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Cooling to the Green Deal with natural CO2 refrigerant systems

WELSHPOOL, United Kingdom, 17 August 2021: Invertek Drives showcased its dedicated VFD, Optidrive Coolvert, for use on CO2 refrigeration display cases used in the retail sector. The company added that its Optidrive Eco operates on larger current refrigeration compressor racks and cold rooms.

Invertek make the announcement against the backdrop of the European Commission’s Green Deal, also referred to as Fit for 55, which sets out proposals to cut EU net greenhouse emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This could mean the current target of reducing fluorinated greenhouse gas (F-Gas) emissions by two-thirds by 2030, compared with 2014 levels, will be adjusted and tightened further.

The EU F-Gas Regulation brought a 44% reduction in the amount of available HFCs in the EU, compared to 2015. By 2030, the current regulation allows only 20% of HFCs being available, with stepped drops between then and now. This could change in the recast.

According to Invertek, the impact of both means there is a need to ramp up the use of natural refrigerants, such as CO2, in cooling and refrigeration systems. And this isn’t just in the EU but throughout the world as part of the existing Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, it said.

Variable frequency drives (VFDs), the company said, are playing an important role in reducing emissions and energy use in HVAC&R systems. Optidrive Coolvert, it said, is one of the smallest VFDs in its class providing OEMs with opportunities to reduce panel space and lower machine costs. It fits directly into refrigeration display cases alongside a CO2 compressor, it added.

This is in addition to end-user savings of up to 25% using CO2 refrigerant condensing systems, which it is specifically designed to work with, the company claimed. A combination of meeting EU F-Gas Regulations and cutting energy use is a significant benefit for the end-user as well as for the environment, it said.

Mike Carman, Head of Sales, Invertek Drives, said: “The recast of the F-Gas Regulation comes as the EU sets out its new and wider environmental ambitions through the Green Deal. It’s widely believed this is the precursor to a significant adjustment in the F-Gas Regulation timeframe.

“With either more cuts in the amount of HFCs available in the EU or increased limits on emissions, it’ll impact on the manufacturers and end-users of refrigeration and wider HVAC/R systems”

According to Invertek, the Optidrive Coolvert also has the widest ambient operating range of between -20 degrees C and +60 degrees C, making it ideal for use in a wide range of environments. It can be used for the control of CO2 ­­­­rotary or scroll, BLDC compressors used in supermarkets and convenience store display cases; heat pumps, and condensing units, the company said. This is in comparison to the Optidrive Eco VFD, which operates on larger-capacity semi-hermetic and screw compressors used in industrial and food retail refrigeration racks, and chillers, the company added.

According to Invertek, Coolvert is compatible with all motor types, including induction motors, permanent magnet motors, brushless DC motors, synchronous reluctance motors and Line Start PM motors ranging between Single Phase (Active PSE) 7A and 20A, and Three-Phase 14A to 24A (input of 200V to 480V).

Its open Modbus RS485 communication, the company said, ensures seamless connection to any external application controller, allowing the OEM freedom to select which components to use, which again helps lower manufacturing costs.

With an IP20-rated front and an IP55-rated rear, its panel mounting allows the drive’s power electronics to be cooled by the chilled air of the condenser, the company said, adding that this allows OEMs to select the smallest panel size for the control of the electronics, while removing heat generated by the drive and maintaining the IP rating.

LU-VE GROUP delivers 500 unit coolers for China logistics centre

UBOLDO, Varese, Italy, 12 July 2021: LU-VE Group said that it has completed the delivery of 500 unit coolers for the expansion of the Nansha International Logistics Centre, one of the largest logistics centres in the world, at the port of Nansha, which serves the Guangzhou (formerly Canton) area in the Pearl River Delta.

Thomas Stiller and the LU-VE Tianmen Team

LU-VE said that after about two years of work, the Centre raised a mega complex, consisting of six buildings for the storage of refrigerated goods, with a capacity of about 500,000 tons, which will expand the Port of Nansha, one of the five largest infrastructure projects in the world for container traffic. The complex will serve the cold chain (inspection, storage, processing, packaging and distribution) of the Jiangnan Fruit Market in Guangzhou and all major urban conurbations from Shenzen to Hong Kong and Macao, in the Zhū Jiāng (or Pearl River) Delta, LU-VE said. It will be used for fresh fruit and vegetables imported into China from all over the world, especially from North America and South America, and for frozen products destined for export (mostly fish products), it added.

“In January 2020, our Tianmen plant was the first of our Group to suffer the negative effects of the pandemic,” said Iginio Liberali, President, LU-VE Group. “It reopened in March, and since then our production has continued to accelerate in order to serve a rapidly and steadily growing market. Our presence in China is central to LU-VE’s internationalization strategy, due to its great potential for expansion. This new contract provides excellent support for our operations in the country. My applause goes to the whole Chinese team who managed to overcome difficulties, returning stronger and more performing than before.”

Most of the unit coolers – numbering 450 – that the LU-VE Tianmen plant, in Hubei Province, supplied belong to the LHS (Large Hitech Surface) industrial range, LU-VE said. The units use glycol water as refrigerant and are intended for cold rooms for storing products with high moisture content and for freezing (temperatures between -10 degrees C and -30 degrees C, the company said. Other compact unit coolers from the FHC commercial range, which the company claimed are characterised by quiet operation and low energy consumption, are instead installed in the cold rooms for fresh products (positive temperatures) or frozen products (temperatures below or equal to -18 degrees C.

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