UK: The innovative approach of UK contractors, designers and end users is helping push forward the boundaries of refrigeration and drive technical advances globally, according to Bitzer UK managing director Kevin Glass.
Marking the launch of Bitzer UK’s new programme of training courses, Kevin paid tribute to the ingenuity and vision of the UK industry and its customers, which he believes is making an important contribution to the international effort to develop safer, more environmentally acceptable systems.
Kevin Glass said: “The UK is known to be pretty technically advanced, driven in part by the leading end users. But it is not often appreciated how big an impact this has on the wider global refrigeration scene.
“Bitzer as a group has a worldwide perspective, and Britain is known for its willingness to challenge accepted ways of doing things, which puts our industry at the forefront of many exciting new approaches, particularly in relation to environmental issues.”
End users’ focus on reducing running costs and improving environmental credentials was a key driver, he said. “Almost every day, we are involved in conversations about new ways to solve problems. With such a large product range and extensive application knowledge, we are often able to develop novel solutions to meet unusual, specific or challenging requirements.”
On the legislative front, Kevin believes the implications of the revised F-Gas Regulation will be felt across the industry for years to come. He said: “There are two distinct approaches evident in the industry to the latest F-Gas changes. People are either choosing to ignore them for the present and continuing to use R404A for all applications. Or they are putting in place plans to exit R404A, and replace it with a lower GWP, natural, or HFO alternative.”
He added: “The truth is, there is no silver bullet for all applications. But one thing is certain: in the low GWP future ahead, the industry will have to learn to manage such things as flammability, toxicity and temperature glide.”
Bitzer has been working for some time with the foresight of a worst-case scenario. The result is a range of proven options that cater for all eventualities, including solutions based on natural refrigerants such ammonia, CO2 and hydrocarbons, as well as low GWP alternatives using HFO and other refrigerants.
Kevin Glass added “The UK is a key market for Bitzer, which is why we have put in place new distribution arrangements and continue to invest in training to support our suppliers and growing customer base. In terms of innovation, the UK is technically exciting and creative, with new ideas and approaches being developed that have potential for global application.
“We believe the UK will always generate new ideas and push boundaries, and – as we have done for many decades already - Bitzer UK will be here to support the pioneers helping to shape the industry’s future.”
For details of Bitzer UK courses, please contact either Marcus Levy or Tracy Francies at firstname.lastname@example.org
UK: Toshiba is all set to raise the bar with the launch of its new groundbreaking energy efficient SMMS-e VRF air conditioning heat pump system.
The latest generation of the company’s industry-leading VRF continues to push the boundaries, by setting a new benchmark for energy efficiency and comes fully loaded with a number of industry firsts such as continuous heating and an innovative hands-free wireless commissioning system.
At the heart of Toshiba’s new technology is a new rotary compressor, which uses a two-stage compression process for improved efficiency and performance.
Surfaces on the compression vanes are treated with a high-tech Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC), giving outstanding hardness, wear resistance and reliability. This enables a significant increase in compressor rotation speed, resulting in a higher displacement volume of up to 50% greater than the previous generation of VRF systems.
As a result of the new compressors design and improved system controls, the operating temperature range has been significantly extended, and is now -5 to +46C for cooling operation and -25C to +15.5C in heating mode.
The system’s heat exchanger has been completely redesigned, using smaller diameter tubes arranged in three rows in the coil, resulting in a 13% increase in surface area, further improving performance and efficiency.
The capacity of the new generation heat exchanger can be adjusted to match the current load and ambient conditions. The new three-way variable heat exchanger enables the VRF’s control system to automatically select the optimum setting.
The SMMS-e breaks new ground in being able to provide continuous heating, with no requirement to stop during defrosts, as with rival systems. This is made possible by the use of a new hot-gas bypass control, which simultaneously defrosts outdoor heat exchanger coils, while allowing the indoor unit to continue operating in heating mode.
Advanced intelligent control
For installers, Toshiba has developed Wave Tool Technology (WTT), a wireless commissioning and performance validation tool that enables engineers to read and write data to the condensing unit using their smart phone, enabling testing and commissioning without removing the unit covers.
This WTT allows service and commissioning engineers to instruct and obtain key system information, simply by touching their smart phone onto the Near Field Communication (NFC) tag located on the outdoor unit.
The technology simplifies commissioning and reduces the amount of time spent on-site, giving the service engineer the ability to quickly and easily send key system data via e-mail back to the office for analysis.
Importantly, the SMMS-e is available in a wider capacity range than ever before. On the smaller end of the scale, indoor units are now available in capacities of 0.6hp, increasing the number of units that can be connected into a system, making it more flexible. Up the scale, outdoor units can offer up to 22hp on a single module platform, due to a newly developed chassis, reducing footprint, pipework and speeding up installation time.
With the new SMMS-e, it is now possible to connect up to 60hp in a single system, with up to 64 connectable indoor units, beating the previous 48hp maximum by a wide margin.
Improvements in pipe work and connectivity give significant advantages in terms of system design and application. Maximum total pipe work length for SMMS-e is 1000m (double the previous allowable length), with 235m now the maximum allowable distance between an outdoor unit and the farthest indoor unit, another industry first.
A maximum of 40m between indoor units is enough to cover an entire 11-storey building, expanding the application envelope for Toshiba VRF to larger buildings.
Finally, in another industry first, the combined compressor, heat exchanger and advanced intelligent control technologies ensure all of the outdoor units in Toshiba’s new SMMS-e VRF range have an ESEER (European Seasonally Adjusted Energy Efficiency Rating) higher than 7, making it a cut above the rest of it’s rivals.
UK: The British Refrigeration Association (BRA) has responded to the challenges that are facing the refrigeration and air conditioning industry with the new F-Gas Regulation by publishing a comprehensive guide titled ‘Putting into Use Replacement Refrigerants’ (PURR), aimed at helping those involved in managing the changes in refrigerants required by the EU F-Gas legislation.
The PURR Report produced by an Action Group made up of members of the BRA highlights the very real challenges that operators face in sectors such as retail refrigeration in the run up to the 2020 ban on new equipment using refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of more than 2500. Along with the ban on servicing equipment using these refrigerants effective from the same date. Although equipment using reclaimed refrigerant can continue to be operated and serviced up until 2030.
BRA President, Mike Lawrence says “There can be no doubt that spending money on dealing with F-Gas regulation will not be welcomed by the financial directors of most businesses that are affected.”
“However, the PURR Report gives a clear indication of possible approaches to dealing with phase down, and the BRA hopes that this will support good practice.”
R404a in perspective
According to the report it’s estimated that there are between 12,000 to 20,000 systems operating on R404A in the UK (circa 11,000 tonnes) and it’s highly unlikely and generally accepted that NOT all of these will be replaced or charged with new low-GWP refrigerants by 2020.
It is anticipated that a number of systems will be replaced before 2020 as they come to the end of their life or by means of retrofitting. In such instances it is crucial that owners of R404A systems ensure they manage the removal of the refrigerant, ensuring it is recycled or reclaimed for the servicing of systems that will remain in use on the same site, or another site owned by the same operator after the 2020 deadline.
Should the owner/operator have no requirement to keep the refrigerant the contractor responsible for the removal of the refrigerant is allowed to use it for the servicing of systems elsewhere but is NOT allowed to resell it, and that all reclaimed or recycled F-Gases are labeled with the name and address of the reclamation site or recycling facility. Anyone using reclaimed or recycled product needs to maintain a record of how much they use and where the product was reclaimed or recycled.
To view or download the full report CLICK HERE
The PURR Report is aimed at all stakeholders involved in the commercial refrigeration market – designers, manufacturers, installers, commissioners and end users – and is designed to highlight the challenges the sector faces in the next few years, and offer guidance and suggestions as to how these issues can be dealt with.
CHINA: Chinese air conditioning manufacturer Haier, have announced the launch of their first R32 refrigerant systems.
The R32 air conditioning systems have been added to their popular energy saving Super Match range of split systems and are said to be fully compliant with building energy saving standards in Europe, North America and Australia.
In addition, the lowest operating noise of the product is claimed to be 26 db(A).
UK: Mitsubishi Electric and its partners have launched the second year of a National Apprenticeship Scheme to train the air conditioning engineers of the future.
Welcoming the new recruits to the industry at a launch event held at the company’s Hatfield headquarters, Technical Training Manager Chris Holmes explained that Mitsubishi Electric and its partners had recognised that there was a real need to help bring new blood into the industry.
“We have been really proud with how well the recruits from last year have come on and for our second year we are delighted that more of our partners have recognised the value to both their own businesses and the wider industry in helping ensure the highest levels of training for future engineers”.
The partner companies involved in the second round of Apprentices are: Accurate Mechanical Services; Alpollo Air Conditioning; Aria Building Services; Bry-Kol FM; CCN Limited; Cool Systems Holdings; Crowther & Shaw; Formost Air Conditioning; Greenhill Air Conditioning; Iceboys (Pure Air); NDS Mechanical Services; Sovereign Planned Services; Watford Refrigeration & Air Conditioning.
Watch this short video highlighting the benefits of the Mitsubishi Electric Apprenticeship Scheme.
UK: Arctic Circle Ltd have appointed a well known industry figure as their business development manager. Roger Hamer, who has previously held the positions of Managing Director of Dawmec, Export Director of Searle and OEM & Export Manager of HRP, joined Arctic Circle on the 15th of September.
In a statement from Arctic Circle:
“Roger is a well know industry figure with a wealth of experience in senior management positions and an excellent knowledge of the refrigeration industry. This is not only good for the business, but it is also a great opportunity for our younger staff to gain from Roger’s knowledge and experience”.
As ‘Business Development Manager’ Roger will be responsible for making inroads into new areas outside of Arctic Circle’s traditional customer base.
Arctic Circle Ltd Commercial Director Nick Franzen said:
“I am really pleased that Roger has decided to join our team at Arctic Circle Ltd. Having worked with Roger on various projects over the years and I have always been very impressed with his drive and enthusiasm. I have every confidence that Roger has the ability to develop the new business sectors in line with our company strategic objectives”.
Roger Hamer also commented:
“I am delighted to be working for Arctic Circle and I look forward to taking their new innovations and products and into new areas”.
About Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle are a privately owned British manufacturer of innovative low carbon solutions for the heat transfer market in its broadest sense, including compressors, refrigeration systems, heat recovery, chillers, thermal storage and heat pumps.
UK: Carrier Rental Systems (UK) Ltd, the UK’s leading temporary cooling and heating specialist, has supplied high-efficiency chillers and heaters for the downhill ice track at the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Carrier Rental Systems’ timely supply of high-performance cooling and heating equipment, coupled with its experience of supporting large-scale outdoor ice-based activities, ensured a successful event for Red Bull, the global energy drink manufacturer.
Described as one of the world’s fastest sports, the competitive ice cross downhill competition was one of four Red Bull Crashed Ice outings of the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship staged throughout the year, attracting global participation from competing teams. It was the first such Red Bull event staged in the UK.
With a combined cooling capacity of 1.6MW, Carrier supplied four AquaSnap air-cooled chillers to the Stormont site that circulated a 40:60 mixture of glycol and water at -10deg C through the AST “Skateway” system, incorporating a flexible carpet of tubes running the length of the 430m long track.
Once the chillers were connected, water was sprayed onto the freezing surface, taking 10 days to produce a 4.5 inch-thick layer of high quality ice.
In addition to chillers, Carrier Rental Systems also supplied a boiler-based heating solution. Two 400kW units provided hot water at 45deg C to melt the ice track after the culmination of the three-day competition.
About Carrier Rental Systems
Carrier Rental Systems deploys a comprehensive range of temperature control rental equipment at locations across the UK and Ireland, enabling timely support of major outdoor leisure and sporting events as well as rapid response to HVAC system breakdowns.
Rental periods can range from one day to however long the temporary heating and/or cooling solution is required.
UK: When it comes to designing and maintaining energy efficient cooling and heating systems, Star Refrigeration is undoubtedly an innovator for delivering low carbon, cost saving solutions. So as Europe begins its scheduled phase down of selected HFC refrigerant gases, Star is urging food manufacturers to take a long term, strategic view of their refrigeration systems - or face significant financial penalties.
Star believes that new European F-Gas Regulations will dramatically affect the cost and availability of synthetic refrigerants with high global warming potential, warning that refrigerant suppliers have indicated that the price of some widely used HFC gases may increase by up to 20% this year.
Over the past fifteen years, the refrigeration industry has seen the gradual phase out of synthetic, ozone-depleting refrigerants. From January 2015 the last of these HCFC gases, including R22, were banned in Europe.
Star Refrigeration Group Sales and Marketing Director Rob Lamb says: “As the phase down of HFC gases with high global warming potential takes place over the next 15 years, we predict that there will be a rapid increase in cost and a marked decline in their availability.”
He adds: “We would urge refrigeration plant operators to think strategically and take a long term view of their manufacturing processes by investing in future-proof refrigeration systems.”
Whilst refrigerant suppliers are busy developing new blended synthetic gases with lower global warming potential, Star believes there is a long-established, natural alternative.
Rob Lamb says: “Natural gases such as ammonia have been successfully used as refrigerants for over 100 years. Ammonia has no global warming effect and offers high efficiency, long term availability and low cost per Kg. The use of carbon dioxide as a refrigerant is also growing in popularity due to its relatively low global warming potential.”
He adds: “The initial capital cost of plant that operates on a natural refrigerant may be higher, but the lifecycle cost of running the system is key. Those who continue to operate cooling systems with HFCs are facing the risk of escalating running costs in the short to medium term. We believe that natural refrigerants such as ammonia and CO2 offer long term security.”
UK: Ofgem have reported that they have received an increasing number of complex questions about the eligibility of Ground Source Heat Pumps and shared ground arrays for both the Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI schemes.
In a statement Ofgem say they are aware that a number of installers are working on innovative developments, particularly in the social housing sector. These developments typically include shared ground arrays – with shared ground or water loops – providing heat to more than one heat pump unit located in each individual flat or house. As administrators of both schemes, Ofgem has set out a response to these new industry initiatives.
The 2014 Domestic RHI Regulations define a Ground Source Heat Pump as a plant that generates heat by absorbing energy stored in the form of heat from the ground, including water in the ground, or surface water, or both, and uses that energy to heat a liquid. It follows that a ground array forms part of the plant for the purposes of the Domestic RHI scheme.
Under the current Domestic RHI Regulations, any application involving a plant that is a heat pump seeking accreditation for the Domestic RHI can only be considered eligible if it provides heating solely to a single eligible property, assuming all other conditions are satisfied.
Therefore a plant incorporating shared ground loop arrays that provide heat to more than one single eligible property is not eligible for the Domestic RHI scheme. However, a plant featuring a shared ground loop array, providing heat to multiple domestic properties, can be considered for the Non-Domestic scheme, assuming all other eligibility requirements are met for that scheme.
To find out more about both the Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI Schemes click here
UK: Dearman, the clean cold and power company, was today joined by the Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, at the official opening of its ground-breaking Clean Cold and Power Technology Centre.
The new facility is home to Dearman’s extensive research and development activities, which are focused on the delivery of a range of zero-emission cold and power technologies.
The company is working on diverse applications of its technology for use in transportation, the built environment and logistics. All of these applications utilise the Dearman engine, a novel piston engine that is powered by the expansion of liquid air to provide clean cooling and power.
The Minister and senior Dearman executives were joined by representatives of industry and academia, for a tour of the new facility which includes: state-of-the-art engine test facilities; engine build and component machining facilities: and space for Dearman’s growing number of engineers, designers and analysts. The facility in Croydon, Greater London, also features all of the cryogenic infrastructure needed to run a series of liquid air cold and power systems.
Discussing the visit, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, said: “From an invention designed and built in the lab to this impressive technology centre, Dearman is one of the great success stories that gives the UK its reputation for driving innovation. I want to continue to make the UK the best place in Europe to innovate and grow a business and this new facility is a strong sign of the progress we are making to achieve this goal.”
Commenting, Toby Peters, Chief Executive of Dearman said: “Today is a momentous occasion for Dearman. Not just because it marks the opening of this ground-breaking research facility, which will be at the heart of Dearman innovation for years to come. But because it highlights the progress we have made, as a team, in such a short period of time.
“Just over three years ago Dearman and clean cold were nothing more than ideas. Today we are a company of more than 50 hugely talented people, we have our own bespoke facility, we have made huge strides in developing our technology and our first application will begin real-world deployment soon. With the rapidly increasing global demand for cold and cooling of all types, especially in the rapidly emerging and developing economies, our vision is to create and supply revolutionary clean cold and power systems that deliver strong environmental benefits and are equally commercially attractive. I am very proud to say that today, our vision of clean cold and power came one step closer to becoming a reality.”
The Dearman Clean Cold and Power Technology Centre is home to more than 40 people, the majority of whom are engineers and technicians. That number will grow in the years to come as Dearman plans to extend its activities, expand its range of applications and begin after-sales and support services.
The first application of Dearman technology is a zero-emission transport refrigeration system, which will begin commercial field trials later this year, before extensive international trials begin in 2016. Subsequent Dearman applications will include a clean power and cooling system for buildings, an auxiliary power unit for buses and HGVs, and a liquid air heat hybrid system for trucks and buses.
Dearman is also developing its world leading expertise, which will enable it to advise organisations on the application of integrated cold and power technologies, helping them to reduce emissions and save money.