Mike Thompson, Trane’s director of environmental affairs, poses next to a model of the company’s EarthWise™ CenTraVac™ HCFC-123 chiller.
WASHINGTON - At the Earth Technologies Forum, Trane (LaCrosse, Wis.) declared that it is "raising the bar" on centrifugal chiller performance, according to Jim Wolf, vice president of government affairs for parent American Standard. At a press conference, Wolf announced that Trane will offer a leak-tight warranty on its full line of HCFC-123 centrifugal chillers.

Under this program, said Wolf, "Trane HCFC-123 chillers will emit 0.5 percent or less refrigerant annually or Trane will provide the refrigerant to the customer at no cost."

He stated, "This leak-tight warranty is provided to the client at no cost for the first five years of ownership for all new centrifugal chillers, starting in September of this year. And, if the equipment is covered under a Trane service contract, the leak-tight warranty covers the equipment for its entire life."

With this initiative, Wolf concluded, Trane is showing that it is focused on "merging environmental responsibility with economical system solutions for buildings."

Commenting on the announcement, Mike Thompson, director of environmental affairs for Trane, noted that for several years the company has been taking various steps to eliminate leaks such as minimizing the number of joints in its chillers, going from threaded fittings to sweated joints, and getting rid of pipes as much as possible.

"We wanted to take the next step," he said, guaranteeing near leak-free operation.

"This makes us as a manufacturer more responsible," said Thompson. "We know how much refrigerant is being added to the machine." Trane technicians track the refrigerant use as they perform service on the chiller.

The program will apply to all new chillers sold in the United States. "The building owner is increasingly sensitive to leakage rates and EPA penalties," he remarked. "We see this as addressing this problem."

"We want to do the right thing on preventing emissions," stated Thompson. "Our goal is to provide the highest standards of efficiency and sustainability."

Publication date: 05/10/2004