Global refrigeration brand Embraco, part of Nidec Global Appliance, is making its propane (R290) compressors more and more efficient.
For example, at the AHR Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 31-February 2, Embraco launched the EMX HST fixed-speed R290 compressor, the third generation of the small-size EM compressors platform, with features to enhance energy efficiency.
In particular, the EMX HST compressor is a high- starting-torque unit, which allows the refrigeration system to use a thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) rather than capillary tubes, explained John Prall, Applications Engineer at Nidec Global Appliance (focused on Embraco), in an interview with Hydrocarbons21.com.
“Using a TXV valve as opposed to a capillary tube helps to improve efficiency,” he said.
The EMX HST compressor, with a displacement range of 4 – 9cc, is designed for foodservice applications like prep tables and single-door freezers, enabling them to meet energy standards, Prall said. It can also be used in a food retail application like a small beverage cooler.
Over the past few years, Embraco has been migrating its larger R290 fixed-speed compressors, the NE, NT and NJ platforms, to a higher level of efficiency, adding an “X” the end of the designation. For example, the NEX fixed-speed compressor, the fourth generation of the NE family, is a higher efficiency unit suitable for applications such as display cases, ice makers, professional kitchen refrigerators, beverage coolers and blast chillers.
Serving up to 2HP in capacity, the X efficiency compressors are ready to accommodate larger charges of R290, such as 300g or 500g, which have been approved by UL in the U.S. for closed and open cabinets, respectively, noted Prall. (The higher changes still have to be accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)
The most efficient R290 compressor
Meanwhile, Embraco’s variable-speed FMFT model remains “the most efficient compressor for R290,” said Prall. With a displacement range of 6 – 15cc, the FMFT could “easily cover” a two-door freezer cabinet, he added.
Variable-speed compressors help OEMs to meet minimum efficiency standards and premium levels such as the EPA’s ENERGY STAR, noted Marek Zgliczynski, R&D Director at Nidec Global Appliance (focused on Embraco), and Chairman of the IEC/SC61C subcommittee for refrigeration product safety standardization. High-efficiency compressors also reduce the heat rejected by air-cooled refrigeration units, which in turn lowers air-conditioning costs in the summer for the end user, he added.
To improve overall system efficiency, Embraco has also introduced the new Evaporative Drain Pan (EDP) lineup, as a part of its condensing units (CDUs) portfolio. Designed for reach-ins and under-counters in the foodservice segment, the EDP condensing units include an evaporative drain pan below the compressor, where hot discharge gas is used to evaporate condensate from the evaporator. This is far more efficient than a system that uses electrical resistance to evaporate condensate in a pan under the evaporator, noted Prall.
The EDP units, which can use R290, are designed such that a faulty drain pan can be removed and replaced, or repaired.
High-efficiency compressors also reduce the heat rejected by air-cooled refrigeration units, which in turn lowers air-conditioning costs in the summer for the end user.Marek Zgliczynski, Nidec Global Appliance
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