Bitzer Australia delivered a strong opening message to the room, with Engineering Manager Ian Suffield declaring:
Think future and invest in long-term solutions. It would be a great shame if [end users] spent millions of dollars on a system that might be superseded overnight.”
Bitzer offers the full array of ammonia, hydrocarbon and CO2 compressor solutions and through its Schäufler academy in Germany, an excellent platform to support training programmes on natural refrigerants in Australia.
“Safety is a big concern for Bitzer and what we make sure at Bitzer is that anyone using or faced with these systems is expertly trained,” Suffield said.
Bitzer’s semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors using hydrocarbon refrigerants can be applied to chillers, water-loop systems and air conditioning applications. They are the only ASERCOM-certified hydrocarbon compressors currently on the market.
Transcritical CO2 technology at the core
With over 10 years experience of using CO2 and 60,000 compressors installed across 1,600 supermarkets, Bitzer also has the expertise to cater for the full spectrum of transcritical and subcritical installations with its 8-95kW CO2 compressor range. Bitzer’s state-of-the-art CO2 transcritical installation at Coles Coburg North is a symbol of growing demand for integrated systems and air conditioning loads supplied through transcritical systems.
Denmark-based Peter Bao, Team Leader/Project Engineer at Advansor, is very familiar with Bitzer’s CO2 compressors having used hundreds of them in Advansor’s 2,100 transcritical systems in more than 20 countries.
Advansor recently delivered four transcritical booster systems with parallel compression to Brazil and is eager to deliver a similar solution to the Australian market. Bao displayed a projected energy consumption chart for Melbourne, with its CO2 booster including parallel compression showing a 10% drop compared to a synthetic-based R404A system.
“If we were to deliver a system to Australia the baseline would be a system with parallel compression. Then, there are other tricks to improve efficiency including adiabatic cooling; another way is to add sub-cooling,” Bao said.
Advansor’s compSUPER CO2 system, initially designed for industrial applications, can also be applied to hypermarkets, while the ValuePack for convenience stores, requiring 40kW capacities and above, provides an alternative to the company’s CO2 condensing units, designed for smaller petrol stations. The question is when and with what technology will Advansor enter the Asian and Australian market.
Robert DelVentura, Vice-President Global Innovations, at Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration, echoed moves from Advansor.
“In Australia we’re looking for installations with ejectors and parallel compression and we’re hoping to have some projects confirmed in the third quarter of 2016,” DelVentura said.
Heatcraft’s Australian division launched its first transcritical rack for warm ambients at ARBS 2016 – the day after ATMOsphere Australia – and is well-placed to cater its range of solutions to the market with operations in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand. “We’re in a good position because we can see a lot of the global trends while they’re happening in the market,” DelVentura said. “We’re excited about the transition towards natural refrigerants occurring and we want to work with end users in all regions to make the transition happen.”
Heatcraft has a strong customer base in Australia and New Zealand but DelVentura said more work still needs to be done to educate and up-skill the industry locally. “As an industry we need to take responsibility and really comprehensively step up our training activities to include CO2 certification with contractors, educators, suppliers so that they can not only operate the systems but go in and actually diagnose them.”
Ammonia, CO2 cascade systems
Heatcraft’s solutions extend to NH3/CO2 ‘ultra low-charge’ systems for supermarkets, using between 20-45kg of ammonia on the top cycle with CO2 low-temperature direct expansion and CO2 medium-temperature liquid overfeed.
One such system installed in the US in 2015 uses 24kg of ammonia and has reduced total cost of ownership for the end user by 20%, presenting another option for end users in Australia and New Zealand.
Mayekawa’s proven NewTon NH3/CO2 technology for industrial applications is also applicable to Australia. Mayekawa’s Hideyo Asano disclosed figures revealing that around 25% of cold store facilities in Japan have installed the NewTon, which includes a new NH3 screw compressor, heat exchanger and booster economiser cycle.
Like in Australia, the cost of energy in Japan is very expensive. This makes the 30% energy savings achieved via an installation of multiple NewTons at a Kobeya Baking facility in Japan very attractive.
Mayekawa commenced production at a new facility in Tennessee in 2015 and is looking to expand into Asian regions, including Australia where it has so far installed four NewTons. The company will supply a project in Brazil by the end of 2016.
Japanese heat pump expertise
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ proven air-to-water CO2 heat pump the Q-Ton has an industry-high COP of 4.3. By 2010, over five million of them had been installed in Japan alone, suggesting that the first installation in Australia will only be a matter of time.
The company’s National Service & Product Manager in Australia, John Bolger, said the first project could theoretically be in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, with Mitsubishi looking for new, energy conscious commercial projects as well as retrofits.
The system has a very diverse range of possible applications, from universities, hospitals, city hotels, spas and gyms to care homes, across a 30kW to 480kW range. One case study at a care home for 80 people achieved a 74% reduction in energy consumption compared to an electric heater.
The Q-Ton also includes the world’s first 2-stage patented CO2 inverter compressor and comprehensive touchscreen control.