Compressor manufacturer Tecumseh showcased a modular, self-contained R290 refrigeration system at the bottom of a refrigerated cabinet with a variable-speed compressor and advanced electronic controls at the AHR Expo yesterday at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The system, called the VTC Cassette, features Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Tecumseh’s VAE Series variable-speed compressor, which extends the company’s line of variable speed commercial refrigeration compressors to a capacity of 7,300 Btu/h.

Using variable speed technology, the VAE reduces overall energy consumption by dynamically matching the capacity of the compressor to the cabinet’s cooling demand. The VAE Series is optimized for use with R290.

A key feature of the VAE series is that the electronic controller can handle voltage inputs from 85 to 260 volts AC and both 50 and 60 Hertz. This provides significant benefits to equipment manufacturers that sell commercial refrigeration equipment in geographic regions where voltage requirements and power stability vary significantly, said Tecumseh in a statement.

By operating at higher speeds, the VAE compressor can greatly reduce the time needed to pull-down cabinet temperatures after restocking and during initial stocking, Tecumseh said, adding that low-speed operation is used to maintain cabinet temperature with minimal energy consumption.

The variable-speed compressor is one element of Tecumseh’s new IntelliCOOL Technology Platform, which also encompasses intelligent control, energy management and heat transfer.

“[IntelliCOOL] focuses on energy savings, system performance, connectivity, serviceability and reliability.

Robert Terry, Tecumseh

IntelliCOOL, said Tecumseh, offers electronic protection, on-board diagnostics, and remote communications with technicians. The platform supports hydrocarbon and A2L refrigerants,

The VTC Cassette represents the “epitome of IntelliCOOL – it’s where we’re going to bring value to our customers,” said Robert Terry, Tecumseh’s director, global product management, during a press event at Tecumseh’s AHR Expo booth.

IntelliCOOL, he added, “focuses on energy savings, system performance, connectivity, serviceability and reliability.”

As an example of IntelliCOOL’s diagnostic capability, the system can “detect high current and low voltage very fast, so you don’t expose motors and compressors to these conditions and allow them to have a longer life.”

During 2018, Tecumseh will begin applying various elements of the IntelliCOOL technology platform to its line of commercial refrigeration compressors, condensing units and value-added systems.

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