Italian component maker CAREL plans to start North American marketing of its Heez propane (R290) beverage cooler technology, which, the company says, can reduce the energy consumption of a cooler by 52% compared to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 standard.

The Heez system, which includes a controller, controller display, electronic expansion valve (EEV) and a BLDC inverter single-rotary compressor, was displayed in a 14.02 cu-ft vertical closed cooler last week at the AHR Expo in Atlanta, and will be featured at the NAFEM Show in Orlando in February.

CAREL makes those components, except for the compressor, which is designed by CAREL and manufactured by QING AN. The Heez system also incorporates two variable-speed DC fans.

With the Heez system, “every device in the refrigeration cycle is modulated,” said Brandon Marshall, application manager refrigeration for CAREL’s U.S. division located in Manheim, Pa. “The compressor slows down as the temperature is reached, the valve maintains the evaporator’s efficiency with low super heat, and the fans modulate.”

For the AHR Expo cooler, at an internal temperature of 38°F +/- 2°F, the Heez system enables the unit to consume 1.08 kWh/day, which is 52% less than the DOE standard and 39% less than the 2017 ENERGY STAR standard. The numbers are based on third-party energy tests by Regent, said Marshall.

The system also cuts temperature pull-down time in half, he added.

At AHR Expo, CAREL showed a medium-temperature version of the system; another medium-temperature and two low-temperature models will be coming out, said Marshall.

“Every device in the refrigeration cycle is modulated.”

Brandon Marshall, CAREL

Heez was launched in North America a year ago and “is reaching full commercialization in 2019,” Marshall said. It will serve beverage coolers as well as under-counter and upright refrigerators and freezers. Customers for the system include beverage brands and OEMs of self-contained retail and foodservice refrigeration equipment.

Heez-based equipment has been installed in Europe and South America, he noted.

The Heez system also features NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, enabling technicians and end users to monitor and manager performance via a new mobile app called Applica. “You can turn lights on and off, activate energy-saver mode, slow down the compressor, increase the set point, monitor alarms and load parameter lists,” said Marshall. “There is also an area on the app for contractors that simplifies commissioning and servicing of the equipment.”

CAREL has also developed a cloud service called Armilla that tracks all of its cooler equipment and offers data on a software-as-a-service basis.

Marshall acknowledged that the Heez system is “a little more expensive” than comparable systems but “most bottle coolers do not incorporate DC [inverter] technology, electronic expansion valves and variable-speed fans.” He also pointed out the considerable energy savings enabled by the technology.

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