As homeowners become more educated on HVAC solutions and capabilities, and more concerned about indoor air comfort, they are actively looking for heating and cooling technologies that meet their needs and perform to higher standards.

While higher efficiency remains important, humidity control has become an increasingly sought-after benefit. As a result, contractors must now consider more than just efficiency and reliability when looking at system quality and performance.

Modulated compressors like the new Copeland Scroll UltraTech are designed to give contractors a selling advantage with technology that can improve comfort.

Design Details

“Scroll compressor technology continues to play an important role in delivering higher efficiency and better reliability to the home,” said Ken Monnier, vice president of engineering for Copeland’s Air Conditioning Division. “However, contractors can now add comfort and even higher efficiency to the benefits. This is accomplished because the latest compressor technology contains the unique features needed to maintain precise temperature levels and lower relative humidity.”

Copeland’s new “UltraTech” scroll compressor, part of the Emerson Climate Technologies UltraTech™ Home Series, was developed with attention to the growing demand for higher efficiency and comfort.

“It is an example of how compressor performance and design must continually advance and improve to meet the evolving needs of the educated homeowner,” Monnier said.

Based on existing scroll performance, the latest model is the first modulated scroll compressor available for the U.S. residential market, he continued. “The compressor is able to maintain precise temperature and humidity levels without discomfort of frequent start-and-stop cooling cycles, operating at two-thirds capacity up to 80 percent of the time and at full capacity only on the hottest days.”

In order to provide the higher levels of cooling efficiency and humidity control, he said, the compressor features two cooling stages. Internal porting in the scroll compression components enable the system to run at 67 percent part-load capacity for better efficiency, and for longer run times for improved latent (humidity) control.

The modulation mechanism is activated inside the compressor based on system cooling demand, blocking the internal modulation porting and rapidly shifting capacity to 100 percent. “This can eliminate uneven cooling peaks and valleys and provide steady, comfortable cooling at lower energy consumption,” Monnier said.

The result is a significantly less complex design (as many as eight fewer applied support components) than traditional modulation technology.

Contractor Feedback

During the development of this technology, Copeland said it conducted “extensive industry field tests with contractors from around the country.” The tests not only gathered contractor feedback, but also provided valuable data showing that the compressor provided a significantly noticeable difference in the humidity and comfort level of an indoor environment.

The field tests also showed that the compressor’s 67 percent part-load-capacity design consistently provided improved comfort (versus fixed-capacity compressors) by exploiting its load-matching capability.

Data gathered from extensive field tests indicated that systems equipped with this technology improve temperature consistency and humidity control by more than 50 percent, the company said.

“Similar to fixed-capacity scrolls, the Copeland Scroll UltraTech compressor operates with fewer moving parts, without significant volumetric efficiency drop-off or compression leakage, while delivering better reliability and quieter operation,” said Monnier. The compressor is designed for use with R-410A.

Contractors See Value

Savvy contractors are continually searching for ways to improve their business and reputation. “Based on field responses, we believe they will see innovations such as this new scroll as offering selling and business benefits,” said Monnier.

“In fact, contractors who offer this technology can enhance their reputations by offering added benefits to the homeowner. This compressor offers contractors a way to up-sell their A/C systems so they can stay a step ahead of competition.”

In addition, the inherently simple yet innovative design of the compressor makes installation very easy, Monnier said.

“My customers look to me for the latest energy-efficient technology that also gives them a high level of comfort in their homes,” said Larry Taylor, president of AirRite Air Conditioning Co., Fort Worth, Texas. “The Copeland Scroll UltraTech provides improved comfort and efficiency over existing technology … and it’s super quiet on the indoor and outdoor side.

“With this technology, I’m confident that I can provide the performance my customers expect.”

Lennox To Use It

Lennox Industries is planning to incorporate the Scroll UltraTech into its new premium residential air conditioning system, stated Copeland.

The new compressor will power the central air conditioners and heat pumps of the HSX19 Series, the top offering within the Dave Lennox Signature™ line of premium systems. The new cooling system, which uses R-410A, will carry a 19.2-SEER rating.

“With the help of Emerson Climate Technologies, the Lennox HSX19 Series creates a new benchmark for residential cooling as the most quiet and energy-efficient central air conditioners and heat pumps homeowners can buy,” said Scott J. Boxer, president of Lennox Industries.

“Our company and our dealers around the country are excited about the capabilities of this new system and the sales opportunities it will create.”

Publication date: 04/07/2003