Italian manufacturer Tecnofreddo has launched a “new generation” line of commercial propane (R290) air-source heat pumps (ASHPs) called PERSEO, part of its ECO3 product series.

Tecnofreddo touts “long experience” in R290 refrigeration. “R290 is a promising and cost competitive refrigerant for ASHPs with superior environmental protection credentials,” the company said in a statement. “It has substantial potential for use in such areas as supermarkets, hospitals and public buildings.”

Air-source heat pump technology, added Tecnofreddo, “has improved in all areas and is these days a viable option even in colder regions.”

One of the first end users to adopt the PERSEO has been British Johnson Matthey, a manufacturer of exhaust gas cleaning technology. Coordination for the Johnson Matthey project has been carried out Arriba Technologies, a Tecnofreddo collaborator based in the UK. 

The PERSEO line employs a liquid/gas heat exchanger that increases the COP to 3.5 in cooling and 4.0 in heating. Models are capable of delivering 48°C (118.4°F) water in heating mode and 6°C (42.8°F) water in cooling mode. Nominal outputs for heating and cooling are 17 kW (4.8 TR) and 22 kW (6.3 TR) respectively.

The heat pumps are designed with semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors and includes a control panel with programmable software. The series is also equipped with a full suite of ATEX-rated leak management and switching equipment to ensure compliance with the latest regulations governing the use of R290 in industrial settings.

The PERSEO line also has accessories like inverter and EC fans integrated as standard. Motor drives and software have been designed for backwards integration with Arriba’s lithium-ion battery and DC-to-DC solar-assist technology.

Arriba has long been a proponent of heat pump technology, and is currently pioneering demand-responsive heat pumps fitted with lithium-ion batteries, and heat pumps that produce simultaneous refrigeration.

The ECO3 series uses only natural refrigerants and aims to provide a “reduced environmental impact, better energy efficiency and superior performance across all operating conditions,” according to the company.

Tecnofreddo’s ECO3 series also includes R290 chillers and low-charge ammonia systems, which are mainly used in industrial refrigeration and process-cooling.

“Air-source heat pump technology has improved in all areas and is these days a viable option even in colder regions.”


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