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JCI buys high-temperature heat pump company

The single-stage GreenPAC-R is one of three types of high temperature heat pumps produced by Hybrid Energy

IRELAND: Johnson Controls (JCI) has acquired Hybrid Energy AS, a Norwegian manufacturer and supplier of high-temperature heat pumps for district heating and industrial processes.

A subsidiary of the Nordic Technology Group, Hybrid Energy is based in Lysaker, near Oslo. The company offers patented solutions capable of achieving temperatures of up to 120ºC using a water/ammonia mixture as the working fluid.

JCI says that the Hybrid Energy technology will provide new, cost-effective solutions to its customers while addressing decarbonisation and sustainability efforts in Europe and beyond.

“Hybrid Energy is well positioned in its ability to deliver extremely high-temperature process heating while maintaining energy efficiency – and with the reach and resources of Johnson Controls, we will be able to solve the challenges of more customers,” said Claude Allain, president, Johnson Controls HVAC/R and data centres.

“With many countries diversifying energy sources, now is the time for clean energy technologies to become available for use on a global scale,” said Rune Rinann, chief executive officer of Nordic Technology Group AS. “Between Hybrid Energy’s unique heat pump technologies, the reach and capability of Johnson Controls and the collective brain power from both, we’ll help advance a sustainable future by setting the standard for high-temperature industrial heat pumps.”

Hybrid Energy’s HyPAC-R is a two stage heat pump, each unit delivering up to 2MW.

Hybrid Energy’s heat pumps are built with standard ammonia compressors and a design pressure of 25bar. A traditional heat pump using pure ammonia, can heat water to 50°C at this pressure. A Hybrid Energy heat pump uses an absorption/compression process to heat water to 120°C using the exact same equipment. The company says it can cover a whole new range of temperatures than traditional heat pumps, meeting the demands of a wide range of industrial processes.

How it works

The solution exiting the absorber/condenser is rich with ammonia and passes through an expansion valve where the pressure drops. As the solution enters the desorber/evaporator, ammonia is boiled out of the solution when heat is absorbed from the heat source, and the process is repeated. As the mixture of water and ammonia is a non-azeotrope working medium, the boiling and condensation will take place with gliding temperatures. In the absorber/condenser the concentration of ammonia will increase through the heat exchanger, and the temperature will drop. Conversely, in the desorber/evaporator the ammonia concentration will wane, and the temperature will rise through the heat exchanger. For many processes, this is a huge advantage.

The company explains that compared to a heat pump with a pure working medium with constant temperatures during condensation and boiling, the compressors in a Hybrid Energy heat pump will work with a lower temperature lift. This, it claims, gives the Hybrid process exceptional COPs when you have large glides on hot and cold side.

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