TEKLAB, an Italian manufacturer of liquid-level sensors and controllers for CO2 (R744) refrigeration systems, has joined the world’s leading R744 HVAC&R stakeholders as a silver partner of the R744.com marketplace.

Headquartered in Modena, Italy, the company has more than 25 years of electronic development experience. It offers infrared (IR) devices for level monitoring of oil or liquid CO2 in transcritical or subcritical systems.

The devices are suited for commercial and industrial refrigeration and air-conditioning applications.

TEKLAB’s products can be used in high pressure systems and over a wide temperature range. Most devices are rated up to 130bar (1,885psi) and over a temperature range of -40 to 125°C (-40 to 257°F).

It also has a dedicated product series capable of withstanding higher pressures (150bar/2,176psi or more) and working over wider temperature ranges (starting from -60°C/-76°F, with temperature peaks up to 150°C/302°F) to satisfy “even the most demanding applications,” the company said.

The products’ steel and fused glass construction “ensure no leakage and good chemical compatibility with CO2 and the different kinds of oils used,” TEKLAB said.

The sensors have integrated thermostat units to monitor both liquid level and temperature, the company said, adding that threshold limits are programmable based on customer needs.

The liquid level controllers are suitable for use with compressors, monitoring crankcase oil levels and injecting oil when required, TEKLAB said. “If the desired oil level is not reached after a preset time interval, the unit raises an alarm that can disable the compressor,” the company noted.

The liquid sensors and controllers are small with no mechanical moving parts, which “increases the reliability,” the company said.

On its website, TEKLAB offers nine liquid controllers, ranging in pressure rating from 46 to 130bar (667 to 1,885psi), and eight switches, ranging in pressure rating from 120 to 150bar (1,740 to 2,176psi).

New evaporator technology

At EuroShop 2023 in Düsseldorf, Germany, TEKLAB displayed its patented Evaporator Management (TEM) prototype designed to cut the energy use of commercial refrigeration systems by 10% by ensuring that all liquid within the system is evaporated. The company plans to release the unit to the market by the end of this year.

“The concept is to improve the efficiency of each evaporator in a supermarket, enhancing the cooling capacity and lowering the superheating,” said Riccardo Candrini, Technical Director of TEKLAB at EuroShop 2023. “With our control, we also check that there is no liquid returning to the compressors to keep them safe.”

The TEM unit is installed locally next to each refrigeration unit’s evaporator and works alongside the expansion valve, Candrini said. A centralized controller monitors all the store’s cabinets, making performance adjustments at local controls to improve overall efficiency.

Developed with funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the TEM unit can be integrated into existing and new systems. TEKLAB plans to release the unit to the market by the end of this year.

TEKLAB manufactures its products in Italy and has “tens of thousands” of sensors installed in systems all over the world, the company said.

“With our control, we also check that there is no liquid returning to the compressors to keep them safe.”

Riccardo Candrini, Technical Director of TEKLAB