U.S.-based Budzar Industries is developing a standard line of isobutane (R600a) dual chillers/heat pumps for the industrial market with newly developed customized units currently operating in the field, said Ed George, Sales for U.S-based Budzar Industries, in an interview at AHR Expo 2023.

“With two setpoints, [the unit] reduces energy consumption and lessens the environmental impact by channeling the cooling generated to other processes, eliminating the need for separate heating and cooling equipment,” Budzar says on its website.

As a natural refrigerant, isobutane lends itself well to meet the hot water demands of industries requiring the temperatures produced from natural gas steam boilers, said George, with isobutane providing condensing temperatures up to 240°F (116°C). Other environmentally friendly options, including CO2 (R744) and ammonia (R717), with limiting thresholds of 150–160°F (66–71°C), cannot meet the heating demands of some industries, he added.

The isobutane units incorporate semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors, stainless-steel plate heat exchangers and a desuperheater exchange, Budzar said. The units offer a capacity range from 1 to over 700TR (3.5 to over 2,461.8kW) and provide simultaneous temperature control with a temperature range of 20 to 240°F (-6.7 to 116°C), the company said in a brochure.

Available as a water-cooled chiller or chiller/heat pump, the units are “suitable for high, medium and low-temperature industrial processes, including medical equipment, food, metal, dairies, chemical, sterilization, evaporation and steam generation,” the company says.

These are low-charge units, George indicated, with a 10HP (7.5kW) unit at 40°F (4.4°C) using roughly 4lbs (1.8kg) of isobutane. “We try to take the low charge or the critically charged on the hydrocarbons to the max,” he added.

Propane systems

Budzar also offers closed loop, self-contained propane (R290) chillers with either “reciprocating or screw design compressors for air-conditioning systems, commercial refrigeration or various industrial processes with high-temperature ranges,” says the company on its website, adding that cooling capacities range from 5 to 200TR (17.6 to 703.4kW) with central applications up to 700TR (2,461.8kW). 

The units can contain a water-cooled or air-cooled condenser with subcooling circuits to improve COP. If ambient temperatures permit, a floating head pressure valve allows condensing temperatures as low as 20°C (68°F).

Budzar also offers propane heat pumps, George indicated, with the company currently building a propane heat pump in California for the pharmaceutical company Genentech.

“We try to take the low charge or the critically charged on the hydrocarbons to the max.”

Ed George, Sales for Budzar Industries

Other natural refrigerants

Budzar has offered ammonia (R717)-based systems for over 25 years and added CO2 (R744) refrigerant systems to its portfolio within the past two years, George said.

Using CO2 for sports complexes is becoming more common, said George. “We do a lot of ice rinks with the heat reclaim used for underfloor heating or swimming pool heat generation,” he added.

“Low charge ammonia chillers with less than 2lbs per TR [0.9kg per 3.5kW] are available in air-cooled evaporator condenser or water-cooled configurations,” the company says, with applications for warehouses, food production and ice rinks.

Budzar has added a line of semi-hermetic ammonia screw compressors that limits leak points, “which is new to the market,” George said. A traditional drive ammonia compressor has a mechanical seal that is prone to leaks. New technology in motor production makes this new compressor as efficient as copper ones that are not compatible with ammonia.

Located in Willoughby, Ohio, Budzar Industries has “over 40 years of engineering, designing and manufacturing experience in the process heat transfer industry” and offers numerous natural refrigerant options.

“I’ve been pushing hard for the last five years to educate about natural refrigerants,” George said, adding that some partners in the industry with a desire to go green have helped Budzar get “more experience and machines out there” to help people better understand the possibilities.