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Chillventa Review

RAC looks at some more of the new products launched at the Chillventa show, ranging from energy efficient chillers to wireless controls


UK air conditioning specialist Airedale unveiled a range of new equipment for the demanding environment of data centres. The new products all combine precision control, localised cooling and a compact footprint to meet the high heat loads of the server racks. Its flagship launch the 34-model DeltaChill chiller range offers free-cooling ‘virtually all year-round’ - up to 98 per cent of the time the company says, thanks to ‘concurrent free cooling’ which means it doesn’t keep switching on and off like conventional free cooling chillers.

A range of features, from micro-channel coils, to inverter pumps, combine to create high-efficiency in the 150-450 kW chillers, allowing the DeltaChill to claim high seasonal efficiency – an ESEER of up to 4.5.  The microchannel heat exchanger, takes technology from the mobile ac sector to offer a larger surface area and thus better heat exchange. The aluminium coil from parent company Modine has a special anti-corrosion ‘e-coating’ – electrostatic paint which extends service life, the firm says.

The interest in the DeltaChill technology is such that Airedale is currently looking at the prospect of  a 1.1 MW version.

Among other products was the ECHO IT cooling system, highly commended in this year’s Cooling Industry Awards, which uses an Active Cabinet Exhaust unit on top of the server cabinet to draw the hot discharge air from the servers and reject it away into the ceiling void. The air is ducted directly to a CRAC unit which is in turn linked to Echo free-cooling chillers. The system boasts 50 per cent less air volume than conventional systems and up to 95 per cent free cooling. It also matches the air pressure from the cooling fans, to ensure that surplus air is not forced into the IT racks.

Also unveiled was the InRak cooling system for blade servers up to 5 kW, designed to sit inside the server racks and featuring ‘hot swappable’ fans. This feature allows a failed fan to be replaced while the system is still running and the remaining fans take up the capacity.

Resource Data Management

Resource Data Management demonstrated the cutting edge of controls and monitoring with a range of new systems, alongside upgrades designed to improve the user experience. Prime among the upgrades was a new version of the display units for its flagship Data Manager. Users now have a new display interface featuring the ability to show a single parameter very prominently at all times. The feature designated the Big Number enables users to see easily at a glance – and from some distance - the most important parameter, without having to keep accessing the display.

The Intuitive range has a new style to both the front and the back ends of the system – the housings have been completely redesigned and now accommodate conventional fuses and fit in a standard fusebox housing, for ease of installation and maintenance. It also features USB connectivity for straightforward data downloading and I-Phone-style touchscreen control panel technology.

The potential future of controls systems was displayed in the form of RDM’s ‘wireless mesh’ technology for its Data Manager system. According to managing director Andrew Chandler, the benefit of the ‘mesh’ is that it enables remote units to communicate with each other without having to go via a central receiving unit.

The key to development, says Mr Chandler, is the improvement in battery technology. Its temperature module now has battery life of five years or more and each module to retain its data for up to three days after battery failure.

He says: “Some of the development of wireless technology is customer driven, as the system is cheaper and less hassle than the hard wired version, and of course some applications lend themselves well to wireless systems.”

One sector in which the firm has been increasingly prominent is energy monitoring, where the expertise gained from refrigeration systems and energy use is being sought by non-refrigeration firms.

Mr Chandler said that energy consultants have been seeking the RDM technology for close analysis of their clients’ energy use. “I think the refrigeration industry has helped the energy industry in general – they are the same tools you need essentially to monitor energy behaviour. I think remote energy monitoring will become increasingly required by industry.”

Significantly, in this increasingly carbon-focused industry, RDM has the technology to provide analysis of output in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent.



Electronics giant Panasonic revealed its ambitions for growth in the air conditioning sector at the show, following last year’s purchase of rival electronics group Sanyo.

Panasonic Europe chief executive Laurent Abadie announced the firm wants to be the ‘number one green innovation company’ by 2018, with 30 per cent of its sales coming from eco-labelled products. Mr Abadie pointed to its current 91,539 patents as evidence of the consistent innovation.

The firm’s Home Appliance Air Conditioning managing director Enrique Vilamitjana added that the enlarged group would combine the energy saving technology and consumer focus of Panasonic with the commercial technology and engineering experience of Sanyo to target both cooling and heating. “Our target is to be number one in Europe,” he said, “and we are helped by the fact that Panasonic is already the number one compressor manufacturer in the world.”

He said that Panasonic was already collaborating at factory level on new products, but stressed that they were own-brand versions, not simply rebadged Sanyo units. At the same time, the new arrangements with Sanyo naturally meant the end to its previous collaboration with rival manufacturer Daikin, he added.

New products include the Aquarea heat pump, a range of air to water heat pumps offering COPs of 4.1 to 4.67 depending on the model. The firm particularly noted  the fact that even at -15 deg C, the Aquarea can produce a COP of 2.43.

The firm also launched larger capacities of its Mini VRF, the FS Multi, now available in capacities from 8-10 HP and featuring a maximum pipe length of 90 m from indoor to outdoor unit. “The larger capacity minimises the number of outdoor units that need to be grouped together,” said Mr Vilamitjana.

At the larger end of the scale, the firm unveiled a VRF system that can achieve a maximum capacity of 60 hp in three 20 hp outdoor units and which can power up to 64 indoor units. Pipe length can be up to 180 m between indoor and outdoor units, and total pipe capacity for the system is an impressive 1 km.


Star Refrigeration

Star Refrigeration unveiled its Glacier package for food processing at the show, combining a spiral freezer and refrigeration plant in a single package, with cooling capacities from 75 kW to 450 kW and the ability to process from 500 kg to 6,000kg/hr.

The ammonia-cooled Glacier range is the result of collaboration between equipment manufacturer Starfrost and parent company Star.  The spiral system is suitable for freezing or chilling a range of food items such as pizza, ready meals, poultry and fish,  Each Glacier package is designed, manufactured and installed to meet individual cooling requirements, with dual-purpose freeze/chill operation available.

Star managing director Andy Pearson said: “The package can be specified with a weatherproof housing so that it can go outside the building, reducing the costs of installation,”

Additional efficiency enhancing options include reverse cycle defrost, condenser fan inverter control and high grade heat recovery.


Drives to fans specialist Ziehl-Abegg showed expansions to its EC product portfolio, which it said already complies with the energy efficiency requirements of the 2015 EC Eco-design Directive.

The firm said customers can choose to combined its innovative aerodynamics with either conventional AC motors or with advanced EC motors for its “ECblue” range of fans.

Ziehl-Abegg has expanded its FE2owlet series  to include diameters of 910 mm and 1000 mm which the firm claims has the highest performance data for noise optimised axial fans.

With ECblue technology, these fans permit greater power density with air-cooled condensers and dry-coolers. In addition to this, they enable the footprint of the Customer’s finished product to be minimised.



The heat exchange specialist revealed it had made a breakthrough in the development of its microox microchannel technology, enabling the coil to be produced in larger sizes.

Advantages claimed by the firm for microox include greater corrosion efficiency, due to being fabricated from a single material, aluminium, and a very high output per square meter of heat exchanger surface.

The technology can accommodate operating pressures of up to 41 bar, while being up to 50 per cent lighter than conventional fin-tube heat exchangers.

Güntner says the technology will shortly also be available for natural refrigerants such as CO2, NH3 and propane.

The firm can now produce coils up to four metres, meaning in larger devices, fewer connections are required. further benefits, since in larger devices there is a considerable reduction in the amount of tubing as the connections are made for a smaller number of coils.

At the show, the firm unveiled its ‘penthouse coolers’ aimed at the increasingly popular refrigerated warehouse concept, utilising high-rack shelving and automatic conveyors.

In the penthouse cooler, available in capacities of 50 kW to 350 kW, the air cooler is installed on the roof, either in an insulated single housing or in a penthouse suitable for several units. This way, the units don’t block pallet positions and are not a hindrance for forklifts or conveyor systems.

The penthouse coolers stand on steel frames and draw air in through grates inserted in the roof. The penthouse is installed or the roof element is placed on top only after these have been inserted. Piping and valves are generally installed via the roof, allowing good accessibility for servicing and maintenance without impairing the movement of goods – saving time and money.

Depending on the design, the units can be installed on one side or in the middle of the warehouse roof and can achieve optimum air routing and air throw through connection of a short air duct. The fans can be designed for different external pressures, such as 60 Pa or 120 Pa.

A further option is to have cooled air blown down and then distributed on the warehouse floor as a ‘cold-air lake’. Supported by thermal activity, the warmer air flows upwards to the ceiling and back to the air coolers.

Güntner also showed its first flatbed condenser with the microox coils, the GVHX/GVVX.



Vulkan-Lokring has built on its leak containment experience to produce a high-precision leak tracing system.

The firm says that current leak detection technology has drawbacks, such as requiring the system to be filled, reacting to external gases, or being less reliable for very small leaks.

The firm has developed the tracer gas leak detection system LOKtrace which uses a

a gas mixture made up of 95 per cent nitrogen and 5 per cent hydrogen. The

hydrogen share is used as the tracer gas.

The LOKtrace gas is filled into the empty system at a pressure of between

5 and 7 bar. Leaks can be then be localised with the aid of the firm’s hydrogen leak detectors, the LOKtracer TLD.500 or TLD.1000. The LOKtracers react exclusively

to hydrogen, which means there are no cross-sensitivities and that leak detection is extremely reliable, the firm says.

Hydrogen molecules are the smallest naturally occurring particles and escape

from even the tiniest of leaks (less than 1 g/year). This means the

LOKtracer can also be used to trace very small leaks. Since hydrogen is

lighter than air, the hydrogen molecules rise and the pipes can easily be

checked from above. The firm says its experience with leak detection in food markets has even shown that the tracer gas diffuses through screed and other construction

materials very quickly.

This means even such leaks that can otherwise only be found after major

building work or not at all due to the inaccessibility of the pipework can now

be localised quickly.


Viessmann Cold Technology

Viessmann unveiled a range of R290 wall mounted modules for chiller and deep freeze applications. The EVO-COOL units boast a reduced termperature spread – lower condensing temperature and higher evaporating temperature - for increased energy efficiency.

The new units also feature high-efficiency micro-channel heat exchangers on the side of the unit on the condenser side , enabling a 50 per cent larger exposed area. More efficiency is provided by larger diameter EC fans, providing higher air volume at a lower rpm, meaning lower noise levels. Hot gas  bypass in turn enables efficient defrost.

At the same time, the firm launched its SilverProtec powder coating for cold rooms, which claims the ability to provide ‘active and permanent protection’ against micro-organisms in difficult to clean areas.


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