HANNOVER, Germany — When the International Trade Fair for Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation (IKK) first started 22 years ago, it was most decidedly a refrigeration show. After all, that was what was needed to keep everything from foods to medical supplies useable over long periods of time.

Air conditioning was mainly a matter for human comfort, more popular in the United States than Europe. But today air conditioning is a major part of the hvacr equation in Europe. In residential applications, it is still mainly mini-splits. But commercial and industrial segments are seeing more and more complex systems, and IKK is paying more and more attention to the topic. Here is a summary of some of what was shown at the most recent show.

Mitsubishi Electric offered a concept called City Multi, which was targeted for office blocks, hotels, and large retail stores. The concept involved variable refrigerant flow, multi-split systems. “At certain times of the year, many buildings can require cooling in some areas and heating in others — even in adjacent rooms,” was given as one reason for the technology. City Multi was said to distribute surplus heat from cooling operations to rooms where it is needed, resulting in energy savings of up to 20% over conventional systems.

Trane talked about its use of HFC refrigerants 407C and 134a in a section of the world that has moved away from HCFC-22 much faster than the United States. “The most recent development in the chiller range are the RTAD (air-cooled chiller) and the RTWB (water-cooled chiller), both optimized for R-134a,” said Mandy Newson-Webb, who handles Trane marketing for North Europe. She noted the use of the company’s own line of helical-rotary compressors. Also noted was an R-407C chiller with cooling capacities from 49 to 150 kW, and using a scroll compressor.

York featured its Millennium centrifugal chiller including a unit running on 134a with a solid-state starter.

Lennox featured the DataCool air conditioning unit, a close-control unit with remote condenser. It was 7 ft high and 5 ft wide, running on 407C with an electronic controller, low-speed direct-drive blower, and two-circuit scrolls.

The Italian company Starclima had its Millennium air-cooled water chiller and heat pumps. They were targeted for medium- capacity domestic installations.

For larger homes, Technibel of France had air-cooled water chillers with scroll compressors and what the company said was a low noise level.

Toshiba featured what it called the Modular Multi, running on R-407C.

Samsung drew attention to its air conditioners using R-410A and R-407C. Configurations included single-split, multi-split, and inverter-type. Technology included heat exchangers that the company said, “have been molded with our unique antibacterial formula.”

Split heat pumps using R-410A were shown from Aermec of Italy.

New from Landis & Staefa, Siemens Building Technology Group, was the MVL refrigerant valve. It was designed for use with electronic expansion, hot gas and suction throttle applications.

Invensys Climate Controls Systems Europe focused on controllers for chillers and heat pumps in both rooftop and close-control applications. Also noted were fan speed controls in a range of powers, condensing unit controls, and pressure controls.

Motors and controls from three merged companies — EBM, Papst, and MVL, headquartered in Germany — included an external rotor motor with integration capacity.

Bristol showed integral horsepower compressors including its Infinity scroll. Its NxGen Infinity II “represents a significant innovation in response to the industry’s demand for smaller, quieter, more reliable scrolls,” according to the company. Internal parts were reduced by more than 33% and the number of assembly welds by nearly 60%, according to the company.

Portable dehumidifiers from Munters were said to be used to prevent condensation and corrosion in water works and distributor stations, and to dry out buildings or damp basements.

Publication date: 04/08/2002