Triple Aqua's efficient heat pump using hydrocarbons is running in two offices and a supermarket in the Netherlands.
TripleAqua on show at Chillventa
The TripleAqua, an energy-efficient heat pump that made its debut in March 2015 at shecco’s ATMOsphere Europe conference, has been installed at three commercial locations in the Netherlands, using hydrocarbon refrigerants and a heat-and-cold storage system to drive down energy consumption and carbon emissions.
“We started sales a year ago, mainly for bigger buildings, which take a year to get to know it,” said Menno van der Hoff, manager of R&D HVAC for Dutch supplier Uniechemie (Union Chemicals), in an interview at Chillventa 2016 in mid-October. “Now we have projects up-and-running, and the factory is full till the end of the year.”
Uniechemie is a division of Swedish HVAC&R distributor Beijer Ref, which is marketing TripleAqua and displayed a unit at its Chillventa booth. Beijer Ref’s initial sales focus has been in Europe.
Van der Hoff described three installations of TripleAqua, declining to name the end users. One is a premium office building with a ground source indoor unit for space heating and cooling. “Due to the ground source, it’s extremely efficient,” he said.
A second space heating/cooling installation is in an office attached to a cold storage facility running an ammonia refrigeration system. “They wanted climate control to be fully natural,” he said.
At a third location, a store owned by a German supermarket chain, the Triple Aqua is combined with the refrigeration system, which also uses natural refrigerants. “The rejected heat [from the refrigeration system] is given to the TripleAqua for heating the building and cooling in the summer,” said van der Hoff.
Next year, Beijer Ref will build a new factory, which will be used in part to construct TripleAqua units. “We are building a unit for bigger buildings for end users with a policy of using natural refrigerants, and for government buildings like town halls,” he said.
50% energy savings
According to Beijer Ref, TripleAqua can save up to 50% in heating and cooling costs in commercial buildings (including office buildings, hotels and hospitals) compared to traditional heat pumps, with a COP (coefficient of performance) between four and 10.
The system employs propaene (R443A), a mixture of the hydrocarbons propane (R290) and propene (R1270), with a global warming potential (GWP) of three and a charge of less than 11 lbs (5 kg). “Propane is known for its efficiency and propene outperforms propane at negative temperatures,” said van der Hoff. “And propene has a strong smell, which people like for safety.”
TripleAqua has the ability to store heat and cold in buffers for later use in the building, providing heating and cooling simultaneously or individually. It uses three water-loop pipes to distribute heat (82°F-97°F), cold (54°F-64°F) and return water at ambient temperature.