UK-based company Invertek Drives Ltd. and Danish CO2 refrigerant control specialist Reftronix will launch a new CO2 condensing unit controller (CDU) and variable frequency drives (VFD) for OEMs at Chillventa, the international HVAC&R exhibition, in Nuremberg, Germany, in October 2018.

The goal of their technical partnership is to provide an energy-efficient, natural refrigerant-based solution to comply with the requirements that the EU’s F-Gas Regulation and Eco-Design Directive impose on the HVAC&R industry.

The companies predict energy efficiency gains of at least 25% with the controller and VFD compared to a traditional ‘on and off’ control.

The refrigeration industry is going through some significant changes because of the worldwide initiative to combat global warming. Synthetic HFC refrigerants are being phased down by regulation concerning global warming. They are increasingly being replaced by natural refrigerants such as CO2 that offers low GWP (global warming potential) and improved energy efficiency.”

Henrik Christensen, Reftronix

Reftronix works together with manufacturers of CO2 condensing units. These OEMs work with CO2 rotary compressors from Panasonic, Reftronix’s CO2 controllers and Invertek’s sensorless brushless direct current drives (BLDC). The systems are currently in accelerated lifetime tests and awaiting reliability qualification.

“The partnership between Invertek Drives and us will harness the advantages of CO2, combining our many years of global experience in electronic control solutions, and their world-leading VFD innovation and technology,” said Reftronix’s Henrik Christensen.

The EU F-Gas Regulation has brought about a decrease of 44% in the amount of available HFCs compared to 2015. In 2030, 20% of the current quota of f-gases will be available with stepwise reductions in between.

Refrigeration products also have to comply with the Eco-Design Directive 2009/125/EC to be marketed in the European Union. Using compressors with the highly efficient BLDC (Sensorless Brushless Direct Current) / PM (Permanent Magnet) motors, combined with a variable frequency drive, is one way to meet this standard.

The development of a new and dedicated HVAC/R VFD that can be integrated with the Reftronix’ CO2 condensing unit controller to modulate compressor speed and consequently unit cooling capacity is a significant step forward.”

Mike Carman, International Business Development Manager, Invertek Drives

The products also offer cloud connectivity, allowing customers to benefit from active remote data management and monitoring. Companies with multiple locations, such as service stations or convenience stores, particularly benefit from remote monitoring.

The partnering companies predict that the system will lower costs, improve control and maximise unit performance.

Author Rico Meyn

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