Chiller specialist Klima-Therm has announced a brace of distributorships, which will significantly expand its chiller range and enable it to target new applications
Wimbledon-based Klima-Therm has undergone a major expansion of its range, taking on the UK distributorship for Chinese manufacturer Gree’s range of centrifugal chillers, and for Korean manufacturer World Energy’s absorption chillers.
The firm believes the Gree deal will enable it to compete in the lucrative niche market for chiller upgrades among banks and City institutions, offering cost-competitive centrifugal chiller solutions for buildings requiring several megawatts of cooling capacity.
“There are a number of these large-scale chillers still running on R123 that will need replacing soon,” says Klima-Therm Sales Director Mr Mitchell.
Meanwhile, taking on its first absorption chillers will enable Klima-Therm to target the burgeoning energy and CHP sector.
The new additions join Klima-Therm’s Turbomiser range of magnetic bearing chillers, allowing it to claim a complete range of chiller technologies.
One of the Gree flagships is the world first PV-powered centrifugal chiller. In addition to producing renewable electricity to drive the cooling system, the PV chiller can feed power directly into the grid, enabling the end-user to benefit from electricity feed-in tariff. Klima-Therm is researching how to optimise the PV chiller operation for UK climates.
In addition, Gree is expected to launch a magnetic-bearing centrifugal chiller in the UK – the technology that gives the Turbomiser its efficiency – in the next few months.
Although Gree makes one in three of the world’s residential air conditioning units, and builds under OEM agreements for some of the world’s best-known air conditioning brands, it is little known in the UK. Klima-Therm managing director Roberto Mallozzi says: “Our goal is to make them as famous in the UK’s commercial sector.”
Gree has nine manufacturing plants (seven in China) and produces 55 million residential air conditioners and 4.5 million commercial systems a year, manufacturing all key components itself.
Klima-Therm is backing the launch of Gree centrifugal chillers with a five-year warranty, believed to be an industry first in UK chiller market.
Mr Mitchell says: “We are now in the enviable position of being able to offer a range of fully referenced chiller alternatives for a project, enabling clients to decide on the most appropriate technical and commercial solution. Very few companies have the capability to do this.”
Klima-Therm believes it is well-placed take advantage of the expected London construction boom over the next five years. Upwards of 250 major projects are either under construction or in the pipeline, most of which will require large scale chiller-based cooling.
Korean manufacturer World Energy lays claim to producing some of the most advanced and efficient absorption chillers in the world, enabling the capturing of waste heat from buildings or industrial processes or within combined heat and power systems.
World Energy absorption systems are used in the food manufacturing, and the chemical, plastic, water and waste and oil and gas industries, where large amounts of heat are produced as a by-product and there is a simultaneous requirement for cooling. Absorption machines can also be used as heat pumps, shifting and amplifying heat output, often making the original process more efficient, the firm says.
Mr Mallozzi says: “Harnessing waste heat in place of primary energy, such as electricity or gas, can deliver dramatic cost savings for end-users. World Energy has been active in the field for many years and is absolutely at the forefront of technology.”
The absorption chillers are designed for each specific project and application, within a range from 100 kW to 5200 kW. Its packaged chiller incorporates a water treatment plant. “There are unlimited customisation options,” says Mr Mitchell. Its COP of 0.83 is claimed to be the highest on the market for an absorption chiller.
Klima-Therm believes there is a major opportunity for absorption systems in the UK as a result of the mandatory requirement to deliver a component of a building’s energy needs from renewable sources, with hospitals and universities being key target sectors, in cogeneration applications. “Absorption technology also helps end-users meet their obligations under the Zero Emission Building Directive, which is going to be a key market driver over the next decade or so,” says Mr Mallozzi.
The company believes that greater use of absorption technology in the next few years will follow naturally from the expansion in the use of energy from waste, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and micro-generation plants.
World Energy absorption systems can also be used to capture waste heat from engine and turbine exhaust gases and to add cooling to district heating schemes. World Energy’s European MD Max Santini says: “The challenge with district heating is you have a constant heat supply, so the absorption chiller makes use of the heat for cooling in the summer. The chillers can also be used to reduce the cost of electricity in the summer.”