UPDATE: Hydrocarbons a “Necessity” in U.S.

By Janaina Topley Lira, Feb 12, 2015, 11:40 3 minute reading

The doors have opened on another record-breaking AHR Expo, which takes place from 26 – 28 January at Chicago's McCormick Place. According to AHR Expo exhibitors, EPA and DOE regulations are driving adoption of propane and isobutane. +PHOTOS +VIDEOS

While the European market is better known for regulatory pressures on HFCs that have driven the adoption of natural refrigerants, the U.S. market may be entering a similar phase.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year announced proposals that would delist certain HFC refrigerants by 2016 while the Department of Energy has set very aggressive efficiency targets for 2017 that would, for example, require upright freezer to consumer 57% less energy than 2010 levels. 
Embraco introduces Plug n’ Cool sealed unit line
According to John Prall, technical support, North America Region, Embraco, the EPA and DOE regulatory announcements have led to “significant interest in propane systems since last year.”
At the AHR Expo, Embraco announced the Plug n' Cool SFU160UAX for propane. The sealed unit includes an evaporator, a water-cooled condenser and a compressor, pre-charged with R290. The OEM does no charging. It is mounted on top of a cooler or freezer.
Also on display were new propane compressors: 
  • the VEGT8U, a highly efficient variable-speed unit for low- and medium-temperature applications such as self-contained freezers and coolers.
  • the EM2X3125U, which is similar in capacity to larger compressors but optimised for R290. It is “significantly more efficient than our legacy platform,” said Prall. “It is designed to take advantage of all the great properties of R290.

Tecumseh adds new “green” refrigerant products
Tecumseh Products Company announced its expanding lineup of “green” refrigerant compressors and condensing units at its AHR Expo booth.
Eight new compressor platforms were on display, including the all-new and “greener” AK2, AJ2, and TA2 compressor series. The new compressors, condensing units and chiller models are capable of using eco-friendly refrigerant R290. 
Tecumseh began redesigning its compressors in 2011 with its AE2 series compressor, featuring higher efficiency and capacity in a smaller package. With the North American introduction of the AK2, AJ2 and TA2, Tecumseh brings to the market smaller, more efficient and green-refrigerant-optimised compressors as the successor to legacy models. 
All three are optimised for propane and R600a (isobutane) and in most cases have lower sound levels.
We’re redesigning, re-engineering and optimising our entire compressor lineup,” said Bill Merritt, Global Vice President of Sales & Marketing.


Carel’s new controller for hydrocarbon compressors
Michael Carman, national sales manager, refrigeration controls, Carel, declared natural-refrigerant alternatives like propane (R290) a “necessity” this year.
The EPA sees it as a necessity because they are trying to get rid of all synthetic refrigerants in self-contained cabinets,” he said. “The DOE is driving the efficiency requirement.”
Carel displayed a new controller that Carman said takes care of both regulatory concerns: the Ir33+ Wide for Embraco Fullmotion compressors, a variable-speed compressor. The variable-speed technology combined with the controller generates energy savings of up to 40%. 
The technology is designed for plug-in islands and units; catering and professional equipment; ice cream coolers; small cold rooms; and wine coolers.


By Janaina Topley Lira

Feb 12, 2015, 11:40

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