Prompted by a 150% increase in the sales of its propane (R290) systems last year, the Lithuanian manufacturer Refra recently released three standard lines of air-to-water propane heat pumps – Flamma, Ignis and Solis – for commercial and industrial applications.

The heating capacities of the three lines range from 20 to 550kW (5.7 to 156.4TR) at ambient temperatures above -15°C (5°F). When reversed, the units provide 20 to 480kW (5.7 to 136.5TR) of cooling capacity.

Ten years ago, Refra developed and marketed its first propane chillers. In 2018, Refra started producing R290 heat pumps.

Following the 150% increase in 2022, Refra “decided to release a standard product selection heat pump line to help customers choose the right product faster and easier,” the manufacturer said in a statement.

The new standard line heat pumps incorporate full-inverter technology to provide heating and cooling with reciprocating compressors using only R290, Refra said. The units use finned- tube heat exchangers, “high-quality” electronically commutated (EC) fan motor technology and raised coils that “simplify” defrosting.

The units are built on a galvanized steel and powder-coated modular frame with insulation providing unit protection and noise reduction. For “super silent” unit operation, the company offers double installation options with a rock wool material.

Three product lines

The product line includes the Flamma series, which uses one compressor for small power applications with a range from 20 to 55kW (5.7 to 15.6TR) of heating capacity and 20 to 50kW (5.7 to 14.2TR) of cooling at a COP of 3.5 with a propane quantity per circuit of 7.1 to 7.8kg (15.7 to 17.2lbs).

The Ignis and Ignis+ series are for low-to-medium-power applications and incorporate one or two compressors, depending on the customer’s needs. The heating capacities of this series range from 30 to 195 kW (8.5 to 55.4TR), and the cooling ranges from 25 to 180kW (7.1 to 51.2TR) with a COP from 3.0 to 3.4 and a propane quantity per circuit of 4.0 to 11.6kg (8.8 to 25.6lbs).

The Solis and Solis+ series are for the high-power needs of factories, large supermarkets and warehouses with two to three compressor options. The heating capacities ranges from 50 to 550kW (14.2 to 156.4TR), and the cooling ranges from 60 to 480kW (17.1 to 136.5TR) with a COP from 3.1 to 3.6 using 14.5 to 17.3 kg (32.0 to 38.1lbs) of propane per circuit.

Having more than one compressor in the higher-power series facilitates customer safety, facility operation and maintenance flexibility, Refra said.

Refra tracks sales growth of natural refrigerant products

Refra reports its business model is still to provide customers with “unique” refrigeration products. “Our customers will still be able to order customized propane heat pumps, but if they want faster price offers or production terms, they will be able to choose products from the standard catalog,” said Ilona Brant Pavšukova, Marketing Manager at Refra, in a statement.

Located in Vilnius, Lithuania, the 20-year-old company changed its manufacturing production to the natural refrigerants CO2 (R744) and propane ten years ago. On its website, Refra reports having projects throughout Europe and the Middle East.

“[We] decided to release a standard product selection heat pump line to help customers choose the right product faster and easier.”