Italian manufacturer Rivacold has introduced propane (R290) condensing units for walk-in cooler and freezer rooms for both the U.S. and European markets.
At the AHR Expo, which took place February 6–8 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Rivacold showcased its new variable-speed R290 condensing unit. Tommosa Scavone, Sales Manager of North America, Rivacold America, revealed that the packaged condensing unit for R290 walk-in coolers and freezers is being manufactured for the first time in Buford, Georgia. “The company used R290 to manufacture [display] cases since 2008 in Europe, and now they have established a production facility in 2019 in Buford to cover the market for North America.”
Numerous changes in design were made to increase efficiency from the previous model, including redesigning and improving condenser and evaporator coils, using an electronic expansion valve, and integrating a dissipation tank and variable speed compressors.
“The R290 packaged walk-in coolers and freezers can save energy 40% compared to HFC installations,” said Scavone, adding that the use of a 150g (5.3oz) charge per circuit has made it easier to comply with the UL safety standard.
According to Scavone, the product is suitable for installation in both new and retrofitted buildings.
The ceiling-mounted variable-speed unit has received UL certification to launch in the U.S., said Luca Vimini, R&D Department, Rivacold, at EuroShop, held February 26 to March 2, 2023, in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Operating conditions and capacities
In addition to high efficiency, Scavone also said that the packaged R290 coolers and freezer units offer variable capacities to cover the wide range of demand.
According to the manufacturer’s catalog, the operating range for LBP (low back pressure) is -25 to -5℃ (-13 to 23℉). for a refrigeration capacity of 0.492 to 3kW (0.14 to 0.85TR), respectively; this is when measured at an ambient temperature of 32.22℃ (90℉).
Similarly, refrigeration capacity for MBP (medium back pressure) and HBP (high back pressure) at the operating range of 5 to 15℃ (23 to 59℉) is 0.618 to 3.84kW (0.18 to 1TR) under the same ambient condition for a cold room volume ranging from 4 to 90m3 (141.3 to 3,178.3ft3).
In addition, the variable-compressor polynomial is in accordance with the EN12900 standard to provide variation in capacity.
Moreover, the “remote control app” and “revolution electronics” provide an efficient way to control the operation of the product.
Fixed-speed condensing unit in Europe
At EuroShop, Rivacold introduced an on/off fixed-speed R290 condensing unit.
Both the fixed and variable-speed units “can be used for supermarket and cold storage chilling,” said Vimini at EuroShop.
In case of high cooling demand, “you can integrate different units to meet the capacity,” said Vimini.
The condensing units with an on/off compressor and variable-speed compressor both use a 150g charge per circuit to meet the safety standard.
New R290 chiller
Rivacold’s new R290 process chiller with air-cooled condensation unit showcased at EuroShop uses scroll compressors and electronic fan motors. The product uses a brine inlet temperature of -4℃ (24.8℉) and outlet temperature of -8℃ (17.6 °F) at MBP to obtain a refrigeration capacity of 8 to 75.6kW (2.28 to 21.49TR).
“The process chiller unit is kept outside the building and is mostly suitable for supermarkets, cold rooms, wall and display cabinets, and counters,” Vimini said.
According to Vimini, “The range is made of five models designed to a modular concept; combining these together it can reach 81.2 kW [23.08TR] of refrigeration capacity.”
The manufacturer’s catalog says that “this process chiller gives energy savings of 11% to an equivalent system using HFC.”
“The R290 packaged walk-in coolers and freezers can save energy 40% compared to HFC installations.”Tommosa Scavone, Sales Manager, RIVACOLD America