Recovery technology was a focus at the ThermaFlo booth.
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — Familiarity can bring comfort rather than breed contempt. Walking the floor of the 2002 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) and seeing well-known names still promoting well-understood recovery technology brings a sense of stability to a once unstable sector of the industry. Improvements, embellishments, and some shifting of manufacturers were evident, but the basic elements are still in place.

Among newer items from Ritchie Engineering (Bloomington, MN) were the R70a recovery system with automatic switching, the R50a recovery unit for use with small to medium-sized systems, and the R100 Series with twin-cylinder, 1-hp, oil-less compressors for large commercial jobs.

Reftec International (Clearwater, FL) showed its new NanoVac, a more economical version of its full-featured Micro-Vac, but using a simplified approach involving the connection of two hoses and one valve.

Therma-Flo (Springfield, MA) talked up OZ Powermax, a 22-lb. recovery unit with a 1-hp compressor. It was said to be capable of going from vapor to liquid automatically. The company said the unit could be repaired in the field with a parts kit available through the company.

National Refrigeration Products (Philadelphia, PA) showed its Globesaver oil-less unit for use with R-12, -22, -502, -134a, as well as blends. It also touted the Mini-Globesaver recovery unit and ReVac, a combination oil-less recovery unit and vacuum pump.

Serv-I-Quip (Downingtown, PA) showed an R-410A reclamation system. It was said to safely handle the higher pressures of what the company called “increased drier (technology) to address moisture issues.”

A recovery station from ITE in Belgium is said to work with CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs. It has an oil-less compressor, is self-discharging, and automatically recovers liquid and vapor.

Europe was also represented in the recovery sector by the Spanish company Stag, which has an interesting marketing approach. The company first is hoping to establish a base in South America and eventually bring the product and its Spanish language literature and support services to heavily Hispanic enclaves in the United States.

The recovery equipment at one booth requires as much of an explanation about corporate changes as it does the equipment itself. The booth was jointly shared by TIF, Amprobe, Promax, and Robinair, the latter two manufacturers of recovery equipment. The recent acquisition by SPX (longtime owner of Robinair) of ATP Corp. (Miami, FL), which owns Amprobe, TIF, and Promax, brought all four companies under one roof. One technology item noted at the booth was of plans to incorporate Promax’s drive-train technology into the Robinair units.

Also, Promax showed the Minimax, a light and more compact recovery machine that works with all existing refrigerants, including R-410A.

In the area of cylinders, Amtrol (West Warwick, RI) offered units with dual-port liquid/vapor valves.

Publication date: 02/11/2002