giving horizontal scrolls for refrigeration over the past year or so in the U.S. was given worldwide attention at IKK. Noted were five models in the 2- to 6-hp range. They are produced at a company plant in Cookstown, UK, according to the company. Also with a decided European emphasis were three scroll-assembly designs for use with R-407C, a refrigerant alternative to R-22 much more popular in Europe than the U.S.
Sanyo of China also showcased scroll compressors for air conditioning.
And Radford Control Systems of England offered compressor controls that had a dual function when used with the condenser. Floating head pressure was used as well.
CONDENSING UNITS AND LARGER COMPONENTSCopeland noted that its outdoor condensing unit (OCU) is available in what it called “a new low-noise version. Making use of the latest scroll compressor technology, the new model features sound levels well below those of competitors’ low-noise units.”
Alfa Laval SpA from Italy used the show to showcase the AC80 brazed-plate evaporator and condenser, with a double circuit for a range of 30 to 80 kW at standard conditions.
The German firm GEA Ecoflex showed heat exchangers with laser-welded cassette plates, said to be better than conventionally sealed exchangers.
Heatcraft Europe (based in France) reported that it has opened another heat exchanger production plant in Italy. The company now has three plants in Europe with more than 500 employees.
Regarding copper and aluminum fins, Tridan (Danville, IL) offered a fin stamping system for the production of heat transfer coils.
DiversiTech (Decatur, GA) suggested that condensers be mounted on its Ultralite pads rather than patio stones. With one-eighth the weight of patio stones, the product was said to be “strengthened by almost nine miles of fiber in each square foot of the fiber-cement coating.”
A company out of London called Shearflow featured modular air curtains. The modules can be linked together for different opening widths, but the laminar airflow barrier is designed to suppress cold drafts in winter and prevent loss of conditioned air in summer.
Servicemobil of Germany offered customizing of components for use in a service van.
Pumps also proved popular. Little Giant (a Tecumseh subsidiary in Oklahoma City, OK) featured condensate-removal pump products.
Witt, with operations in Germany, drew attention to its hermetic refrigerant pump and evaporators for secondary refrigerants.
TOOLS AND COMPONENTSIn Europe, familiar names TIF, Amprobe, and Promax were under the name of its German organization, Amprobe Test Measurement GmbH, rather than Advanced Test Products as in the U.S. The European market had access to a range of recovery units, leak detectors, electronic scales, vacuum pumps, and manifolds.
Robinair (Montpelier, OH) offered vacuum gauges, leak detectors, manifolds and the like, all under the theme “cool tools.”
Mastercool (Randolph, NJ) wanted the overseas market to be aware of its gauges, recovery equipment, vacuum pumps, and retrofit options.
Ritchie Engineering (Bloom-ington, MN) also featured recovery equipment, leak monitors, and charging systems.
The use of fluorescent leak detection continues to have its advocates. The familiar technology of Spectroline (Long Island, NY) was evident in the booth of the company’s British distributor Advanced Engineering.
CPS (Hialeah, FL and Antwerpen, Belgium) featured the Eliminator, an electronic leak detector with a cold cathode diode, said to “deliver unparalleled resistance to background contaminants with extreme sensitivity.”
Inficon (East Syracuse, NY) showed Protec and Ecotech II leak detection technologies. The methodologies were designed for the manufacturing stage and use helium.
Among recovery tools at the show was the Stinger Model 2000 refrigerant recovery system from Bacharach (Pittsburgh, PA).
CMP (Oklahoma City, OK) brought “ventilplattenmontagen angepasst an Bitzer,” valve plate assemblies for Bitzer compressors.
La-Co Markal (Oak Park, IL) offered the European market a wide range of fluxes and pastes.
Imperial (Niles, IL) showed a swaging/tube expander and a line of PolarShield® hoses and couplings. The latter feature an automatic shut-off valve and high-pressure barrier construction. J.B. Industries (Aurora, IL) emphasized the value of deep vacuums.
IMI Klimatechnik of Germany displayed two units, including a wall-mounted unit with horizontal air discharge to reduce the risk of draughts.
The British firm Aspen showed a wide range of pumps, including one so basic that a sensor is not needed. “Simply connect the pump to the appropriate drip tray,” said the company.
Refrigeration fittings with wrought copper solder joints were featured by the French company Raccord Orleanais.
Power switches, suppressors, stabilizers, and regulators were featured by Sollatek of the United Kingdom, whose booth included a large photo of soccer players covering themselves in preparation for a penalty kick, under which there was the caption, “protect your valuable equipment.”
ICM (Syracuse, NY) had a three-phase programmable voltage monitor to contend with the potential for motor burnout.
Mueller Refrigeration Co. (Hendersonville, TN) listed a range of products including ball valves, filter-driers, flare fittings, and flanges.
Single-point level sensors and switches were shown by Hansen Technologies (Burr Ridge, IL). They were said to be used in refrigerant vessels, compressor packages, pump packages, and flooded evaporators.
In motor-related matters, Supco (Allenwood, NJ) showed E Class hard-start kits, coupling electronic potential relay technology with a safety timing circuit. Also shown were D Series time delays for equipment protection and Supr and Apr5 universal potential relays, which provide wire-to-wire replacement of any potential relay with added motor protection, according to the company.
Sidebar: Copeland Makes Note Of Worldwide PresenceBecause Copeland Corp. is based in the heartland of America in Sidney, OH, its worldwide presence can be sometimes overlooked.
So at the most recent International Trade Fair for Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Ventilation (IKK) in Hannover, the company, with its booth staffed in part with employees from its Berlin offices, made note of its ever-expanding efforts in Europe.
“To meet the growing needs of the (European) market, Copeland has recently extended its commercial air conditioning and refrigeration scroll manufacturing capacity in Europe and is planning to redouble production again in 2005,” according to an announcement from the company. It was reported that 100,000 scrolls were produced in Europe in 2000, with plans for 200,000 per year by 2005. In a related announcement, the company said it is “extending the production of smaller scrolls and plans to redouble the production of these models over the coming years.” The statistics show about 250,000 light commercial units manufactured in Europe in 2000, with plans for yearly production of 500,000 by 2005.
The company said it would begin manufacturing R-410A scrolls at its Northern Ireland factory in early 2002, “so as to service the European market with local production.” It was noted that “Copeland is sending a clear message to its customers that we are prepared to invest in meeting all their needs today — and into the future.”
The company said the totals were in addition to the “4.5 million scroll compressors Copeland manufactures annually across its nine scroll factories worldwide.”
Publication date: 11/05/2001