Pro Refrigeration, a U.S. manufacturer of packaged CO2 (R744) chillers for the industrial and beverage processing markets, recently received the 2022 EnVisioneer of the Year award from Danish manufacturer Danfoss.

The annual award, which was launched in 2010, “recognizes North American [OEMs], building owners, municipalities, contractors and end users that have introduced a new product, opened a new facility or invested in a building or system upgrade in the past 18 months using Danfoss products or solutions to realize significant energy and environmental savings,” said Danfoss.

Pro Refrigeration has been recognized for the environmental performance and cost savings delivered by its PROGreen CO2 Chiller, which utilizes several Danfoss components. The award was presented to Pro Refrigeration on August 24 at its Mocksville, North Carolina, facility.

“Pro Refrigeration is a worthy recipient of the EnVisioneer of the Year award,” said Rick Sporrer, President of Danfoss North America. “The PROGreen CO2 Chiller is an example of using technical innovation to benefit both the end user and society as a whole.”

“With the approaching HFC phasedown, the demand for environmentally-friendly cooling systems is driving chiller manufacturers to innovate,” noted Danfoss.

“The PROGreen CO2 Chiller is an example of using technical innovation to benefit both the end user and society as a whole.”

Rick Sporrer, Danfoss North America

Reducing GHGs and boosting profits

The award specifically recognizes the impact that the PROGreen CO2 chiller has had at a dairy farm in California, which was Pro Refrigeration’s first CO2 chiller project.

The system has enabled the farm, which is owned by Bill Jongsma, to chill its milk to a lower temperature (37.1°F/2.8°C) than its former HFC-based chiller (40°F/4.4°C). As a result of producing a higher quality product, Jongsma has seen his revenues increase by US$1,400–US$2,800 (€1,400–€2,800) per day.

The PROGreen chiller has also enabled the farm to recover 100% of the system’s waste heat for hot water production. This has helped Jongsma reduce the farm’s operating costs and environmental footprint by eliminating the need to use propane.

Each day, the PROGreen system heats 3,000gal (11,350ltr) of water from 70°F (21.1°C) to 170°F (76.7°C), saving the farm 40gal (151.4ltr) of propane per day. According to Danfoss, this prevents the emission of 234.5kg (517lbs) of CO2e a day and saves around $2,100 (€2,100) in energy bills per month.

“Combining low-GWP refrigerant with heat recovery technology provides twice the benefit, both for the environment and the customer,” said Sporrer. “With the need to adopt environmentally friendly refrigerants in the wake of HFC phasedown, Pro Refrigeration shows that reducing carbon emissions and achieving business success go hand in hand.”

According to Pro Refrigeration Co-Founder and CEO Jim VanderGiessen Jr., the PROGreen chiller provides end users with “a future-proof solution.”

“Our design will evolve and improve over time, but we won’t need to build new equipment,” he explained. “The technology will be considered in all industries, [and] we see a huge opportunity to offer CO2 chillers across many vertical markets.”

Since this first installation, Pro Refrigeration has also installed its PROGreen CO2 Chiller at an Alaskan microbrewery and is currently manufacturing one for a second dairy farm in California.

Optimizing the system with Danfoss components

A number of Danfoss components are used in Pro Refrigeration’s PROGreen CO2 Chiller, including the system manager, case controller and pack controller. It also includes several Danfoss valves, sensors and other accessories.

“The Danfoss components provide the brains of the system,” said VanderGiessen. “They keep the system running in an optimal manner.”

According to Danfoss, all of the component work together to monitor the cooling system, gather data from the sensors, control when the compressors cycle on and off and ensure the fans and expansion valves are working correctly. The system manager generates alerts and alarms that enable staff to immediately identify and address potential mechanical problems. The refrigeration control system allows Pro Refrigeration engineers to access the data remotely for improved customer support and troubleshooting capabilities.

“Danfoss is proud to help Pro Refrigeration create an innovative chiller that is both environmentally friendly and provides significant savings to the customer,” said Thomas Savas, Regional Key Account Manager at Danfoss. “Our valves, controllers, system manager and other components enable the chiller to operate smoothly and ensure maximum benefit and peace of mind for the customer.”

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