Bristol Benchmark compressors feature electric start components.
CHICAGO — So how do you entice a jaded, “I’ve-seen-it-all” contractor to stop and look at your company’s latest compressor at the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo)?

You can offer an oilless, ultra-quiet compressor for the mid-range chiller market.

You can tip a rotary on its side for a horizontal application.

You can introduce a modulating scroll to the U.S. market.

You can show a compressor built from the ground up with a streamlined refrigerant flow to reduce noise and vibration.

And, of course, you can introduce a compressor that runs on solar power.

That was just a sample of the wide range of technologies introduced by compressor manufacturers at the 2003 AHR Expo.

Here’s a more detailed look at those concepts, as well as others.

The TurboCor (Dorval, Quebec) TT300 is an oil-free compressor designed for middle-range chillers and rooftop applications in chilled water and direct-expansion systems. It uses magnetic bearings to bypass the need for oil and thus does away with oil heaters, oil pumps, oil separators, and oil filters.

Initial offerings come in the 60- to 90-ton range with the 90-ton said to weigh 265 pounds, or about “one-fifth the weight of many conventional compressors,” according to company officials who used the day before the opening of the AHR Expo to roll out the product at a press briefing.

Added Eugene Smithart, vice president for sales and marketing, “At an operating sound level of less than 70 dba, the compressor is so quiet that given typical equipment background noise, one literally cannot hear it run.” The product also uses soft start, drawing 2 amps “compared with 500 to 600 amps by conventional compressors.”

At the time of the press briefing, the product was in a number of demo sites and was headed for field trials. Initial marketing will be to OEMs, but company president Brian Evans said the product also has retrofit applications and can be used to replace large recips and screws.

Tecumseh (Tecumseh, Mich.) showed horizontal rotary compressors targeted for systems with low height. The units were said to work with R-134a, -404A, and -22.

CMP Corp. (Oklahoma City) announced that it has added custom crankshafts to its line of compressor replacement parts. The company acquired a twin-head machine designed to custom grind crankshafts for most small engines. According to the company, crankshafts up to about 2 feet in length can be ground.

The AHR Expo included the introduction of the Copeland Scroll UltraTech™, billed as the first modulated scroll compressor available for the U.S. residential market.

According to the company, the compressor “enables home air conditioning systems to operate more efficiently than any other single-compressor-containing system.”

The company went on to note that “The technology also improves humidity control for residential air conditioning applications” because of a 67 percent part-load capacity stage. That means, said the company, it has the ability to “maintain precise temperature levels and lower relative humidity while saving homeowners up to 60 percent more on energy costs compared to 10-SEER systems.”

The UltraTech Scroll “possesses all the attributes of Copeland’s Scroll technology, which means it operates with fewer moving parts and experiences no volumetric efficiency drop-off or compression leakage.”

A new reciprocating compressor from Bristol (Bristol, Va.), the Benchmark, was said to have been designed from the ground up. The company said refrigerant flow was streamlined to reduce noise and vibration. It uses conventional electric start components and ranges from 1.5- to 3.5-ton capacities. The line works with R-22, -410A, and -407C.

Danfoss (Baltimore) showed 16 models for commercial applications such as vending machines, ice machines, food and beverage merchandisers, and scientific equipment. SC compressors operate with R-134a, -404A, and -507. The range of SC commercial-duty, fractional-horsepower hermetic compressors now covers 1,300 to 2,375 Btuh (low temp); 2,588 to 5,900 Btuh (medium temp); and 4,700 to 7,500 Btuh (high temp).

Billed as compact, quiet, and with enhanced efficiency, the compressors have U.S., Canadian, and European approvals.

Also featured were solar-powered compressors that do not need battery backup. The BD solar compressors are said to require only limited electronics. They are designed for use in the storing and transporting of drugs and preserving food where no power grid is available.

Tecumseh displayed its horizontal rotary compressor in Chicago.
Bitzer(Sindelfingen, Germany) showed air-cooled Octagon condensing units in the 1- to 10-hp range and two- and four-cylinder for R-404A, -507, -22, and -134a. Also on display was the Octagon eight-cylinder compressor in 60 and 70 hp; the Octagon semi-hermetic, a 20-hp reciprocating compressor; and a six-cylinder open-drive aluminum compressor for bus air conditioning and truck refrigeration.

Carlyle (Syracuse, N.Y.) featured a wide range of products. The semi-hermetic offering was comprised of the 06D/06E single-stage, 06CC compound-cooling, and 5 F/H open-drive models. The scroll offerings consisted of the Millennium and Millennium NxGen units for residential and small commercial applications. The screw offering featured the Endurance compressor.

The NxGen Millennium features R-410A capability, smaller sizes, and quieter operation, according to the company. The Endurance was said to be backed by a three-year warranty and uses 66 percent less oil than competitive products, said the company.

Micro-Control Systems (Fort Myers, Fla.) focused on the Hanibell screw compressors with dual-rotary technology in a wide range of models.

Monics (Seoul, Korea) showed a brushless permanent magnet compressor said to have energy savings up to 40 percent and a thermo sensor speed control.

RefComp, a company from Italy, showed a 240-hp, oil-injected compressor running on R-410A, as well as a 120-hp screw compressor with a slide valve sensor to control the position of the valve.

Embraco (Duluth, Ga.) introduced its VCC, or Variable-Capacity Compressor, which is said to provide infinitely adjustable capacity from 440 to 1,020 Btuh in low-back-pressure applications.

In addition, the company showed a line of commercial compressors and condensing units to cover high-, medium-, and low-temperature applications for R-12 replacements, R-22, -134a, and -404A.

National Compressor Exchange (Ridgewood, N.Y.), which offers replacement compressors and parts, reported on a recent move into a 60,000-square-foot building that is replacing nearby 16,000- and 12,000-square-foot facilities. Company officials also reported moving into the screw compressor market.

Publication date: 02/17/2003