Euroklimat displayed a new propane-based (R290) heat pump for the first time at Chillventa 2018. With a propane charge of 5.5 kg, the new heat pump has a heating capacity of 60 kW and is designed for outdoor installation.
“We did the first test and this is a prototype, it is not ready for the market,” Giulia Fava, product developer at the Italian manufacturer of commercial and industrial heating and cooling solutions, told hydrocarbons21.com at the HVAC&R tradeshow, held in Nuremberg, Germany on 16-18 October.
“It will be available next year because we still want to test it in the laboratory and both on field,” Fava said.
The unit on display targets commercial buildings. Euroklimat is aiming “to have ready next year a range of propane heat pumps from 30 kW up to 150 kW,” she said.
The unit uses Frascold compressors, an ATEX-certified pressure transducer and pressure transmitter, and CAREL’s microprocessor. “The software is customised software, specifically designed for us, for this application,” explained Fava.
Asked how the prototype had performed in testing, Fava said, “it is working well, down to -20°C”. “We need to optimise some parameters, especially on the software, before putting it on the market,” she said, “probably from January-February of next year”.
“There’s a big interest in propane, especially in heat pumps for propane.”Giulia Fava, Euroklimat
Growing interest in heat pumps
Fava said the firm decided to invest in this unit after receiving many requests from customers. “Most of our customers for propane are from northern countries. Two years ago they started asking us, ‘Please, we need a heat pump down to -20°C!’ and we didn’t have it. So now we are trying to answer their requests.”
Fava added that more southern European customers are starting to jump on the natural refrigerant bandwagon. “We got many orders from France for propane units. So probably also in the southern countries of Europe, people are starting to be more confident in this solution,” she said.
“And also here [at Chillventa] we saw that there’s a big interest in propane, especially in heat pumps for propane,” she concluded.
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