AHR Expo 2013: HC use to grow but charge limits remain a challenge

By Janaina Topley Lira, Feb 12, 2013, 14:47 3 minute reading

While component suppliers and manufacturers are confident that hydrocarbons will enjoy a higher market adoption in terms of absolute numbers, the application range could remain limited if current charge limits and venting prohibitions remain. hydrocarbons21.com talked to companies presenting new and upcoming solutions for the North American market. + VIDEO  (+ PHOTOS see part 1 of the article).

At the AHR Expo in Dallas only a limited number of booths showcased HC-based equipment which traditionally does not fall within the core scope of the trade show. However, leading North American companies and emerging Asian competitors likewise express their confidence that HCs will make inroads into the market due to their proven efficiency in other parts of the world. Applications like small glass-door merchandisers, domestic refrigerators and freezers, or residential air-conditioning would be feasible right now but some market players also confirm increasing interest in larger applications, like heat pumps or chillers. 
Danfoss: John Galyen, President of Danfoss North America, says: “I think hydrocarbons will grow in the US, but due to the charge limitations I see the applications limited.” Galyen also stresses that this technical problem can partly be overcome by investing into technologies such as microchannel heat exchangers, hence reducing the charge and widening the number of applications. John Holloway, Marketing Manager, adds that interest in low-GWP refrigerant solutions is growing among their customers. Holloway notes that “some of the challenges, everybody knows about flammability, are amenable. With smart system design, space considerations we can get around that”, before adding that Danfoss is “seeing some interest in larger applications like heat pumps, even small chillers, self-contained display cases for supermarkets. So there is potential and we are exploring that with some customers.” 

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Embraco : Brazilian-based compressor manufacturer Embraco displays its range of hydrocarbon compressors available for North American domestic and light-commercial applications including for low and high temperature cooling capacities. Doug Schmidt, Commercial Cooling Solutions Manager for North America, says that “we believe that it’s about providing innovative solutions which exceed our customers needs and minimize the total environmental impact and we’ve products to do that.

GMCC: Chinese compressor manufacturer GMCC displays its new R290 compressor for residential air conditioning. It will soon be commercially available and is likely to be offered to the European, Indian and North American markets first. GMCC confirms rising interest from visitors to their booth.

TCL: Right next to the GMCC booth, Chinese air conditioning manufacturer TCL has dedicated a full side of its booth to an advertisement about the upcoming R290 A/C system that will soon be available for the US market. The indoor unit panel design is already advertised on their corporate website but the company seems to adopt a wait-and-see attitude to be able to supply the market once interest has become stronger.

Sanhua: Chinese manufacturer of valves and controls confirms that, following strong interest in valves for HC refrigerant solutions at the AHR Expo, Sanhua is now “seriously looking into HCs”, to not be left behind when markets start moving soon.

PepsiCo: Meeting a high-level representative from global consumer goods brand PepsiCo in the aisles, it is confirmed that the beverage giant is continuing on its path to introduce HC refrigerants into its bottle coolers. First trials in Mexico are now being done, in addition to expanding the number of applications in the US market. In other world markets like Russia and Turkey PepsiCo has already switched to an HC-only purchasing policy.


By Janaina Topley Lira

Feb 12, 2013, 14:47

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