The award for Dutch Innovation was presented at the IEA conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Wednesday evening.
The TripleAqua on show at Chillventa
Between three other companies vying for the Dutch Innovation Award for heat pumps at the triennial IEA heat pump conference – held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands (15-18 May) – the TripleAqua propane heat pump emerged triumphant on the Wednesday evening of the conference.
The TripleAqua, an energy-efficient heat pump that made its debut in March 2015 at shecco’s ATMOsphere Europe conference, has since 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.
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 28oC-33oC (82°F-97°F), cold 12oC-18oC (54°F-64°F) and return water at ambient temperature.