U.S. OEM Carrier and European component manufacturers Danfoss and Alfa Laval, won gold, silver and bronze Innovation of the Year awards, respectively, at the ATMO Virtual Trade Show (VTS) on natural refrigerant technologies, held online on March 30-31.

The winners were selected in voting by attendees at ATMO VTS. The race for the top prize was close, with Carrier receiving 253 votes (30%) and Danfoss getting 237 votes (28%). Alfa Laval collected 137 votes (16%).

The competition involved five natural refrigerant products, each from a different company, named finalists for the awards. These are products, made available for installation since January 2020, that have had, or are expected to have, a significant impact on the market.

Carrier won the gold award for its CO2 (R744) PowerCO2OL rack, its most powerful refrigeration rack to date. Based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (U.S.),

Carrier spun off last year from U.S.-based United Technologies Corporation (UTC).

Carrier has a significant CO2 refrigeration business in Europe via its Carrier Commercial Refrigeration subsidiary, based in Paris. As of October 2019, the company reported that it had delivered 13,000 transcritical CO2 systems.

Danfoss, based in Nordborg, Denmark, won silver for its CCMT Light electric regulating CO2 valve, and Alfa Laval, based in Lund, Sweden, scooped the bronze for its CB24 propane (R290) condenser.

Carrier’s biggest rack

The PowerCO2OL is the biggest CO2 rack from Carrier to date. It comes in capacities up to 1.5MW (426.5TR) and can be configured as a single- or dual-temperature solution.

It integrates CO2OLtec EVO modulating vapor ejector technology as a standard feature to achieve high energy efficiency – up to 30% energy savings on an annual basis vs. a standard transcritical CO2 system, Carrier said.

The PowerCO2OL is available in multiple configurations, including with direct expansion, flooded liquid chillers, pump-assisted flooded low-temperature systems and liquid-to-liquid heat pumps. The unit can be packaged in either indoor or outdoor configurations.

Making CO2 accessible

Danfoss’ new CCMT Light electric regulating CO2 valve is designed for small-format stores, and aims to “help to make CO2 accessible to convenience stores, discount outlets, and the like all over the world,” Danfoss said in its awards entry. 

It is a light-weight valve – only 670g (1.5lbs) – with a compact design, which reduces piping stress. The valve has three different applications, as it can function as a high-pressure valve, a gas-by-pass valve and an evaporator expansion valve. It also has an “easy-and-fast-to-service” cartridge design and tight pressure control. 

Hydrocarbons in the limelight

Innovative R744 products were not the only ones catching the attention of the VTS attendees. Swedish manufacturer Alfa Laval won the bronze award for its new CB24 R290 condenser, a product sporting “minimal” refrigerant charge for increased “sustainability potential.”

The CB24 has a brazed plate heat exchanger and can be used in a number of applications. “CB24 creates opportunities to improve sustainability for commercial refrigeration, ground source heat pumps (GSHP), satellite systems for tap water, and more,” Alfa Laval wrote.

The CB24 was designed using Alfa Laval’s FlexFlow, which is a patented plate design technique that allows for channel asymmetry, custom-tailored to fit the media in question. FlexFlow makes it possible to increase turbulence and optimize pressure drop according to a particular application.

“This means, for example, that CB24 easily meets the strict regulations for some commercial refrigeration applications, which limit a propane charge to 500g(17.6oz),” said Fredrik Ekström, President for Business Unit Brazed & Fusion Bonded Heat Exchangers at Alfa Laval. “But it goes further than that. CB24 can even fulfill the much more stringent requirements for GSHPs, which in Europe are limited to a refrigerant charge of just 150g (5.3oz).”

Read more about all three winners, and the other finalists here.

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