AHR Expo 2011: Industry prepares for hydrocarbons introduction

By Sabine Lobnig, Feb 11, 2011, 18:30 2 minute reading

More than 54,000 HVACR professionals filled the aisles of the 63rd AHR Expo in Las Vegas to see the latest products and innovations targeted for the North American market. Product launches and informal discussions revealed that more and more industry players are considering the case of hydrocarbon solutions. + PHOTOS

An increasing number of industry players active on the North American market are looking into natural refrigerants as an alternative and at the very least as a back up plan.

Hydrocarbon refrigerants consist of an option that seems to receive increasing attention, as the industry expects the pending US EPA approval for their use in certain applications (residential refrigerators and plug-in retail refrigeration) to pave the way in gradually opening up further market opportunities in additional applications (e.g. air conditioning).

Hydrocarbon products on display

Some of the hydrocarbon products on display included:
  • Gree: The state-of-the-art R290 room air-conditioning system developed by the Chinese manufacturer - that since 2005 has occupied the first place globally in sales volume of residential air conditioners - made its trade fair debut at AHR. The Coefficient of Performance (COP) of the Gree R290 unit exceeds 3.6 and Gree aspires to “create a new era for the application of environmentally friendly refrigerants.”
  • Tecumseh: Tecumseh launched on the occasion of the AHR Expo, its AE2 next generation compressors, designed for optimal performance with R290 and R600a. The company also displayed its R600a standard compressor and its Celseon hydrocarbon air cooled condensing units. The hydrocarbon compressors are designed with electrical components that are free of electric event to ensure their safe operation and maintenance. Moreover, in a company position released before the event and titled ‘Tecumseh Prepares for the Hydrocarbon Future’, the company states that it “is prepared to meet the eventual approval of the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants in the United States for both commercial and in-home applications as a replacement for the HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) and HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) used today”.
  • Danfoss: Danfoss displayed its R290 compressor, now part of its SECOP brand.
  • Galileo: Galileo provided information on its Habilis III charge board as well as its line of Frigus k automatic evacuating and refrigerant charging equipment, both for use also with hydrocarbons.
  • Samsung: Samsung displayed an R600a variable speed compressor model, part of its MSV Series.

UL develops hydrocarbon safety recommendations

On 2 February 2011, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) hosted a "Joint Task Group" standards meeting on the use of flammable refrigerants, whereby UL Standards Technical Panel (STP) members and key stakeholders developed recommendations for HVAC/R product safety standards.


By Sabine Lobnig

Feb 11, 2011, 18:30

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