Air conditioning and refrigeration are called upon to play a key role in the fight against climate change: with the increase in temperature and population, the number of HVAC&R systems is, in fact, destined to grow exponentially. In particular, the demand for air conditioning solutions will increase in the public and residential sector, as demonstrated by recent studies according to which the HVAC market volume will reach 151 million units by 2024.*
“With the aim of reducing the carbon footprint of the entire sector and meeting the stringent European and worldwide regulations which impose a drastic reduction of HFC, the industry-based actors are strengthening the development of systems which use refrigerants with low GWP,” says Marco Perri, R&D and Technical Support Manager for Frascold – a leading player in the development, production and sale of semi-hermetic compressors for the refrigeration and air conditioning industry – who continues, “Frascold is one of the promoters behind this change and is investing accordingly in R&D and in its laboratory with the aim of launching new generations of compressors and testing the existing ones, with alternative refrigerants, whether natural or HFO, capable of meeting the demand for sustainable, safe and high-performance solutions.”
ONE OF THE MOST ADVANCED LABORATORIES OF ITS KIND
The strategic investment plan includes new testing benches in the cutting-edge laboratory, situated on the production site in the province of Milan. More specifically, a test bench for propane has been installed with an upgraded calorimeter and CO2 endurance system. Systems which are added to the numerous existing test benches and which together make the testing room an authentic centre of excellence. Thanks to the expertiseof Frascold’s highly qualified technicians, maximum quality and reliability are guaranteed both for checking existing products and for the new ranges.
ENDURANCE/CALORIMETER FOR PROPANE WITH SAFETY IN MIND
The main innovation in the testing room is the endurance/calorimeter for propane compressors, which allows different performance parameters to be tested and to check the efficiency of the new prototype components. A system dedicated to personnel safety, thanks to the numerous measures adopted, such as installation outside the building and the use of ATEX components only. Another advantage is the possibility of using a single system to test a broad range of sizes of semi-hermetic compressors, from 30 to 300 m3/h, which correspond to cooling capacities up to 300kW, as well as other elements, such as the regulator and the flow switch intended for ATEX compressors.
TEST BENCH FOR CO2: HIGH LEVEL PERFORMANCE CHECKS
Of note is also the calorimeter for carrying out performance tests of CO2 compressors, in compliance with the two reference standards: UNI EN 12900: 2013, which specifies the rating conditions, tolerances and method of performance data presentation, and UNI EN 13771-1:2017, which covers in detail the performance test methods for compressors which must be conducted in terms of refrigerating capacity, power absorbed, refrigerant mass flow, isentropic efficiency and the coefficient of performance. Lastly, Frascold has upgraded its Endurance system for CO2 with the aim of carrying out life and durability tests on compressors under stress, to replicate real field operating conditions and thus, ensure maximum reliability of the entire range of transcritical compressors.
Marco Perri concludes, “Frascold’s goal is towards continuous innovation as a strategic lever to grow and remain competitive on the global stage, contributing to a more sustainable economic system. An evolution fuelled, on the one hand, by key collaborations with prestigious universities, aimed at encouraging the contamination and exchange of knowledge and, on the other, by attention to research and development issues. To this end, investing in our Test and R&D laboratory today means guaranteeing customers the best technology for tomorrow. Frascold is, in fact, ready to support OEMs and End Users in exploring the trends that will guide the future, such as the use of transcritical CO2 in the industrial sector and propane for heat pump applications as well. The recent investment is a clear confirmation of our commitment to transform every solution into real added value, in favour of reliability, safety and reduced consumption.”