Finalists Named for Innovation of the Year Awards

By Tine Stausholm, Mar 24, 2021, 16:30 11 minute reading

Attendees at the ATMO Virtual Trade Show March 30-31 can vote for their favorite NatRef product; top three will receive awards.

The Innovation of the Year awards will be decided by the attendees at VTS.

Pandemics and global disruption cannot stop innovation in the natural refrigerants industry, and many new products have been introduced during the last year.

Five of those products have been named finalists for Innovation of the Year awards. These are products made available for installation since January 2020, and have had, or are expected to have, a significant impact on the market.

Attendees at the ATMO Virtual Trade Show 2021 (VTS), to be held continuously from 10 am CET, March 30, to 10 am CET March 31, will be eligible to vote for their favorite product during the event. The top three vote-getters will receive gold, silver and bronze Innovation of the Year awards, which will be announced on March 31.

To register for free for VTS, and be eligible to vote, click here.

The five finalists are CO2 (R744) and propane (R290) products from Carrier (CO2 rack), Danfoss (CO2 valve), Alfa Laval (R290 condenser), Carel (R290 controller) and Secop (R290 compressor).

Descriptions of each product, provided by the companies, follow:

PowerCO2OL CO2 Rack System (Carrier) 

PowerCO2OL is the name of our most powerful refrigeration rack. Its platform is suitable for a variety of large applications and can be designed as a single or dual-temperature solution. It  integrates the CO2OLtec EVO modulating vapor ejector technology as a standard feature to achieve high energy efficiency – up to 30% energy savings on an annual basis vs. a standard transcritical CO2 (R744) system.

Multiple configurations are offered, including direct expansion, flooded liquid chillers, pump-assisted flooded low-temperature systems and liquid-to- liquid heat pumps. The platform can be packaged in either indoor or outdoor configurations, with a cooling capacity up to 1.5MW (426.5TR) with full heat recovery. All functions are managed by a user- friendly and flexible controller.

PowerCO2OL works for many high-capacity applications such as:

  • Distributions centers (warehouse, medium- and low- temperature cold storage)
  • Sport venues (ice rink, ski arena)
  • Processes (food processing, butchery, plastic industry)
  • Heat pumps (domestic hot water, heating and hot water production)

PowerCO2OL was launched in 2020 and has already been installed at iconic sites. To name one example, PowerCO2OL has been installed at SNØ – Norway's first year-round indoor ski arena – in Lørenskog. Norwegians and others who love winter sports now have the ability to enjoy Nordic and Alpine skiing year-round.

How can we achieve these energy efficiency levels?

PowerCO2OL embeds the CO2OLtec Evo modulating vapor ejector technology, assisted by a CO2 pump. This patented technology has raised the bar in high-efficiency performance with up to 30% annual energy consumption (AEC) reduction   compared to a "standard" transcritical CO2 solution. It has enabled CO2 systems to become a viable alternative in warmer climates as well as providing heat reclaim advantages in cold and mild climates. In addition, the solution becomes a sustainable alternative by using CO2, a natural refrigerant, which is safe and non-ozone-depleting, with a GWP of one.

CO2OLtec Evo modulating ejector technology provides energy savings to the end user through the following elements:

  • Expansion work recovery: The modulating vapor ejector replaces the high-pressure valve and recovers the high-pressure energy.
  • Higher evaporating temperature: The medium-temperature consumers operate in “semi-flooded” mode, which increases efficiency.
  • Higher suction pressure on the entire medium-temperature stage: The medium-temperature compressors’ suction are directly connected to the receiver, which allows the entire medium-temperature stage compressor work reduction. 
  • The most common high-efficiency CO2 refrigeration systems typically use one of the following features: parallel compression (also known as economizer systems), a high-pressure ejector combined with parallel compression, or a liquid ejector.

All systems can operate independently or in combination; however, each step adds an additional level of complexity and cost, both in terms of mechanics (compressors, valves, accumulators, piping, etc.), and controls (complex control algorithms). 

CO2OLtec Evo modulating vapor ejector technology combines all these specifications with only two components to control. This unique system works in combination with a simple and efficient CO2 pump to reduce energy consumption by operating the medium-temperature evaporators in "semi-flooded" mode all year round. 

CCMT Light electric regulating CO2 valve (Danfoss)

Launched in April 2020, the CCMT Light electric regulating valve is designed to make CO2 (R744) refrigeration easy for small-format stores

We’re excited to announce yet another leap forward in CO2 technology: the CCMT Light electric regulating valve. With this new innovative product, we address smaller systems, helping to make CO2 accessible to convenience stores, discount outlets, and the like all over the world. 

A quick overview of the CCMT Light:

  • One valve, three applications: high pressure valve, gas-by-pass and evaporator expansion valve (HPV, GBV and EEV)
  • Compact design with smallest footprint
  • Light weight – 670g (1.5lbs), reducing piping stresses
  • Stepper motor-operated valve
  • Angled valve housing, one-flow direction
  • Easy-and-fast-to-service cartridge design, fully serviceable, without uninstalling it from the pipeline Dual-purpose connections, bi-metal and steel Regulation down to 5% of full capacity
  • Tight pressure control, low hysteresis

One valve, many possibilities

The valve has versatile applications in the transcritical system. First, the valve is capable of high pressure expansion for gas cooler control (HPV). Second, the CCMT can be used as gas by-pass valve (receiver pressure control, GBV). Finally, the CCMT Light can be used as an evaporator expansion valve (EEV) with AK-CC55 Single Coil and AK-CC55 Single Coil UI, for cold room applications.

The CCMT Light

The CCMT Light is the latest addition to our growing CO2 portfolio. The valve is robust, accurate, and easy-to-use, with a focus on stress-free valve installation and field service. It has a high tolerance for dirt and debris, reducing service-related incidences and improving long-term system reliability.

The valve is delivered fully assembled and in open position, ready for welding or brazing, which drastically reduces installation time, lowers production costs, and increases productivity.

The CCMT Light is available in three types, each covering a different capacity: 0.3Kv, 0.5Kv, 0.8Kv and a new version for 1.1Kv will be ready in April 2021. It is designed specifically for small CO2 applications and is optimum for condensing units or packs up to 150kW (42.7TR).

See how easily CO2 can be used with our CCMT light electric regulating valve: 

Learn more about the CCMT light on our web site: CCMT electric regulating valve - high pressure CO2


CCMT Light fluid simulation animation | Electric regulating valve for CO2 - YouTube

CCMT Light exploded view animation | Electric regulating valve for CO2 - YouTube

How to braze bi-metal connections on a CCMT light valve | HVACR Distillery - YouTube

How to braze steel connections on a CCMT light valve | HVACR Distillery - YouTube


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CB24 R290 Condenser (Alfa Laval)

Released in October, 2020, Alfa Laval CB24 is a condenser with minimal refrigerant charge for increasing its sustainability potential.

Alfa Laval continues the expansion of its brazed plate heat exchanger portfolio with the launch of Alfa Laval CB24. CB24 is the market’s first dedicated condenser that has been specifically optimized to operate with propane (R290), with engineering that enables an unprecedently low refrigerant charge combined with  increased  thermal efficiency. As a result, CB24 creates opportunities to improve sustainability for commercial refrigeration, ground source heat pumps (GSHP), satellite systems for tap water, and more.

“The transition to refrigerants with a lower climate impact is the major trend in heating and cooling right now,” said Fredrik Ekström, President for Business Unit Brazed & Fusion Bonded Heat Exchangers at Alfa Laval. “With a GWP [global warming potential] of just three, propane has become an interesting option for many OEMs. Compare this to R407C, the dominant refrigerant in commercial refrigeration today, which has a GWP of more than 1,700, and it’s easy to understand why!”

However, use of R290 is not without practical and technical challenges. The safety considerations associated with the highly flammable alkane have resulted in legislation in some regions that restricts the allowable refrigeration charge for certain applications.

“The aim of CB24 has been to solve these challenges for some of the heating and cooling duties where the ability to use R290 will become increasingly critical,” Ekström continued. “We did this by adapting some of the unique innovations Alfa Laval has developed through our long experience in these applications. This has given us a dedicated condenser that successfully accommodates the refrigerant charge limitations of working with propane, without sacrificing thermal performance.”

150g and below

A key element to the success of CB24’s development was Alfa Laval’s FlexFlow: a patented plate design technique that allows for channel asymmetry, custom-tailored to fit the media in question. FlexFlow makes it possible to increase turbulence and optimize pressure drop according to a particular application. CB24 can, therefore, provide highly efficient heat transfer while at the same time operating on a propane refrigerant charge that is lower than previously possible.

“This means, for example, that CB24 easily meets the strict regulations for some commercial refrigeration applications, which limit a propane charge to 500g,” explained Ekström. “But it goes further than that. CB24 can even fulfill the much more stringent requirements for GSHPs, which in Europe are limited to a refrigerant charge of just 150g.”

Another important feature for CB24 has been Alfa Laval’s PressureSecure design, which optimizes the relationship between thermal, mechanical and material properties to support pressure loads associated with R290. This produces an overall more robust heat exchanger, particularly around the port areas, which can be highly susceptible to pressure-related fatigue problems.

Low GWP + high efficiency = maximum sustainability.

“With CB24, the ability to use propane with a reduced refrigerant charge is only half the story,” Ekström said. “The possibility to improve thermal efficiency will also create new opportunities for energy savings for many of our customers.”

One key example is in commercial refrigeration applications involving vertical shelves without a window. In such duties, where previously up to three condenser units would be necessary, it will be possible to use just one CB24 condenser thanks to its highly efficient performance.

“The results are equally positive for geothermal applications,” Fredrik Ekström concludes. “We have already installed our first CB24 condensers in a GSHP system in southern Europe. The customer has reported that both the low refrigerant charge and the high efficiency of the system is far in front of everything else they are seeing on the market today.”

HEOSone R290 controller (Carel)

Everything for your high-efficiency plug-in showcase, HEOSone is a solution for the control and management of chest freezers and wall-standing plug-in showcase coolers for supermarkets and professional refrigerators. It can also be used with professional refrigerators for kitchens or food display coolers for bakeries and small shops.

The kit of components can be applied to both low-temperature and medium-temperature applications operating on propane (R290).

The complete package includes:

BLDC compressor

The HEOSone controller is combined with an advanced driver to form an integrated unit for:

  • showcase temperature and superheat control
  • compressor management (COP calculation, oil recovery procedures)
  • condensing stage control
  • lights, defrosts, fans and alarms

Electronic expansion valve with stepper motor HMI with BLE/NFC connectivity

The sensor and probe kit and the WiFi gateway option complete the offering

Cooling capacity varies from 0.8kW to 1.6kW (0.23TR to 0.46TR), depending on the application, with a propane charge of up to 150g.

HEOSone can be perfectly integrated into supervisory and remote monitoring systems.

The main benefits of the HEOSone solution can be summarized as follows:

1. Risk-free green solution: All the benefits of propane without the safety risks (charge limited to 150g).

2. Energy efficiency: The decentralized approach and continuous modulation make it possible to adapt operation perfectly to the demands of the showcase in all conditions.

3. Continuous system modulation is possible thanks to synchronized operation between variable-speed BLDC compressors, the electronic expansion valve with stepper motor, and DC motors for fans.

4. DC technology allows the widest range of modulation, low noise and high reliability, and above all the highest efficiency. HEOSone has been officially tested in a third-party laboratory applied to an already best-in-class chest freezer (3L1). The complete package achieved an additional energy saving of 10%.

5. Maximum food preservation quality: Continuous modulation of the compressor and EEV electronic valves ensures excellent temperature and humidity stability in the showcases.

6. Usability: Advanced connectivity thanks to BLE, NFC and dedicated app.

7. One-stop shop: a complete solution and just one supplier and partner for the entire control package.

SLVE18CN (R290+VSD) compressor (Secop)

SLVE18CN is a new Secop product launched to the market in November 2020.

It's propane (R290)-based, has the most efficient and biggest variable-speed piston compressor available in the market so far; and is the only variable-speed piston compressor that could operate under full LBP & MBP conditions.

  • Customers could use this VSD compressor to substitute up to a 27~28cc fixed-speed compressor. By doing this, they could get all the following benefits:
  • Green and sustainable natural refrigerant solution Reduced energy consumption up to 40%.
  • A much more compact compressor that could support increased cooling volume in the cabinet.
  • Reduced environment, safety and economic impact by reducing SKUs
  • One VSD compressor type could cover many FSD compressor types, which could help to reduce inventory and logistic complexity
  • Suitable for both LBP and MBP applications, and able to operate continuously inside an evaporating temperature range from -45 to 10°C (-49 to 50°F)
  • Intelligent variable-speed drive °CCD controller (Cool Capacity Drive) supports all customer needs (simple drop-in, frequency control, and serial control) with automatic input detection and easy customization via TOOL4COOL
  • Strong dust and water-protected controller housing to reduce the safety risk.

By Tine Stausholm (@TStausholm)

Mar 24, 2021, 16:30

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