The new spool compressor shows improved efficiency and performance characteristics.
Torad Engineering LLC announced it has tested a new 40-ton spool compressor designed specifically for medium pressure refrigerants such as R-134a, as well as low and ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants like R-513A and HFO-1234yf. The company said the new spool compressor has demonstrated improved efficiency and performance characteristics compared to scroll, screw, and magnetic bearing centrifugal compressors. The technology is targeted toward commercial chillers with compressor capacities under 100 tons, where the spool compressor has a cost advantage over legacy compressors. Financial support for the project came from five leading global manufacturers of commercial compressors and chillers.
“Closed cycle testing of the prototype spool compressor proves the technology is an attractive alternative to legacy compressors utilizing medium pressure refrigerants,” said Joe Orosz, Torad’s chief operating officer. “The spool compressor’s excellent performance at both full-load and part-load chiller conditions combined with its low manufacturing cost provides a viable path to affordable, high-efficiency chillers.”
According to Greg Kemp, Torad’s founder and chief executive officer, “Worldwide regulatory groups have made it pretty clear that ultra-low GWP refrigerants (GWP < 10) will be mandated in the future; the only real question is how soon. The air conditioning industry is facing a genuine challenge regarding the delivery of ultra-low GWP air conditioning products that are more energy efficient while at the same time being affordable. Torad’s spool compressor has the potential to help meet these challenges.”
The company said its development contracts preclude public release of full test data at this time. Limited test results will be made public July 11, 2016 at the International Compressor Engineering Conference at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.