HARFKO 2015: Interest growing in Korea for CO2 solutions

By James Ranson, Mar 18, 2015, 15:51 4 minute reading

Although in many applications natural refrigerants remained the ‘emerging technologies’ on display, leading companies like Mayekawa, CAREL, thermea. Energysystems and Itomic quickly turned their attentions to Korea to showcase their CO2 technology and share their success stories with R744.com. 

HARFKO 2015 Heating, Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration and Fluid Exhibition in South Korea took place from 10-13 March 2015 at the KINTEX Exhibition Center. A key HVAC&R industry trade show run by the Korea Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry Association every two years, R744.com attended for the very first time. The team was eager to find out the state of the industry when it comes to natural working fluids, and, in short, natural refrigerants still have some way to go to gain visibility in Korea. Attendees and key players promoting naturals globally shared the view that it will take 2-4 years for naturals to seriously emerge in Korea.
 
Mayekawa’s very first NewTon system straight from KINTEX to customer 
 
Mycom Korea exhibited its flagship product NewTon NH3/CO2 refrigeration system at HARFKO 2015. With a ‘sold’ sign dangling nearby, the system is the very first to be installed to a Korean customer. An unnamed South Korean company that produces perishable foods such as tofu and soybean sprouts will install the NewTon system in the 2000m2 expansion of its distribution centre. NewTon will provide cooling to a 300m2 freezer room kept at -25°C, while an additional ammonia/brine system will provide cooling to a 1700m2 room kept at -2°C.
 
CAREL explores CO2 transcritical controller for CVS
 
At HARFKO, CAREL introduced its pRack pR300T controller, which uses a single electronic board to fully manage a self-contained transcritical system with a triple suction line, heat recovery, gas cooler, high pressure valves, liquid receiver and intercooler. The controller and system are suited for convenience store applications. 
 
CAREL‘s compact solution for CO2 compressor rack control and management meets market requirements in the following ways:

 
  • Control of low and medium temperature compressors
  • Transcritical valve synchronisation through a directly integrated driver
  • A third suction line control for a parallel compressor, which can improve a transcritical system’s efficiency in warmer climates
  • Management algorithms for energy savings
  • Dedicated algorithms for CO2 systems management
  • Integration with heat recovery systems
 
thermco2 CO2 heat pump debut at HARFKO 2015
 
thermea.Energysystems, at the booth of its partners DÜRR and Korean distributor GS Neotek, exhibited the largest CO2 system on display at HARFKO - its flag ship CO2 high temperature heat pump (HP). The thermco2 HHR/HHS series HP has a cover heating capacity range from 45 to 1,100kW and refrigerating capacity from 40 to 830kW. The thermco2 HHR/HHS series can provide hot water up to 110°C and cool down to -10°C. It also includes 11 basic models. Engineered and manufactured in Germany, the thermco2 HP features semi-hermetic CO2 compressor by GEA, Siemens Simatic S7 controls and is certificated (TUV, CE Certification).
 
“The thermeco2 HP has many benefits to apply in the industrial market. Most industrial processes such as food processing, beverage bottling, etc. need both heating and cooling at the same time. We estimate that we could sell more than five units in three years, conservatively speaking. Regarding China, we expect China’s market for CO2 HP to grow substantially during the next few years,” said Jae-lk Cho, Deputy General Manager at GS Neotek.
 
The thermeco2 HP have been installed at about 20 sites in Europe ranging from complex buildings (universities, hospitals) to district heating networks, food processing plants, data centre cooling and local heating networks (to be used in both heat-cold-coupling or heat recovery).
 
350 commercial CO2 heat pumps by Japanese manufacturer
 
On display at the Itomic booth, Japanese manufacturer of commercial Eco Cute, were two commercial Eco Cute models including the high heating capacity 80Y (80kW) unit. According to Koji Morimoto from Itomic their CO2 HP was successfully introduced to Korean market in 2005. 
 
“We have already sold approximately 350 units in the Korean market. One of the key sectors is universities. Korean universities have student residence facilities on campus and therefore need large amounts of hot water. Out of a total of 350 units, 70% are the 30kW model that was exported to Korea from 2005. From 2010, we began exporting the large capacity Eco Cute. From 2010 to 2014, the ratio of sales for the 30kW and 80kW models is 30% and 70% respectively. The Korean market is now already shifting to the large type model,” said Morimoto from HARFKO.
 
Suppliers ready and armed for Korean market
 
Although strong players in the natural refrigerants industry such as Bitzer, Danfoss, Emerson Climate Control, Panasonic, Dorin and Tecumseh were present at HARFKO 2015, little of their wide product portfolio ranges for natural working fluids were on display. While the tipping point for naturals may be a couple of years away in Korea, most of the companies mentioned indicated first interest from their partners and customers. With growing uptake of CO2 and other natural refrigerants in Europe, North America and Japan, and increasing interest also in China, all the leading suppliers are ready to deliver their latest natural solutions when the wave arrives.


 

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By James Ranson

Mar 18, 2015, 15:51




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