Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The full Cooling Post website is now live!

We are delighted to announce that this website’s big brother is now live.

All the news items on this site have been transferred across to the new site where you will find even more of interest. Check it out.

This temporary news blog has served us well since the end of July, attracting visitors from all over the world and numbers increasing at the rate of nearly 60% per month. Existing newsletter subscribers need do nothing, their subscriptions will all be transferred across to the new site.

We thank you for your support and hope you like our new venue.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Integral buys some WR contracts

UK: A number of WR Refrigeration’s major contracts have been bought by Integral, preserving 255 jobs. The exact terms of the deal have not been revealed.

Joint administrator Eddie Williams said: “We have received a number of expressions of interest for parts of the business and I am delighted to have completed a transaction with Integral that will preserve the on-going employment of 255 employees.

“Our focus is now to continue to explore all options for the remaining parts of the business. However, I am afraid that some redundancies now appear inevitable based on the viability of the company and we will look to support the employees at this difficult time.”

According to reports in the Leicester Mercury, the deal includes the preservation of 178 jobs at the company’s Leicester headquarters with the other 77 jobs saved at depots across the country.

WR Refrigeration went into administration last week after being the target of a winding up order by HMRC and sending shock waves around the industry.

Integral UK is one of the largest independent providers of property maintenance services in the UK, providing both planned preventative and reactive maintenance to over 1,600 clients in 40,000 locations.

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Monday, 28 October 2013

ACR Show seminar programme announced

UK: The seminar programme for next year’s ACR Show has now been announced with two presentations from Daikin expected to reveal important technical advances that will have a major impact on the industry.

Visitors to the show, which takes place at the NEC from 11 to 13 February, will have free access to a wide range of topics by the industry’s leading experts from the UK and Europe.

Topping the bill among the 38 sessions are two seminars from headline exhibition sponsor Daikin UK with seminars entitled “The biggest change to air conditioning since the introduction of the inverter” and “Preparing for the refrigeration revolution.”

Jan Thorpe, event director, said: “For the moment, the content of these seminars is under wraps. However, visitors to the show can be sure they will be among the first in the world to hear about important technical advances that are expected to have a major impact on the industry in future.”

Visitors can pre-register to attend the show via the show website, with free access to seminars on a first-come, first-served basis.

As the big UK supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainbury’s, Morrisons, M&S and Waitrose continue their push for ever-more sustainable stores, a key seminar entitled “The greening of the supermarkets” will update visitors on the latest developments and thinking in the rapidly evolving food retail sector.

With the F-Gas legal review coming to a head, several sessions in the Business Programme (sponsored by HRP) will focus on what the changes mean for the trade and end users. A key seminar entitled “The ACRIB F-Gas Debate: Is industry paying too high a price for HFC leakage?” will update visitors on the content of the new regulation, and discuss the implications for the industry and its customers.

Further light will be shed on the important F-gas and refrigerant changes in a seminar led by Graeme Fox, entitled “F-gas update plus the state of play on R22”, part of a wide-ranging legal and business briefing hosted by the B&ES Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Group.

The session will include updates on the renewable heat incentive, changes to Part L of the Building Regulations and TM44, and business opportunities in relation to air conditioning inspections.

Among the new technology updates is a seminar on the growing importance of noise control for refrigeration and air conditioning plant, with a briefing on a new approach called dynamic noise control, claimed to be able to maintain chiller noise output below a pre-set limit, with just a small efficiency penalty.

As UK power generation faces a critical fall off in capacity over the next few years, a seminar on “Virtual Power Stations – the potential for application of high efficiency heat pumps” will explain the principles behind this exciting emerging technology and how it could benefit the industry.

With the search for safe, efficient refrigerants continuing apace, dedicated sessions will give updates on progress, including a seminar on “The latest results from the UK’s first HFO-based chiller to be installed in the field”.

There will also be perspectives on emerging options from leading refrigerant producers Mexichem and DuPont, plus a session on “Avoiding the pitfalls of refrigerant conversion” from IDS Refrigeration.

Still on the topic of alternative refrigerants, Bitzer’s Oliver Javerschek, will give an insight into “The operating behaviour of CO2 booster systems, while “The future of heat transfer fluids” will also come under the spotlight.

With energy efficiency high on the industry’s agenda, Toshiba will give a session on “The importance of part-load efficiency as a measure of air conditioning efficiency for the UK”, plus an overview of the rapid emergence of apps for use by field engineers, as a means of streamlining equipment selection, system design, commissioning and maintenance.

For more details on visiting, visit:

For more details on exhibiting, contact Jan Thorpe on 01622 699 113, or Karena Cooper on 01622 699150 (email or

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Are ionic liquids the future?

The CO2 and ionic liquid co-fluid 

USA: A novel twist on the established vapour compression cycle could provide a non-toxic, non-flammable and energy efficient answer to the search for low GWP refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

When it comes to a potential low GWP alternative refrigerant, CO2 ticks all the boxes in terms of being non-toxic, non-flammable and highly efficient in the right application. However, it is not the universal solution. Its negative aspects include its high pressure, high discharge temperature and less than ideal efficiencies in high ambient temperatures. Plant costs are also high compared to other alternatives.

Research at a fairly advanced stage in the USA could change that and make CO2 the ideal refrigerant.

A group of scientists at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, are now working on utilising novel ionic liquids – pure salts that are liquid at ambient temperatures – in tandem with CO2. Ionic liquids have previously been researched for use in absorption equipment but at Notre Dame they are working with the traditional vapour compression cycle – but with a twist.

According to the group, CO2 in combination with a custom ionic liquid is deployed inside the “co-fluid vapour compression cycle” using a conventional heat exchanger and expansion valve but with a specially designed compressor. It is here where the “wet compression” takes place, creating a chemical reaction between the CO2 and ionic fluid.

The resulting system is said to be hugely energy efficient and lowers the pressures associated with CO2 so there is no need to go transcritical. Potential COPs of up to 4.5 are theoretically possible for the new system.

The idea is not new. The co-fluid vapour compression cycle has been known for more than a century. It was most recently researched a decade ago using CO2 and other non-ideal, non-ionic liquid co-fluids. That research focused on car air conditioning systems, but the same regulatory pressures did not exist then and the project was ultimately shelved. Professor William F. Schneider, one of those involved in that work is now part of the Notre Dame team that includes Joan Brennecke, member of the USA’s National Academy of Engineering and recent recipient of the E V Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. Their combined experience with designing and synthesizing novel ionic liquids for new applications has resurrected the co-fluid vapour compression cycle to the point of commercial viability.

A start-up company – Ionic Research Technologies – has been created to commercialise the technology, the group is working with two other partners in its development.

According to Ionic Research Technologies president and ceo Doug Morrison, the system will have applications across the air conditioning and refrigeration spectrum. All resources are currently being put into developing stationary systems despite the technology’s past history with car ac and the current turmoil in that market for a suitable replacement for R134a.

“We are currently not working with car air conditioning but we do have aspirations to go there in the future,” said Doug Morrison.

Crucial to the technology’s success is the selection and production of our proprietary ionic liquids. Materials compatibility and toxicity tests have not found any problems so far and choice of lubricant may not be a problem – the ionic liquids might also be capable of performing that task.

Market tests are scheduled for next year with expected commercialisation in early 2015.

This news item is now also on the full Cooling Post website,
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World moves close to HFC phase-down

BANGKOK: The world moved closer to an HFC phase-down as last week’s 25th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol drew to a close.

While many hoped for more concrete progress towards addressing the HFC issue the Parties agreed that the Montreal Protocol’s technical and economic panel should prepare a report looking at the economic costs and environmental benefits of various scenarios of avoiding HFCs. It was also agreed to hold a workshop on the management of HFCs back to back with the next Montreal Protocol preparatory meeting.
This was despite India’s apparent u-turn by blocking detailed discussions of the proposals.

“In signaling their willingness to address HFCs in various high-level fora this year, global leaders have made an important statement of intent. Unfortunately, there was scant evidence of this from India in Bangkok this week,” commented Clare Perry, senior campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

“We’re struggling to understand how a commitment by Prime Minister Singh barely a month ago has not translated into concrete action in Bangkok,” she added.

The matter will be discussed again at the international climate conference (COP19) scheduled to take place in Warsaw, Poland in November.

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Friday, 25 October 2013

Industry counts the cost of WR failure

UK: As the industry reels from news of the collapse of WR Refrigeration, the administrators say they are desperately trying to find a buyer for the troubled Leicester-based contractor.

While the company’s 600 employees face an uncertain future, suppliers and sub-contractors from across the refrigeration and air conditioning industry are still counting the cost of one of the biggest potential UK insolvencies in recent years.

The administrator has not yet revealed details of the total debt but the company was thought to have returned a small profit last year, after losses of over £3m in 2010.

The subsequent appointment of md Mike Nicholas saw a number of changes in 2011 and a reduction of the loss to £673,000 on a turnover of £45m.

Despite a restructuring of its branch network and a number of redundancies, cash flow problems persisted and there were known to have been discussions with prospective buyers with a view to purchasing all or part of the business prior to the administration.

Should the unthinkable happen the UK refrigeration industry will lose one of its longest established names with a lineage dating back to 1903.

Originally formed as TH Wathes in Leicester, it is one of the pioneering UK refrigeration contractors.

In 1998, the Wathes company split into two independent businesses. Wathes Refrigeration became WR Refrigeration and Wathes Air Conditioning became AC2000. This signaled a series of acquisitions of well-known rival contractors – General Refrigeration in 1998, Northampton Refrigeration in 1999 and Westward Refrigeration in 2001.

WR was purchased by the Finnish group Huurre in 2004, which sparked further acquisitions – Trembath in 2005 and the UK service and contracting operations of Hussmann in 2006.

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DuPont to spin-off refrigerants business

USA: DuPont will spin-off of its refrigerants business within the next 18 months, the company has confirmed.

The company announced yesterday that it would execute a full separation of its Performance Chemicals segment, which includes the Titanium Technologies and Chemicals & Fluoroproducts businesses. DuPont intends to execute the separation through a tax-free spin-off to shareholders. Upon completion of the separation in about 18 months, 100% of the new public entity will be owned by DuPont shareholders.

“Following a thorough strategic review process over the last year, the spin-off of Performance Chemicals is clearly the best option to deliver enhanced value for our shareholders,” said DuPont chair and ceo Ellen Kullman.

DuPont's Performance Chemicals segment will operate as an independent, publicly traded company after the separation. The Performance Chemicals segment generated about $7bn in 2012.

DuPont first announced in July 23 that it was exploring strategic alternatives for its Performance Chemicals businesses.

This news item is now also on the full Cooling Post website,
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here along with a host of other news, features and comment.