Showcasing natural refrigerants: ATMOsphere Europe selects first hydrocarbon-based case studies

By team, Mar 02, 2016, 13:30 5 minute reading

As we close the doors of ATMOsphere Asia in Tokyo, the second in our annual series of ATMOsphere events is ATMOsphere Europe 2016. This year, the conference is leaving its usual home of Brussels and heading to Barcelona. With just over two months to go, our programme is being updated daily, and the first round of case studies has been selected, covering a wide variety of applications.

With ATMOsphere Europe making its debut outside of Brussels, its home for the past seven conferences, the Crowne Plaza Barcelona will play host to industry leaders and expert speakers on 19-20 April. Joining an already impressive line-up of expert speakers in policy, market-trend and end-user sessions are presenters of technology case studies.

The presentations will cover a range of different technologies with a focus on natural refrigerants used in a variety of applications. The following hydrocarbon-based case studies will be presented over both days of the conference:

Colruyt Group store cooling with propane compact chillers, Collin Bootsveld and Julien Meert, Colruyt Group

In 2013 Colruyt Group installed its first propane cooling installation, in an OKay supermarket using 14kg of R290. The system functioned well, but paperwork proved to be a burden and the propane circuit had to be placed outside. Therefore a new development target was formulated, essentially aiming for a ‘plug and play’ approach. The compact chillers supply up to 40 kW of cooling using 1.5 kg of R290. Using ten times less refrigerant makes it possible to integrate the cooling installation within the building. The group will eventually equip all its 360 stores in Belgium with these installations. The case study will focus on the specific advantages of this type of compact propane cooling for the operations of Colruyt Group.

Low energy consumption in a R290 bottle cooler with variable speed compressor, Vicente Guilabert, Cubigel Compressors

In this case study, Cubigel Compressors will share their experience of a Bottle Cooler (HMBP) application test, demonstrating the energy savings made in a complete system simply from using a variable speed compressor with R290 as an alternative to R404A. Combining the use of high efficiency mechanical kits and variable speed electrical motors, the presented case will reveal energy savings up to 50% from performing the test. Using environmentally friendly R290 together with energy savings resulting from the improved COP of the compressor reduces CO2 emissions by more than 1.7 tonnes (over a period of five years) compared to a standard compressor.

Use of innovative heat exchangers for natural fluid heat pumps - Project NxtHPG, Stefano Filippini and Umberto Merlo, LU-VE Group

This case study describes the design and experimental verification activities of new heat transfer geometry with a tube diameter of only 5mm. LU-VE has also undertaken a study of the internal fluid dynamics of heat pumps. Due to space restrictions, the position of the evaporator is often not optimal. This causes imbalances in the air distribution, leading to further poor distribution of refrigerant within the circuits. Thanks to CFD simulation it has been possible to improve the internal fluid dynamics of the heat pump, with a significant increase in the performance of the evaporator and an increase of heat pump COP.

A heat pump for space applications, Henk Jan van Gerner, NLR

NLR will present a heat pump demonstrator for space applications, which has been developed for a project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). Traditional compressors are too heavy (20 kg) and vibrate too much to be used in space applications. For this reason, a lightweight (2 kg), low-vibration, centrifugal three-stage compressor system has been developed. The demonstrator uses isopentane (R601a) as refrigerant. Tests were carried out with the heat pump, and the measured COP is significantly higher than the ESA requires. The case study will showcase the lightweight compressor and explain why isopentane was chosen as refrigerant. In addition, experimental test results will be shown.

Development of climate friendlier truck refrigeration systems with R290, Presenter tbc, Proklima

This case study describes the use of low-GWP refrigerated transport systems for small and large trucks using R290 by Transfrig, a South-African manufacturer. The overall climate impact of the refrigeration system is minimised both through improving energy efficiency and eliminating the GWP of leaked refrigerants. The existing systems use R404A for all unit sizes and temperature levels, and compressors are directly driven by the on-board diesel engine. The new systems using R290 are electrically powered via a diesel engine and alternator, and include a variable speed drive for capacity control.

Johnson Controls designs and develops biggest -80°C coldstore in Europe, Alexander Pachai, Johnson Controls Industries

The case study will present an analysis of the design and installation phases of a -80°C coldstore, the first and largest in Europe, using both R170 and R717. Odense University Hospital (OUH) used to store their samples in 262 different -80° chest freezers across different departments of the hospital. This led to relatively high energy consumption and made it more difficult for researchers to find the samples they needed. OUH turned to Johnson Controls for the design and development of a new and unique cold store installation. Currently, a great amount of frozen tissue samples from OUH and other hospitals in the Southern Denmark region are centrally stored and kept in a database. The new solution reduces energy consumption by approximately four million Danish Krone or €618,660 per year when the coldstore is fully booked. A second 5°C anteroom was installed for the exchange of tissue samples.

Other Selected Case Studies

The following case studies will be presented covering a wide range of applications:

High efficiency CO2 transcritical systems for all formats in warm climates, Diego Malimpensa, CAREL Industries

A centrifugal compressor cooling system using water as working fluid, Jürgen Süß, Efficient Energy

Experience with CO2 refrigeration systems for southern climates, Jonas Schönenberger, Frigo Consulting

Natural 4 Neutral in Convenience, Paul Arrowsmith, Sainsbury’s

About ATMOsphere Europe 2016

The 7th annual ATMOsphere Europe will be held in sunny Barcelona, Spain on the 19-20 April. Besides focusing on the latest trends and achievements in the field of natural refrigerant technologies, the two-day event will explore untapped business opportunities and reveal future perspectives in the HVAC&R industry.

ATMOsphere Europe 2016 offers participants a comprehensive programme of end user and supplier panels and policy, market trends and technology case study sessions, without forgetting the popular workshops and unparalleled networking opportunities. The event is expected to attract over 300 industry experts, making ATMOsphere Europe 2016 a unique opportunity to meet and create partnerships with leading end users, contractors, suppliers and government representatives.

To register for the event, click here.

View the preliminary programme.

For more information about ATMOsphere Europe 2016, please visit

By team (@hydrocarbons21)

Mar 02, 2016, 13:30

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