Danfoss showcased a Maneurop four-cylinder reciprocating compressor.
ANAHEIM, Calif. - If attendees of the 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) were looking to find a clear signal on a dominant compressor technology of the future, they had to leave a bit disappointed.

All types of technology - recips, scrolls, screws, rotaries, and the like - had a place in the AHR Expo choir. And manufacturers were careful to explain exactly how each approach worked, and where such approaches would work best. Another trend was a large number of exhibiting companies that deal in the aftermarket aspect of compressors.

ASI Aftermarket Specialties Inc. (www.aftermkt.com), for instance, featured new Matsushita unitary rotary compressor models for R-22 from 26,200 to 35,200 Btu at 60 Hz, 208/230 volts. They are said to be particularly effective in high ambient conditions and in conventional unitary applications.

From Bitzer (www.bitzer-corp.com) came a four-cylinder, semi-hermetic compressor in 6-hp to 20-hp ranges and promoted as "one compression version for all refrigerants."

Brainerd Compressor Inc. (www.brainerdcompressor.com) had a couple of messages. One was its ability to supply to the aftermarket a number of major brands of compressors. And, second, it drew attention to refrigeration oils, including its RO series of the BCR oils, promoted as "a wax-free, napthenic-base refrigeration compressor oil."

Bristol (www.bristolcompressors.com) paid much attention to its Benchmark line of scroll and reciprocating compressors, de-signed for specific cooling and heat pump needs. Emphasis was placed on quality, reliability, and quieter operation. Officials did note that the Benchmark scrolls were "more suitable for higher capacity units, 3.5-ton and above." Units have a press-fit assembly, which means no bolts, simplified bearing alignments, and fewer hermetic welds, according to the company.

Wayne Kennedy, president and CEO of Bristol, shows off a Benchmark reciprocating compressor. (Photo by Jim Johnson.)
Carlyle(www.carlylecompressor.com) detailed semi-hermetic and open-drive reciprocating compressors and open-drive screw compressors. Discussion also focused on the company's Millennium scroll.

CMP Corp. (www.cmpcorp.com) looked at the aftermarket sector with its crankshafts, pistons, rods, rings, and bearings.

Compressor Parts & Repair Inc. (www.cprindustries.com) noted it had divisions that dealt with air compressions, electric motors, and crankshafts.

Danfoss' (www.danfoss.com) Type TN hermetic compressor, for use with R-744 (carbon dioxide, CO2), took home an award for most innovative refrigeration project as part of the AHR Expo's Innovation Awards.

Officials said the compressor has solved the problems of handling high pressures (up to 2,000 psi) of the transcritical CO2 cycle in a compact compressor. The product is designed for light commercial refrigeration and hot water heat pump applications of less than 0.4 tons of refrigeration. "In heat pump applications, the compressor enables a simple system to deliver 200 degrees F of hot water," officials said.

The compressor will initially be available in new systems in light commercial and residential applications. "Mechanically speaking, installation is the same as for any hermetic compressor, with the contractor respecting the higher pressure of CO2 systems," the company stated.

The concept of CO2 compressors was also a focus in a talk by Jeffrey Staub, a Danfoss application engineer, during a New Technology Showcase presentation on the expo floor. He noted using CO2 "is a promising alternative and under serious evaluation."

Turbocor’s latest compressor, shown here on a McQuay chiller, is an oil-free mid-range model.
Also part of the Danfoss rollout were its four-cylinder reciprocating commercial-duty compressors, optimized for operation with variable-speed drives. And the company said that an electronic unit with Adaptive Energy Optimization (AEO) could be used with Danfoss BD direct-current, fractional-hp hermetic compressors. The concept is said to be suitable for applications with huge load variations, and in remote areas and solar applications.

Embraco (www.embraco.com) talked about compressors for small domestic refrigerators and freezers, as well as commercial equipment. It noted that its variable-capacity compressor has now reached its third generation.

Emerson Climate Technologies (www.gotoemerson.com) used the expo to announce that Copeland Corp. had shipped its millionth scroll compressor with R-410A. "This is a strong indicator of the refrigerant's proven performance and acceptance by all major OEMs," said Scott Barbour, president of Copeland's Air Conditioning Division.

Hanbell Precise Machinery Co., Ltd. (www.hanbell.com) featured screw compressors with three-step volume control systems, adjustable volume ratio design, and a specially designed high-efficiency refrigeration compressor motor.

National Compressor Exchange (www.nationalcompressor.com) promised to do what its name implied and "deliver ISO 9001-2000-certified compressors to your door, jobsite, or rigger's location, next day, or same day."

John Ferguson, vice president, North American Compressors Group, Tecumseh, shows off the company’s CRS (Complete Refrigeration System), which includes compressor, fan motor, condenser, and evaporator mounted and ready for installation. (Photo by Jim Johnson.)
FromRefComp USA(www.refcompusa.com) came Model SRC-603, said to be a compact nominal 220-ton screw compressor compatible with R-22, -407C, -404A, -507, and -134a. It has a two-pole, 240-hp electrical motor that is capable of producing a displacement of 497 cfm. The compressor has a slide valve capacity control for operation in step or step-less modes.

Refrigeration Compressor Parts Inc. (www.rcpusa.com) noted it dealt with pistons, rings, rods, gaskets, bearings, valve reeds, and crankshafts.

Sanyo (www.sanyo.com) showcased a range of compressors such as semi-hermetics, scrolls, rotaries, and condensing units.

Tecumseh (www.tecumsehcoolproducts.com) showed 1/6-hp to 1/2-hp condensate units with options such as receivers, tank, and power cord offered at the time of manufacturing. The company also noted scrolls for R-22, -404A, and -410A, as well as rotary models for HCFC, HFC, and HC refrigerants. Configurations of compressors were for use in vertical and horizontal units.

Turbocor Inc.'s (www.turbocor.com) latest compressor is an oil-free mid-range (60 to 150 tons) efficiency compressor. It has a built-in VFD with up to 30 percent better efficiency at part load, the company said. It is said to be one-fifth the weight of comparable units. It requires two amps at start up versus 500 to 600 amps for a screw compressor with an X-line starter, the company said. The company also noted its recognition at the 2003 expo with an Innovation Award.

Compressor Considerations

Meanwhile,5-2-1 Inc., a company headquartered in Hialeah, Fla., showed a compressor saver that has been pre-wired with three color-coded wires for ease of connection. (The black wire is designed to connect to the common side of the compressor, the striped to the start winding, and the red to the run winding.)

Condenser protection came in the form of a condenser cover from Kool Kap LLC (www.koolkap.com). The product is made in three sizes to fit almost any air conditioning need.

Rooftop supports were shown by Miro Industries (www.miroind.com) and billed as providing "complete support, adjustability, and vibration adsorption."

To deal with vibration issues, Nara E&C Inc. (www.naracontrols.com) showed vibration absorbers designed for installation in the suction and discharge lines to dampen the transmission of compressor-induced vibration through system piping. The absorbers are constructed with deep-pitch corrugated tubing, designed for increased flexibility.

Spectronics (www.spectroline.com) addressed the issue of compressor burnout. It showcased its Acid-Buster, an acid neutralizing solution.

Publication date: 02/16/2004