EUROPE: Swedish refrigeration technology group Beijer Ref AB has strengthened its operation in New Zealand and Australia by acquiring Auckland-based refrigeration wholesaler Realcold, which has around 20 branches in New Zealand and Australia.
Beijer Ref is one of the largest refrigeration wholesalers in the world and the acquisition of Realcold is a significant step forward in the company’s strategy to grow outside Europe. Realcold was founded in 1955, reports annual sales of more than SEK 260M (€27.5M) and is the second largest refrigeration wholesaler in New Zealand.
“New Zealand and Australia are interesting growth markets for Beijer Ref. With the large food exports and growing tourism industry of these countries, there is a significant need for efficient refrigeration plants”, says Per Bertland, CEO of Beijer Ref. In New Zealand, Realcold has 10 branches, 68 employees and sales of SEK 135M (€14.2M). In Australia, the company has established an operation since 1999. Realcold has its distribution centre in Brisbane, eleven branches, 52 employees and sales of SEK 157M (€16.5M).
“The company has a broad product portfolio with brands such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Tecumseh, Emerson Copeland and Gree. However, the range will now be complemented with Beijer Ref’s product programme. In addition to synergies on the purchasing side, we will contribute our European refrigeration-technology expertise and contribute with new eco-friendly refrigeration technology in New Zealand and Australia”, continues Per Bertland.
The acquisition of Realcold together with our acquisition of the refrigeration wholesale companies, RNA Engineering & Trading in Malaysia and Patton in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and India, during the spring has given Beijer Ref a stable foothold in the Australasia region, with total sales approaching SEK 800M (€84.4M).
The acquisition is subject to approval by the competition authorities in New Zealand.
SWITZERLAND: Two Carrier AquaForce® water-cooled screw chillers with the new PUREtec™ refrigerant have been selected for the innovative Plan-les-Ouates district heating project in Geneva, Switzerland.
The AquaForce chillers with PUREtec refrigerant feature the next-generation, low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant HFO-1234ze(E), providing 2.5 megawatts of total heating capacity for optimal performance in an environmentally sustainable package.
With a GWP value of just 7, PUREtec reduces the direct global warming potential of traditional refrigerants for this application by 99.5 percent.
The first phase of the mixed-use real estate development project in Plan-les-Ouates enables the energy efficient recovery and re-use of waste heat from a data center onsite, providing heating to local offices and other facilities. As part of the second phase, the extended installation is expected to provide heating to 3,000 individual homes within a planned residential zone. This project represents Europe’s first district heating project based on a water-cooled screw chiller using the new PUREtec refrigerant compliant with new European Union fluoronated gases regulation.
Carrier SCS manufactured and tested the breakthrough technology in its Montluel factory, located near Lyon, France. The system was delivered by Walter Meier Company, Carrier’s distributor in Switzerland.
“Having demonstrated world-class quality, testing capabilities and a compelling proof-of-concept, Carrier is proud to present and install this revolutionary solution in Europe, alongside its distributor partner,” said Didier Genois, engineering and marketing HVAC Europe director, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “We’re proud to deliver Europe’s first installation of a water-cooled screw chiller with the new PUREtec very low global warming refrigerant.”
“As a pioneer of sustainable solutions, Carrier is committed to deploying technologies that minimize environmental impact while serving customer needs,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “With the introduction of the AquaForce line of indoor and outdoor chillers with PUREtec refrigerant, Carrier is once again taking the lead in the development of environmentally responsible solutions.”
For more information about sustainability initiatives at UTC Building & Industrial Systems, visit www.NaturalLeader.com.
Carrier, the world’s leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
Founded by the inventor of modern air conditioning, Carrier is the world’s leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions. Carrier experts provide sustainable solutions, integrating energy-efficient products, building controls and energy services for residential, commercial, retail, transport and food service customers. For more information, visit www.carrier.com or follow @CarrierGreen on Twitter.
MALAYSIA: Resource Data Management (RDM) Asia, is to team up with UEM Edgenta Bhd in a joint-venture (JV) to offer energy management, remote monitoring and control solutions throughout South-East Asia.
In a filing to Bursa Malaysia on Monday, UEM Edgenta said the JV company will develop active facility management capabilities for the commercial and industrial buildings/facilities segment and operate as a private limited company in Malaysia with a paid-up capital of RM1mil ($263k).
Part of the RDM Group, RDM Asia headquartered in Kuala Lumpur has grown significantly since being established in 2009 to serve the rapidly expanding Asian market following the acquisition of Malaysian company AWC.
The proposed JV represents an opportunity for UEM Edgenta to leverage on RDM Asia’s and RDM UK’s control solutions to scale up the energy management business, one of the key strategic growth drivers of the company.
RDM Asia is principally involved in the distribution of electronic control systems that provides temperature management assurance and flexible HVAC, refrigeration and building management systems (BMS) solutions.
UEM Edgenta said it would fund its investments in the JV company through internally generated funds, which is expected to contribute positively to UEM Edgenta’s financial performance in the future.
UEM Edgenta is a key player in Integrated Facilities Management (“IFM”) for commercial buildings and provides Healthcare Support Services (“HSS”) for over 32 hospitals and various healthcare institutions in Malaysia for over 18 years, and operates internationally in United Arab Emirates and India.
UK: Dearman’s zero-emission transport refrigeration system has been shortlisted for the 2015 Award for Low Carbon Innovation by an SME.
The Dearman transport refrigeration system is based on the Dearman engine, which is powered by the rapid expansion of liquid nitrogen to deliver highly efficient and cost-effective zero-emission power and cooling.
Toby Peters, CEO, Dearman said: “Making the shortlist in the highly-regarded LowCVP Awards is a great achievement, and speaks to the hard work of everyone in the company. The potential for Dearman’s zero-emission transport refrigeration system to have a positive environmental impact is significant, and we are making rapid progress in bringing it to market. We look forward the judging, and wish all the nominees the best in the process.”
Typically, transport refrigeration units are powered by diesel. These small auxiliary engines are unregulated and disproportionately polluting, emitting up to 29 time as much pollution as a modern truck engine. Dearman’s innovative transport refrigeration system is zero-emission at the point of use, eliminating emissions of NOx and particulate matter from the cooling process. In addition to delivering significant environmental benefit, the system will offer better economic and operational performance than incumbent diesel technologies.
Dearman’s zero-emission refrigeration system is currently undergoing extended on-vehicle testing at MIRA, and the technology is performing well. Later this year, the system will be in commercial on-road trials, with international commercial trials due to commence in 2016.
The LowCVP Low Carbon Innovation Awards, now in their fifth year, identify and promote examples of outstanding and innovative practice in accelerating the shift to lower carbon vehicles and fuels and reducing road transport emissions. This is the second year in a row that Dearman has been shortlisted for a LowCVP award.
The Awards, will be presented at the networking and Awards Dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes in collaboration with Cenex on the evening of Wednesday 9 September 2015 – the first of two days of the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) 2015 event.
CANADA: Windsor, Ontario based business BPC District Energy Inc, has pleaded guilty and fined $80k and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of $20k for discharging or permitting the discharge of 812 kilograms of R22 refrigerant, a Class 2 ozone-depleting substance contrary to the Environmental Protection Act.
At the facility located in Riverside Drive that BPC occupied at the time of the offence, BPC were responsible for the operation of the refrigeration equipment that provided chilled water services to the Windsor Utilities Commission.
On Oct. 1, 2012, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change was notified by BPC that between December 2011 and June 2012 the refrigeration plant had lost 2,385 kilograms of refrigerant due to leaks in the system.
As a result of the loss, the company added 454 kilograms of refrigerant to their system in July 2012 and a further 1,362 kilograms of refrigerant in August 2012.
The company reported another loss of refrigerant on May 16, 2013 after 812 kilograms were released due to leaks between August 2012 and May 2013.
As a result of that loss, BPC added 907 kilograms of refrigerant to their system in June 2013.
“It is a significant fine,” said Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Kate Jordan.
“We do have environmental rules and legislation that we enforce so obviously when there is evidence that a company has not complied with our rules or caused an environmental impact that warrants charges and charges are laid, then obviously we prosecute and uphold those charges in court.”
On July 23, BPC pleaded guilty to the last charge and was ordered to pay the fines within 90 days.
UK: London Mayor, Boris Johnson has indicated that the impact of auxiliary engines could be included in future air quality monitoring in London. This will be the first time that harmful emissions from secondary vehicle engines, such as on refrigerated trucks, will be measured and reported by a UK governmental body.
The news was highlighted in a response to a Mayoral question from Stephen Knight AM, which stated that: “officials are considering how best to do this for the following edition of the LAEI [London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory], which is likely to be published in 2017.”
This comes as concern about the impact of harmful impact of emissions is increasing. Recent research from King’s College, London, found that 9,416 premature deaths in London were caused by poor air quality in 2010 – the equivalent of 25 per day.
Auxiliary engines are generally diesel powered and are currently unregulated, meaning they are disproportionately polluting. For example, despite its small size, the engine used to power refrigeration on trucks can emit up to 29 times more potentially carcinogenic particulate matter than a modern Euro6 diesel truck engine.
Discussing the development, Stephen Knight AM said: "Auxiliary engines on delivery vehicles clearly have a serious impact on London’s air quality and it is time the Mayor took firm action to bring these dangerous emissions under control. These transport refrigeration units are a ‘hidden polluter’ and their emissions must now be properly measured and controlled."
Adding to this, Dr Tim Fox, International Ambassador, Dearman, said: "It's a disgrace that 25 people die prematurely every day due to poor air quality in London. As we speak thousands of refrigerated vehicles are delivering food to shops, restaurants and our homes. They may go unnoticed, but every transport refrigeration unit also delivers large amounts of dangerous pollution onto our streets.
“The Mayor’s response shows a small but significant shift in attitude towards these disproportionate polluters. We could make a sizeable impact on both NOx and PM pollution and improve the quality of the air we breathe, by bringing transport refrigeration units up to modern emissions standards – or even better making them zero emission. That small change could have a very big impact.”
Research, conducted by Dearman, has highlighted the disproportionately damaging impact transport refrigeration units could be having. This snappy infographic identifies the Key findings:
Dearman is developing innovative, zero-emission technologies to deliver clean cold and power. The most advanced is a zero-emission transport refrigeration system, which will help to significantly reduce emissions and meet fast growing demand for refrigerated transportation. It will be both cleaner and cheaper to operate, delivering environmental benefit without burdening operators with additional operating costs.
The Dearman transport refrigeration system is currently undergoing on-vehicle trials, will enter commercial trials later this year, and will begin multi-country trials next year.
UK: Toshiba Air Conditioning has launched an Enhanced Capital Allowances calculation and compliance tool to help installers and consultants secure investment relief for clients’ air conditioning projects.
It contains key data on Toshiba products that meet the Energy Technology List efficiency criteria for air-source single split and multi-split heat pumps, and air source split or multi-split variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pumps.
Split into three categories, it reflects the cooling capacity bandings used by the EU air conditioning efficiency directives: Lot 10, split or multi-splits smaller than or equal to 12kW; Lot 6, split or multi-splits greater than 12kW; and VRV Lot 6, VRF systems greater than 12KW.
Designers are guided through a series of six simple steps, resulting in the creation of a formally-recognised ECA Statement of Eligibility. This can then be used to validate compliance as part of an ECA submission for a project.
David Dunn, general manager of Toshiba Air Conditioning, said: “The government’s ECA scheme is designed to incentivise the use of more efficient air conditioning, by offering attractive allowances on capital investment in high efficiency equipment. This is obviously an excellent objective and one we fully support, as it benefits both the environment and end users, in terms of reducing their running costs and carbon emissions.
“There has been some criticism, however, that the scheme is quite complex and bureaucratic, and risks putting people off applying for ECA support. Our new tool is designed to streamline the whole process of producing the supporting paperwork. We believe that once installers and consultants try it and see how easy it is to use, it will become a regular part of their project preparation.”
Once users have registered on Toshiba’s website, the ECA tool can be downloaded at www.toshiba-aircon.co.uk/support/eca-compliance
The ECA tool is part of a growing library of online project support and business tools being developed by Toshiba to help designers, installers and consultants streamline their workflow and improve their service to clients.
Other online tools include apps for calculating Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) and Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP).
UK: Earlier this week we ran with this post following receipt of a link to two videos entitled 'Transcritical Co2 refrigeration pack EXPLODED!!' showing footage of the aftermath of a transcritical C02 refrigeration pack failure as a result of the rupture of the main Medium Temperature Suction line.
Incidentally, the failure occurred on 01-July, the hottest day of the year. Which according to the historical weather data for the area, the ambient air temperature reached 30C.
According to the narrative that accompanied the YouTube videos, this pack was less than 5 years old and all PRV's were in date. The ambient temperature was in excess of 45C and the resilience unit was running full tilt trying to lower the receiver pressure. The ETS valve was also open wide, dumping excess gas/pressure into the MT suction. The discharge pressure was up to 117 bar, condensers were clean and all fans running at maximum capacity.
The exact cause of this catastrophic failure had not been determined at the time of posting the footage but it was thought that it had to be a combination of factors, as all safety features (compressor unloading, Pressure Switches, PRV's etc) - that would have lowered the pressures, failed at a particular point in time.
In defense of engineer who uploaded the videos he did so because he felt that there was a real educational value in them from a Health and Safety perspective and as a reminder of the awesome power of C02. But rather disappointingly the engineer concerned subsequently came under a lot of pressure to remove the footage from YouTube and hence did so.
We've put together a few of the frames from the footage which show the devastation caused
This post is most certainly not to sensationalise the incident or to criticise Co2 as an application, but solely to raise awareness to the refrigeration community as to the hazards involved when working with Co2. If anything it has raised questions among the 1,200 engineers who follow our Facebook page about the regulations surrounding the frequency of inspection and testing of PRVs, of which many unsurprisingly weren’t aware of. So if nothing else, this post as intended, has created healthy and relevant discussion.
There are undoubtedly a number of factors that led to this incident some of which we have been made privy too but unfortunately are unable to share publicly. Lets just hope that everything is being done to mitigate such an occurrence happening again and valuable lessons are learnt and hopefully shared.
Finally whilst we believe unrelated to this incident, we've come across a number of codes of practice for Co2 that state that outlet piping should not be added to CO2 relief valves because there is a danger of dry ice formation which could plug the pipe and prevent safe release of the system pressure. If anyone is able to clarify this, please feel free to register and leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK: In the words of Michael Caine in The Italian Job, we don't think the phrase 'you're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off' is what one Supermarket had in mind when a catastrophic failure of a Co2 refrigeration system occurred in one of their stores earlier this month.
Now a lot of engineers can be intimidated by CO2, and having seen these images I can probably understand why. And although these occurrences are extremely rare there are hazards that operatives should be aware of when working with high-pressure transcritical Co2 systems. I would guess this particular incident was a result of a manufacturing defect or pressure relief valve failure. Nevertheless, it could have resulted in a very serious injury or worse should someone have been in the vicinity at the time.
A recent post a saw on LinkedIn - What caused this? - When CO2 Goes wrong!! asked the question ‘could this be a lack of Operator / Engineer training’. Well without having the facts and not wishing to speculate, this does however pose a very poignant question. Should being in possession of a refrigerant handling (F-Gas) certificate qualify you to work with Co2 or indeed flammable refrigerants?
Time for mandatory regulation?
According to recent statistics released by the Environmental Agency there are now over 36,000 UK engineers that are F-Gas certified, any of which without having to have had any additional training, are deemed qualified to work with Co2 and flammable-based refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
With these new refrigerants now set to dominate the marketplace and the additional risks involved, I believe there is now a strong case for the industry to become better regulated and for engineers that are being requested to work on these systems to have received the necessary training through a recognised scheme, a similar way in which the Gas Safe scheme is operated.
This said and done I don’t see this will happen anytime soon if at all. In the meantime it’s left to the employer to ensure they fulfil their duty of care and provide adequate training in the safe operation and hazards involved when working with these refrigerants, for the health and safety of their employees.
Emerson Climate Technologies - CO2 as a Refrigerant — Five Potential Hazards of R744
UK: AMP Air, one of the UK’s leading independent air conditioning specialists, is investing in new training facilities and expanding its technical team to support it's continued growth.
The Toshiba distributor is doubling capacity at its training centre in Welwyn Garden City to accommodate up to 16 installers at a time, and equipping it with examples of the latest VRF, heat pumps and control systems. Enabling the company to undertake practical hands-on training using working equipment, alongside its existing classroom-based facility.
AMP will offer a full line-up of modules in Toshiba’s recently expanded air conditioning and controls training scheme. As part of a widening focus in the North, it will also offer courses at Toshiba’s recently opened training centre in Manchester.
The company reports that by far the most popular course offered is the VRF module, due to continuing expansion in the sector and the rapid development of technology and related controls. It is working on a dedicated one-day VRF design and application course to meet this need.
Alongside the training moves, the company’s experienced technical support team is being expanded as part of a company-wide apprenticeship and skills initiative. New starters undertake on-the-job training supported by block release courses, provided by Ellis Training.
The nine-strong technical support team has more than 100 years of industry experience between them. Headed by technical manager Mark Gordon, it provides both on-site and remote support for installers, with a controls specialist providing expert help in commissioning and equipment diagnostics.
The company adopts a systematic approach, logging and analysing all support calls and outcomes. Mark Gordon says: “It enables us to identify patterns and issues that otherwise may not have come to light. For example, we can track the most common problems, and devise training to address the underlying causes.”
The new F-Gas requirements currently pose the biggest single challenge, he says. “As a supplier, we take a highly responsible approach and will only supply to installers who can prove they are F-Gas compliant. In practice, because there is – as yet – no central register.”
Remote diagnostics offers one of the most promising opportunities to streamline technical support in the future, he believes, remarking “We have installations in Scotland, for example, and recently experienced an issue at one of the sites. From Welwyn Garden City, we were able to remotely view the current status and operational history of the equipment, and come to an intelligent view about what was actually going on. It is a great facility and we have only just begun to tap the potential.”