AREA has published a guide on equipment for low GWP flammable refrigerants. This guide gives service technicians a tool to understand the equipment that should be used to service refrigeration plants containing flammable low GWP refrigerants in category A2L (lower flammability) or A3 (higher flammability).
Alternative refrigerants to HFCs will be increasingly used as a result of the new EU F-gas Regulation and the probable future international phase-down of High Global Warming Potential Substances. Since many of these alternative refrigerants are flammable, it is very important to ensure that service technicians use the right equipment to handle them safely.
AREA, the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors association, has therefore decided to issue a guide to provide service technicians with a tool for installation, maintenance and repair of future equipment containing flammable low GWP refrigerants. This guide complements the AREA Guidance on minimum requirements for contractors’ training & certification, which deals with competence of personnel.
The guide is the result of work undertaken by the AREA Task Force Low GWP Refrigerants. Marco Buoni, its Chairman and Vice-President of AREA, said: “Low GWP refrigerants will already be more widely used from this summer. It is part of AREA’s role to advise and assist service technicians both in Europe and worldwide so that they can handle these new systems safely.”
UK: Toshiba Air Conditioning, which introduced the industry’s first seven year warranty, is breaking new ground again with the introduction of a warranty scheme based on installer skills and competence.
David Dunn, director and general manager, says: “The industry’s approach to warranty cover has traditionally been based on how much a customer spends with the manufacturer. This is unhelpful and illogical, as in practical terms what matters for warranty purposes is the technical proficiency of the installer, and how competent they are in carrying out installation, commissioning and on-going servicing of the equipment.
“The new Toshiba scheme recognises this, and gives proper weight to the level of technical training and competence of installers, translating this into a commensurate level of warranty cover.”
Under the new scheme, to achieve the highest level of cover – a seven year enhanced warranty, installers must be F-Gas registered, have successfully completed three relevant Toshiba training courses, and file commissioning and maintenance reports for a project online.
The next level down, standard seven year cover, requires installers to be F-Gas registered and have completed three relevant Toshiba training courses. F-Gas registered contractors who have not undertaken three Toshiba training courses will receive standard five year warranty cover.
The three warranty bands relate to three tiers of Toshiba installer: T7 Enhanced Warranty Partners, T7 Approved Warranty Partners, and T5 Registered Installers. Each is able to offer customers the relevant level of warranty cover for equipment installed by them.
David Dunn says: “Linking warranties to competence is a completely sensible approach. Our aim is to incentivise installers to raise their game by taking advantage of Toshiba’s training programme to improve their knowledge and skills.”
Courses are available in all aspects of installing, commissioning and servicing equipment, including system design. The company is currently extending its network of training centres into the South West to complete nationwide coverage.
David Dunn added: “Improving skill levels is a key strategic issue for the industry. As a leading manufacturer we are committed to playing our part to help achieve this. It is obviously in our interests as a manufacturer to raise the level of technical proficiency among contractors, but also opens up new opportunities for installers while delivering major benefits to end users. The new Toshiba scheme will hopefully stimulate progress in this area and raise the bar for the industry as a whole, to the benefit of all.”
GERMANY: Following an extensive qualification program, compressor specialist BITZER has announced approval of the R1234yf and R1234ze(E) HFO refrigerants for its CSH and CSW screw compressors. The two alternatives to R134a have a global warming potential (GWP) of under ten, while the GWP of R134a is around 1,400. With a GWP of about 600 each, the HFO/HFC blends R513A and R450A are also approved for the CSH and CSW series. Unlike the pure HFO refrigerants, they’re nonflammable.
The requirements stipulated by the EU’s F-gas Regulation no. 517/2014 also represent a huge challenge for manufacturers of refrigeration compressors. In order to meet the phase-down objectives, alternative refrigerants such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) will have to be used in the future. The volumetric refrigerating capacity and pressure levels of R1234yf are comparable with those of R134a, while the capacity figures and pressure levels of R1234ze(E) are around 20 to 25% lower. BITZER subjected the R1234yf and R1234ze(E) refrigerants in this group to intensive testing, and the compressors performed well with both in all of the tests and laboratory experiments. The tested compressors achieved nearly identical isentropic efficiency values with R1234yf and R1234ze(E) as with R134a. Due to differences in the thermodynamic properties, the COP measurement results are in some cases slightly lower.
Both of the HFOs are suitable for air conditioning and medium temperature applications in particular, as well as for heat pumps. There’s often a degree of uncertainty regarding flammability. In safety data sheets, R1234ze(E) is listed as nonflammable, though this only applies to transport and storage. When used as a refrigerant, a higher reference temperature of 60°C is applied in flammability tests. At this temperature, R1234ze(E) is flammable and therefore assigned to the A2L safety group, just like R1234yf. For this reason, a risk assessment in accordance with the ATEX Directive is required for systems with both refrigerants – with potential consequences in the system design. BITZER compressors for HFO refrigerant fulfill the relevant requirements, making additional evaluation unnecessary.
HFO/HFC blends such as R513A and R450A, on the other hand, are nonflammable and therefore classified in the A1 safety group. Using them requires nothing more than a conventional risk assessment in accordance with the Machinery Directive. However, the substitutes R513A and R450A have a GWP of around 600.
After evaluating all of the results, BITZER has announced approval of the HFO refrigerants R1234yf and R1234ze(E) and the HFO/HFC blends for CSH and CSW compact screw compressors. These tried-and-tested products can be operated with the standard ester oil charge (Y-model) with HFO refrigerants in the documented applications.
Detailed technical descriptions with performance data and application limits can be found in the SP-171-3 (CSH) and SP-172-6 (CSW) documentation. The corresponding data will be provided in the BITZER software in due time.
CSH and CSW: high energy efficiency
The universal CSH and CSW compact screw compressors can also be used with the economizer circuit to further increase refrigerating capacity and efficiency. They’re fitted with dual capacity control and can be adjusted infinitely or according to scale. The level of energy efficiency is a benchmark in this compressor technology in both full-load and part-load operation.
CSH compressors demonstrate their strength particularly in air cooled liquid chillers for comfort air conditioning and in heat pumps. The CSW series is suitable for use in liquid chillers operated at low condensing temperatures. The compressors are used in systems with water cooled condensers, process cooling and systems with air cooled condensers operating under moderate climatic conditions.
UK: From March 7th, FG Eurofred will trade under its new name, “FUJITSU GENERAL AIR CONDITIONING (UK) LIMITED”
Says Ian Carroll, Sales and Marketing Director : “The new name gives us the opportunity to underline what’s important to our customers. Brand recognition backed by renowned FUJITSU quality.
This decision removes any confusion about our name and reaffirms our commitment to the UK as it has become clear that not having the highly recognisable name ‘FUJITSU’ in our company title has not made the most of an extremely strong world-wide brand.
“We have so much to shout about this year which happens to coincide with the 30th anniversary of FUJITSU GENERAL LIMITED starting its air conditioning business in the UK.”
Germany. The compressor specialist BITZER has made operating its BITZER Electronics Service Tool (BEST) even easier: users can now watch a video explaining how to use the tool on the BITZER website and on the video platform YouTube. Refrigeration and service engineers can quickly and easily operate all BITZER IQ products from their PC using the BEST software.
In the almost five-minute-long video, an English-speaking narrator explains the tool and its most important functions. The software provides users with a complete overview of the operating status, troubleshooting and maintenance of BITZER products. BEST makes service engineers’ work much easier: for example, they can use it to quickly and safely set device parameters, analyse errors or download and save data logs.
The software supports VARISPEED reciprocating compressors, CSV compact screw compressors, the ECOSTAR condensing units LHV5E and LHV7E, as well as the protection, monitoring and control devices SE-i1 and CM-RC-01.
The BITZER Group is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration compressors with sales companies and production sites for reciprocating, screw, and scroll compressors as well as pressure vessels all over the globe. In 2014, 3,400 employees generated sales of €657 million.
Global air conditioning giant Gree is set to challenge the status quo in the UK HVACR market with the launch of Gree UK Limited.
Part of the Calibre Services Group (alongside established acr specialists Klima-Therm, LH plc and Next Controls), Gree UK will supply the manufacturer’s full range of splits, VRF, heat pumps, chillers and award-winning photovoltaic-powered systems across the UK.
The company has already secured orders with national air conditioning specialists and has many active enquiries in the pipeline for major projects.
Gree is the world’s largest air conditioning manufacturer, with sales of more than £16bn and employing more than 8,000 research and development engineers in 570 laboratories and five research institutes across the world.
The company’s success has been built on a continuous stream of innovation, resulting in more than 20,000 technology patents, nearly 7,000 invention patents and some 300 million users of its air conditioning systems worldwide.
Roberto Mallozzi, managing director of Gree UK Ltd, said: “In a lifetime of experience of this industry, Gree is one of the most impressive and innovative air conditioning manufacturers I have ever encountered. The name may not be that well known in the UK at present, but that is something we intend to change.
“One in three air conditioning systems produced in the world today is manufactured by Gree, a measure of the company’s commercial success and seriousness as a global player. The fact that Gree manufactures for most of the world’s premium air conditioning brands says a lot about its quality credentials and approach, and its high standing even among competitors.”
Gree’s range covers all main air conditioning and heat pump technologies, from mobiles and small splits for domestic and light commercial applications, through VRF heat pumps, up to large centrifugal chillers with several megawatts of cooling capacity.
The company is investing heavily in the development of renewable and energy efficient systems. Its pioneering PV-powered, inverter-driven centrifugal chiller has won a string of awards for its ability to generate cooling from sunlight, and feed power directly into the grid.
Gree UK is backing the launch with substantial investment in stocks for immediate availability, a comprehensive spare parts service and a generous warranty scheme giving buyers peace of mind.
Gree UK has its own dedicated sales, technical and administration headquarters near London, and is currently recruiting additional staff for support positions. It includes a showroom and full training facility to demonstrate equipment and train engineers to install and commission Gree technology.
It is planning to install working examples of PV-powered cooling systems, to demonstrate the practicality of solar-powered cooling in UK conditions.
A key element of the Gree philosophy is the move from “Made in China” to “Created in China”. To this end, the company manufactures many key air conditioning components itself, and operates nine manufacturing plants. It produces some 60m residential air conditioners and 5.5m commercial systems a year.
The company has an eye-watering research and development budget, spending upwards of £500million each year, with full CE, UL and TUV certification for its products.
Roberto Mallozzi said: “We believe that the Gree offer - an unrivaled combination of quality and technical excellence coupled with highly attractive pricing - will prove to be a winning formula in the UK.
“It gives contractors and end users a highly cost-competitive option without compromising on quality or features. Indeed, the quality, styling and technical specification of Gree units is in some cases ahead of the market, making the competitive pricing even more attractive.”
He added: “Backed by the market knowledge and technical experience of sister companies Klima-Therm, LH and Next, UK buyers have the reassurance that Gree will deliver for them. If the premium air conditioning brands put their faith in Gree, so can they with full confidence.”
For more details, call Roberto Mallozzi on 020 3376 3533 or visit gree.uk.com
UK: New low temperature chiller with heat reclaim cuts energy costs and adds capacity for process project.
Cool-Therm has installed a high efficiency low temperature process cooling chiller with heat recovery at a leading metal finishers, enabling the company to increase production while saving around 40per cent on its cooling energy bill.
The end user, which specialises in high-tech surface treatments for engineering, commissioned the new cooling plant as part of a replacement and upgrade project at its UK processing facility.
The new system is based on a Geoclima GHA low temperature chiller, which combines high performance screw compressors and EC axial fans. The chiller is used to cool acid as part of an electroplating process.
The corrosive environment had taken its toll on the previous chiller, and a temporary chiller had been installed until a permanent solution could be designed, built and commissioned.
An additional key requirement was to increase cooling capacity, as part of a planned expansion in production at the site. This required cooling capacity of at least 240kW, with a strict electrical load limit of 200A due to limitations on power at the site.
Cool-Therm Consultants worked closely with the customer on a design to meet the brief. The chiller had to supply water at -10deg C to a holding tank with very smooth and constant delivery, requiring very accurate pump and tank water level control.
A further requirement was automatic peak-limiting of electrical load to ensure power consumption never exceeded the site limit. The client also specified remote monitoring and heat recovery for use in heating the factory, as part of a drive to reduce energy costs.
Once the design was agreed, tests were carried out by a combined team from Cool-Therm and the end users, to ensure the proposed solution would deliver the conditions required and perform as anticipated from day one.
The chiller was installed in a staged process. The complex water pipework from the chiller to the tank, and the tank to the manufacturing process, was completed in a fast-track procedure over a long weekend to avoid any loss of production. To help meet the challenging deadline, Cool-Therm used a pre-insulated ABS pipework system.
The primary pump is housed within and controlled by the chiller, and maintains the chilled water level in buffer tanks with mm accuracy. Delivering the requirement to achieve 245kW of cooling capacity while keeping within the 200A full load limit was achieved through a combination of enhanced control and technology.
Rob Young, who headed the project for Cool-Therm, says: “We overcame the power limiting factor by adapting control of the compressor’s slide loading mechanism via current rather than position. This, coupled with the use of a generously sized condenser coil, enabled us to deliver the capacity headroom while remaining within the load limit.”
It is believed to be the first project of its kind with such a highly variable flow evaporator and primary water circuit based on screw compressor technology.
UK: Beijer Ref UK and Ireland supply partners recently celebrated the company's 2015 success at the annual supplier dinner held in Stockport. A popular informal event where the winner of the Mark Gardner Supplier of the year award is announced.
Before his untimely passing in 2012 Mark was the Finance Director of Dean & Wood and business partner of Beijer Ref UK and Ireland Managing Director John Billson who said " The award is a lasting memory of Mark's contribution to the business" Sauermann were the winner of the award for 2015 and one of the reasons given was that "Sauermann went far beyond the extra mile identifying growth opportunities for the group”
Picture: Beijer Ref UK and Ireland Managing Director John Billson (right) with Sauermann UK Managing Director Ernie Bate.
UK: Cool-Therm, the expanding chiller and air conditioning specialist, has launched a new fully responsive website, complete with an online chiller sizing and selection facility.
It gives system designers, contractors and end users a quick and convenient way of pinpointing the correct chiller to meet the requirements of a particular project. The user inputs basic data for the application, and it produces a recommended chiller model and specification.
The site has useful new sections, including case studies on chiller applications in commercial air conditioning, data centre cooling and industrial process applications.
The company’s award-winning Turbomiser is featured in video form, with a detailed insight into its energy and carbon-saving potential. Case studies highlight how the ultra-low energy chiller is contributing to significant savings in running costs in a wide range of applications across the UK.
There is information on the range of services provided by the recently launched Cool-Therm Consultants, which include TM44 energy surveys, F-Gas compliance support, bespoke design service, and advice on refrigerant selection and replacement.
In additional to air conditioning for mainstream applications in commercial and government premises, Cool-Therm has a growing portfolio of projects involving data centres and industrial process cooling. The new website has an area enabling visitors to download brochures and press releases showing examples of recent work in this expanding field.
Ken Strong, managing director, said: “Quick access to up-to-date information and support has never been more vital in business. The new website is designed to grow and expand over time, and be as useful to use from a desktop PC as a smart-phone by an on-site field engineer.
“The chiller sizing facility, in particular, offers a quick way to make a chiller selection. We can then validate and confirm the specification, and make sure it will meet all the requirements of a project.”
To view the new website, visit: www.cooltherm.co.uk
UK: The first ever ASHRAE Section in the UK has been formed with Steve Gill as President, and Edward Murphy as President-Elect. The ASHRAE UK-Midlands Section is located in Central England covering the counties of Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Huntingdonshire and Rutland.
Steve Gill said, “Like many in this industry, I have been a member of ASHRAE for many years but only really became active when I was living overseas and joined the Singapore Chapter. ASHRAE has such a lot to offer that it was disappointing that there was no local group in the UK. When I heard that Dennis Loveday at Loughborough University was interested in forming an ASHRAE group I was immediately very enthusiastic and keen to help get it launched.
“We were keen that the new group offered a meeting point without the need to travel to London. There are a large number of current ASHRAE members living in the Midlands area so it seemed the ideal geographical location. The region also invitingly benefits from having a number of leading Universities so arranging interesting guest lectures and papers will attract students too."
Steve added, “The group is still very much in its infancy and we would like to invite more ASHRAE members to become involved. We are looking for committee members in a variety of roles to help us take this forward. The next meeting is on Thursday 8th at 5pm at Loughborough University. This is a great opportunity for UK ASHRAE members to become actively involved, perhaps for the first time. I look forward to meeting with them.”
Steve is currently also President Elect of the Institute of Refrigeration, becoming President in April 2016 feels that this is an opportunity for the two bodies to forge closer links. Steve said “I am not the first IOR President to also be a member of ASHRAE but with the formation of the new ASHARE UK Section, this gives us a unique opportunity to work together”.
The new ASHRAE Section was officially inaugurated in the summer at Loughborough University by ASHRAE Past President Professor Bill Bahnfleth and Professor Dennis Loveday.
Left to right: Yi Zhang, Edward Murphy (President-Elect), Dennis Loveday (Founding President), Steve Gill (President), Victoria Haines, Brian Sensecall.
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 54,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today.
To find out more visit www.ashrae.org/news