KOREA: Korean manufacturer LG Electronics is to launch a range of chillers across Europe as part of a global expansion of its chiller business.
Although best known in the West for its unitary and VRF ac products, LG has been making chillers for large commercial buildings for nearly 50 years. Things took a more serious turn in 2011 with LG’s $134.4m acquisition of Korean manufacturer LS Mtron’s chiller business.
A soft launch of its air-cooled chillers at last year’s Chillventa exhibition in Nuremberg has now been followed by an official German launch last month. Other countries are set to follow, with an official UK launch set for next month.
The German launch features six air-cooled inverter scrolls in cooling only and heat pump variants and cooling/heating capacities of 65/70kW, 130/140kW and 195/210kW. The chillers use the same LG scroll compressors currently used in its Multi V VRF air conditioning systems.
LG boasts an extensive chiller portfolio including centrifugal chillers to 3000RT, absorption chillers to 1500RT, water-cooled screw chiller and air-cooled screw chiller to 500RT, alongside its water-cooled and air-cooled scrolls. Oil-free chillers are also produced but it is unclear as yet which models in addition to its air-cooled inverter scrolls will be immediately available in Europe.
A significant step in LG Electronics’ drive to increase its presence in the global chiller market has been the relocation of its Korean chiller plant from Jeonju to Pyeongtaek. The new factory at 35,000m² is two and a half times the Jeonju facility. In addition, LG operates a further chiller plant in Qingdao, China.
The Pyeongtaek factory includes space for offices as well as research and chiller assembly. The primary purpose of the factory is to produce centrifugal, absorption, screw, and scroll chillers. Annual production capacity is said to be up to 600,000RT.
The factory also has six world-class test facilities and is capable of simultaneously conducting AHRI-certified tests of up to 3,000RT.
As well as being the largest chiller factory in South Korea, LG claims the Pyeongtaek factory is the only chiller plant in the world capable of testing the performance of impellers.
LG Electronics has made great strides with its medium and large-sized chillers in a number of recent commercial and industrial projects. A particular high point has been the company’s involvement with Hanam Starfield, Korea’s second largest shopping mall, which opened last September.
LG supplied five ice thermal storage chillers (5,000RT), four centrifugal chillers (3,000RT), three absorption chillers (3,000RT), geothermal heat pumps (total 360RT), air handling units, fan coil equipment, cooling towers as well as the complete system installation.
In addition, LG has also supplied centrifugal chillers to the 900,000m² Governmental Agencies Complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. LG is the first Korean company to supply centrifugal chillers for a construction project conducted by the government of Saudi Arabia.