Newcastle-UL-chiller

The new propane chillers for a South Staffordshire Council building in Newcastle-under-Lyme (top) and a Co-op convenience store at Alsager, Staffordshire (above)

UK: Chiller company Cool-Therm Ltd reports a surge in interest in alternative refrigerant-based chillers as clients focus on low GWP and natural cooling solutions.

In the past few months, the company reports an order for one of the latest generation of HFO-based chillers for a new university facility, and two orders for hydrocarbon-based systems for a convenience store and a council building.

Cool-Therm is best known for its joint development of the award-winning Turbomiser, however the latest projects use reciprocating compressor technology, running on alternative refrigerants.

The HFO chiller has been specified for a new research centre in Nottingham. The refrigerant HFO1234ze was chosen for its very low GWP, which attracts additional BREEAM and LEED credits.

The 60kW ducted VHR chiller, manufactured by Italian company Geoclima, will be equipped with refrigerant leak detection and an automatic pump down system, to isolate the plant from the building in the event of a leak.

Given the educational setting, noise emissions were also an important design consideration. Acoustic control is being used on both the intake and discharge sides of the plant with special air intake louvres, designed and installed by the contractor on the project, Nottingham-based Imtech G&H Ltd.

Cool-Therm has also supplied natural cooling solutions in the form of reciprocating compressor-based propane (R290) chillers. The first is for a Co-op convenience store at Alsager, Staffordshire, providing comfort cooling for the store environment. Noise was also an issue at the site, and acoustic attenuation was fitted around the compressor to ensure the specification was met.

The second propane chiller was for a South Staffordshire Council building, based at Newcastle Under Lyme. The contractor for both projects was Climate Heating and Plumbing Services Ltd

Martin Sharman, who heads up Cool-Therm’s Midlands office, said: “These projects demonstrate the increasing interest in the market for natural refrigerants and low GWP cooling solutions. There is no doubt a change taking place among forward-thinking consultants and end users.

“The arrival of the new F-Gas Regulation, and the publicity in the run-up to the agreement, has highlighted the question mark over the long-term future of traditional HFC refrigerants, and people are quite understandably looking for alternatives.”

He added: “Fortunately, we have the bases covered with our HFO and HC options, which in the case of HFO refrigerant also covers the Turbomiser chiller. This provides arguably the ultimate lean and green chiller-refrigerant combination on the market today.”