Among the currently emerging trends set to shape the new face of refrigeration, the growing preference for HFO medium-temperature refrigerants stands out, increasingly used in production and chilling processes as a substitute for traditional fluids. The advantages are many: these refrigerants in fact make it possible to develop energy efficient systems with reduced TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), and by virtue of their extremely low GWP, they already satisfy the restrictions set to be imposed by the F-gas Regulation as of 2022. A perfect example of this trend is the recent collaboration in which Frascold played a key role together with GeoClima and Honeywell, with the aim of developing a refrigeration system for a large warehouse, commissioned by a major Italian corporation and leader in the confectionery market.
The foundations for a successful collaboration
The partnership between Frascold and Geoclima is well-consolidated and based on the two companies’ shared expertise in the respective production of chillers for air conditioning and refrigeration systems using Frascold semi-hermetic screw compressors. Specifically, the Client commissioned the development of a cooling system for its new warehouse taking up a total space of 30,000 m2, which requires considerable load modulation and excellent partial load outputs so as to guarantee the perfect preservation of its products; it was these specifications that determined the design requisites.
Single project, double challenge
To develop a technologically advanced solution, which was also high-performance and eco-sustainable: these were the main challenges for Geoclima and Frascold. The new warehouse is characterised by a high turnover rate and therefore variable thermal loads due to frequent loading and unloading operations, with a constantly varying demand for cooling. To this end, a system was required able to provide a consistently adequate level of power, exploiting sustainable solutions in line with European directives to ensure utmost energy efficiency.
The solution: an exclusive MT system with HFOs
The efficiency and reliability of Frascold compressors enhance Geoclima solution, consisting in a sophisticated glycol system in which the chillers are proposed in a “medium temperature” version. The units produce glycol at -6 °C using Solstice® ze (R-1234ze) by Honeywell, a low environmental impact HFO with GWP less than 1. To this end, Hydrofluoroolefins (HFO) represent an excellent combination of benefits in terms of performance, safety, cost effectiveness and sustainability. Specifically, by virtue of its characteristics, the Solstice® ze refrigerant is a valid long-term substitute for applications in high-powered chillers and equipment that traditionally uses R134a.
A high-performance system
Geoclima proposes a system composed of 3 x 480kW air condensing chillers, each equipped with 4 Frascold semi-hermetic screw compressors having a volumetric displacement of 538m3/h, designed and specifically adapted to suit medium temperature systems, aluminium micro-channel condensers and 12 independent refrigeration circuits. Thanks to the special concept implemented, the refrigeration circuits are intelligently managed by a Proportional-Integral-Derivative controller. This system allows the activation only of the necessary refrigeration circuits and compressors, and the supply – at all times – of thermal power suited to the specific needs of the warehouse, thus assuring energy consumption commensurate with the system’s effective contingent needs, and therefore allowing a reduced payback period.
Livio Calabrese, member of the Board of Directors and Sales Director of Frascold, declared: “The collaboration between Frascold and Geoclima for the study and development of HFO solutions began in 2012, when our Companies developed one of the first chillers in the world to use this type of refrigerant. For Frascold, this project represents yet another opportunity to demonstrate the excellence of its solutions and the company’s commitment to consistently guaranteeing fast and efficient solutions, one step ahead of the market. Thanks to our R&D team, we were able to develop a solution with proven efficiency, load modularity and reliability, opting for compressors both with continuous capacity control and with inverters, developed for use with the HFO1234ze refrigerant”.