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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.

Bitzer launches Varipack frequency inverters

Sindelfingen, Germany, 27 July 2021: Bitzer has added models with IP55 and IP66 enclosure classes to its range of Varipack frequency inverters. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company further said that the additions retain all of the product family’s known properties, such as user-friendliness, reliability and performance.

BITZER VARIPACK Images courtesy BITZER

According to Bitzer, the inverters are designed for safe and easy capacity control and have been specially adapted for refrigeration and for the operation of Bitzer refrigeration compressors. They open up a wide range of applications in supermarkets, hotels and restaurants as well as in food manufacturing and processing, the company said. The inverters, the company added, are suitable for refrigeration and air conditioning systems as well as for heat pumps and can be combined with single compressors and compound systems alike. After intuitive commissioning, the inverters take over the control functions of the refrigeration system, the company said. They can be mounted in a switch cabinet (IP20) or outside of the switch cabinet, thanks to the higher IP55/66 enclosure class, it added.

According to Bitzer, the inverters can be operated in two modes: The compressor’s capacity can either be controlled depending on an externally set signal or on the evaporation temperature with an optionally available pressure control add-on module. In addition to direct control of the evaporation temperature, the speed of the condenser fan can be set via a 0-10 V output signal, and a second compressor can be switched on, the company said. With regard to pressure control, the inverters have a database of all commonly used refrigerants for ease of configuration and monitoring, the company said.

According to Bitzer, its software can be used to select a frequency inverter for specific applications, and BEST software (Bitzer Electronics Service Tool) can be used for easy commissioning and monitoring. The stored databases simply select the compressor model to fully configure every compressor, the company said. BEST software is also the interface for communication to configure, monitor and read out error messages, the company said. The inverters, with the IP55/66 protection class, are also fitted with a display, as standard, which makes it possible to view the current operating conditions and adjust common parameters, the company added.

The inverters ensure that when operating in field-weakening mode, the maximum frequency is automatically limited, depending on the load, the company said. Optimised adjustment to suit the system’s current cooling demand, the company added, reduces energy consumption, increases efficiency and lowers running costs.

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