At its U.S. testing facility, cabinet makers can make the switch from HFCs
Secop R600a compressor for household appliances
Capitalizing on the growing interest in hydrocarbon refrigeration units in the Americas, German compressor maker Secop is helping OEMs to convert from HFCs to hydrocarbons at its U.S. testing facility near Atlanta.
“We’re taking cabinets from [OEM] customers in North America and Latin America and doing optimization and conversion to R290 [propane] or R600a [isobutene],” said Sam Huffman, key account manager for Secop, at its Chillventa 2016 booth.
Huffman is based at Secop’s U.S. headquarters in Roswell, Ga., which opened in 2013 and is “100% focused on hydrocarbons on our product development,” he said.
“[Secop is] 100% focused on hydrocarbons in our product development.”
– Sam Huffman, Secop
The optimization/conversion process involves changing the condenser, fan or controller, Huffman explained. “This allows customers without internal testing capabilities but are still interested in pursuing natural refrigerants to convert their cabinets.”
Some OEMS may have internal testing capabilities but lack time to convert a particular product. “Maybe it’s an export cabinet or a lower-volume cabinet that’s not a priority,” he said. The applications undergoing conversion cover everything from glass-door merchandisers and food service equipment to freezers and water dispensers.
OEMs of water dispensers, for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last month approved propane as a refrigerant, have been working “proactively” with Secop to prepare for the rule change, said Huffman. “They knew it was coming, so they wanted to be prepared. They approached us to do baseline testing and see what other components they may need to look at.”