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.

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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.

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

EIA targets "Dirty Dozen" US stores

USA: US supermarkets have come under attack from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) for failing to take meaningful steps to reduce their dependence on HFC refrigerants.

The “green” group which has been tracking UK and European supermarket efforts to adopt natural alternatives to HFCs have turned their focus on America where, according to the EIA, each US supermarket emits on average 1,556 metric tons of CO2 equivalent of HFCs annually from leaks in their systems.

The report, The Dirty Dozen: How your local supermarket is killing the climate accuses Ahold USA, Costco, Delhaize, HEB, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Safeway, Supervalu, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods of not taking substantial action to begin phasing out HFCs or reduce the amount of HFC emissions leaking from refrigeration systems.

Of the 12 supermarkets covered by the report Ahold USA has installed a CO2/propylene glycol system in Arlington, VA, and a propylene glycol/HFC system in a Stop & Shop store in Hartford, CT.

Delhaize opened its first store with a CO2 transcritical system at a Hannaford store in Maine. It also has three stores operating with CO2 cascade systems.

HEB opened a store in Texas at the end of July using a propane refrigeration system.

Publix is reported to have 13 stores with HFC/glycol secondary refrigeration systems. They are also said to have an HFC?CO2 low temperature system in a store in Georgia.

Supervalu has an Albertsons store in California operating with an ammonia/CO2 cascade system. A Star Market in Massachusetts uses a secondary loop system with a water/propylene glycol mix.

Target is piloting CO2/glycol/HFC hybrid systems in four stores.

Walmart has the largest commitment with more than 125 stores and two Sam Clubs using glcol or CO2 in tandem with HFCs. A Walmart in Colorado has installed a hydrocarbon/glycol/HFC system and is trialling propane-based freezer cases.

Whole Foods is planning to open a store using a CO2 transcritical system in New York this year. It already operates one store with an HFC with secondary CO2 system and two with HFC/CO2 cascade systems.

Despite president Barack Obama’s recent drive to bring an HFC phase-down timetable within the framework of the Montreal Protocol, of the 12 supermarkets covered by the report none were said to have any published corporate policy committing them to a phase-out of HFCs. Only Delhaize claimed to be discussing a plan to have some additional HFC-free stores by 2015 with the likelihood that CO2 transcritical systems could become standard in their northeastern US Hannaford stores.

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WR falls into administration

UK: One of the country’s largest and best known  refrigeration contractors WR Refrigeration has fallen into administration and could face “imminent closure”.

Eddie Williams and Rob Hunt of PwC were appointed joint administrators of W R Refrigeration Ltd yesterday, after what were described as difficult trading conditions in recent months.

With a head office in Leicester, WR provides the installation, repair and servicing of refrigeration and air conditioning units to the retail, distribution and wholesale sectors throughout the UK. Turnover in the year to 31 December 2012 was £58m with the business operating from five regional depots with approximately 600 employees and a number of contractors.

PwC said that despite its market leading position, WR had experienced difficult trading conditions in recent months, which led to a funding need.

“This funding, in addition to the significant investment already provided, was made available by the existing lenders and owners to help facilitate a turnaround of the business,” said PwC.

However continuing losses with associated cash pressures led to a winding up petition being issued by HMRC earlier this month which meant that the business required additional funding beyond that originally projected. The Company was unable to secure this funding and as a consequence, the directors sought the appointment of administrators.

“Over the last few weeks the directors, funders and other key stakeholders have been in extensive dialogue with regards to securing additional financial support for the business, particularly in light of the winding up petition,” commented joint administrator Eddie Williams.

“Unfortunately, these discussions have not been successful and have led to our appointment as administrators.

“Our immediate priority is to engage with employees, key customers and suppliers and to rapidly review the Company’s financial position and its underlying profitability. We are pleased to confirm that employees will be paid for work done prior to our appointment. Also, ongoing wages will be paid until further notice.

“However, unfortunately, the level of losses and funding requirements mean that the business may not be able to continue to trade and faces the real risk of imminent closure.”

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India stands firm on HFCs

BANGKOK: India is reported to be opposing bringing HFC phase-down within the Montreal Protocol despite earlier indications that it was in agreement with the US and other countries.

HFC phase-down is one of the major issues being discussed at this week’s 25th meeting of the Montreal Protocol in Bangkok.

Talks between US president Barak Obama and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh last month were thought to have brought India in to line with recent G20 agreements and subsequent talks between Obama and the Chinese government to bring HFC phase-down within the legal framework of the Montreal Protocol.

On Tuesday, India maintained that it wants the issue to be dealt with under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol.

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Nearly half of building sites fail safety checks

UK: Poor standards and dangerous practices were found at nearly half of the building sites visited by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last month.

During a nationwide campaign, the HSE made unannounced visits to 2,607 sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place.

Inspectors found basic safety standards were not being met on 1,105 sites. On 644 sites, practices were so poor that enforcement action was necessary to protect workers – with 539 prohibition notices served ordering dangerous activities to stop immediately and 414 improvement notice issued requiring standards to improve.

The most common problems identified included failing to protect workers during activities at height, exposure to harmful dust and inadequate welfare facilities.

Heather Bryant, HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction:

“It is disappointing to find a significant number of sites falling below acceptable health and safety standards, where our inspectors encountered poor practice this often went hand in hand with a lack of understanding.”

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Mitsubishi Electric indoors in Mexico

MEXICO: Mitsubishi Electric is to commence production of indoor units of commercial air conditioners for the North American market at its wholly owned subsidiary company, PIMS, SA, located in Baja California, Mexico.

This is the latest move by Mitsubishi Electric to expand its air-conditioning business in North America through what the company describes as “a locally integrated framework for development, production and sales”.

PIMS SA in Baja California
In April, the Japanese air conditioning and heat pump manufacturer announced the opening of a new hq office building for it US subsidiary on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. The $30m facility houses sales and administrative offices, an engineering centre to develop and test products for US customers, training facilities and warehouse.

Mitsubishi Electric began selling split systems in 1982 and now claims to be America's No 1 selling brand.

PIMS is headed by Minoru Ogawa and has approximately 60 employees.

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Friday, 18 October 2013

International conference - call for papers

UK: Following the announcement that the UK will again host the International Institute of Refrigeration’s conference on sustainability and the cold chain, the organisers have issued a call for papers.

As the title suggests, the conference organisers are initially looking for 500 word abstracts of papers on new developments, key technological trends and environmental issues in the cold chain.

This major conference takes place at St Marys University College, Twickenham, London from June 23-25, 2014. It marks a return to the UK for this conference which was first held in Cambridge in March 2010. It will again be hosted by the UK's Institute of Refrigeration.

The conference is expected to attract over 100 delegates and over 60 technical papers. Discounts for authors on the registration fee for the three day event are available. The organisers would particularly welcome applications for papers to be presented which showcase international and UK innovation in the cold chain, and practical case studies of how sustainable refrigeration technology is being introduced.

Full details of the call for papers and guidelines for authors are available at Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to by November 1.

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Finally, a replacement for R123?

USA: While much has been made of the new HFO refrigerants 1234yf and 1234ze, another lesser known HFO could provide a much needed alternative to R123 in chiller applications.

Introduced in the early 90s during the CFC phase-out, R123 was seen as an ideal alternative to R11 in centrifugal chiller applications. Hugely efficient, it had a very low ODP and, although not deemed significant at the time, a GWP of around 77. Although widely adopted in the US and elsewhere, it was, however, largely shunned in Europe due to its B1 toxicity after long-term inhalation was found to cause an increased incidence of benign tumours in the liver, pancreas, and testis of rats.

Being an HCFC, R123 is destined for phase-out around the world despite US attempts to save it from extinction based on its negligible ODP, low GWP and high efficiency. R123’s removal from circulation will, however, also finally end arguments as to which centrifugal chillers are more efficient – R134a or R123?

But now a new refrigerant said to offer even better efficiencies than R123 is being fast-tracked for adoption. Like 1234ze, which was initially promoted as a foam propellant but found applications as an alternative to R134a in chillers, foam blowing agent HFO-1233zd(E) could be similarly attractive to those dedicated to finding an alternative to R123.

R1233zd(E) is a single component refrigerant with a GWP of just 6. It has been submitted for designation and classification to ASHRAE 34, and is likely to be A1 (low toxicity, non-flammable) under that standard as well as ISO 817. 

1233zd(E) is itself an HCFC, as such contains ozone-depleting chlorine but falls outside the Montreal Protocol phase-out of these gases. This is because its ODP is measured as being between 0.00024 to 0.00034 (R22 is 0.055). Even with worst case estimates of emissions which assume that this compound would substitute for all compounds it could replace, the impact on global atmospheric ozone abundance is considered statistically insignificant. 

The latest UNEP TEAP report on alternatives says efficiency levels are slightly better than HCFC-123 when used in centrifugal chillers. 

Already being produced in commercial quantities as a solvent and foam blowing agent, the cost would be moderate and will have a reasonable payback period due to its high energy efficiency.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Smaller coils, larger production

UK: As the industry moves towards lower refrigerant charges, Lordan UK has announced that it is to commence the manufacture of 7mm coils at its recently expanded factory in South Wales.

Lordan UK is a subsidiary of Israeli manufacturer Lordan (ACS) from where 7mm coils were previously sourced. The UK factory was established in 2004 when the Israeli company recognised that a local presence would better serve UK customers and offer shorter lead times.

The UK expansion, completed in the summer, increases the shopfloor by 50%, providing increased production capacity and more warehousing .

A new fin press is delivered, ready to take 
the new 7mm tooling
Lordan UK currently supply heat exchange coils to a range of industries but md Stuart Lancaster recognises the importance of smaller coils to the air conditioning and refrigeration sector: “The smaller coils allow oems to reduce the refrigerant charge, at the same time reducing the amount of copper and aluminium used, but without compromising performance.”

In fact, its precision-designed Triple 7 coil offers the optimal ration between tube diameter and tube distance to give the highest outputs.

The 7mm coils join the existing range of custom-made finned tube heat exchanger coils available in a wide range of sizes, materials and coatings.

+44 (0)1443 812222

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Six EU states refuse to extend carbon credit ban

EUROPE: Six EU countries – Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Spain – have refused to extend the EU-ETS ban on industrial gas offset credits to their national greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Europe voted to ban the credits from May of this year after it was widely recognised that the system perversely encouraged developing countries to over-produce R22 in order to cash in on credits available for destroying the high GWP by-product HFC23.

However, it does not cover EU Member States’ national emissions targets in the non-traded sectors (eg agriculture and transport). According to the group Carbon Market Watch this is significant given that up to two-thirds of the total emissions reductions required of EU Member States between 2013-2020 can be met using carbon offsets.

Alarmed by this loophole, the Danish government launched a voluntary initiative extending the EU-ETS ban to its non-traded sectors. So far, 22 out of 28 Member States have joined Denmark in extending the ban. However, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Spain refused to sign the declaration at Monday’s meeting.

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Middleby buys Indian refrigeration business

INDIA: US company the Middleby Corporation, a global leader in foodservice and food processing equipment, has acquired Indian commercial refrigeration and foodservice products company Celfrost Innovations Pvt.

Celfrost has annual sales of approximately $20m and is based in Gurgaon, India. The Celfrost business was acquired by Middleby’s newly established entity in India, Middleby Commercial Food Innovations Pvt.

Celfrost offers a broad range of commercial refrigerators, coldrooms, ice machines, and freezers, marketed under the Celfrost brand.

The Middleby Corporation offers a huge number of kitchen equipment, food service and food processing brands and includes UK bottle cooler company IMC and kitchen ventilation supplier Britannia.

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Fukuppy – a name, not a philosophy

JAPAN: A Japanese commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturer is to change the name of its cartoon character company mascot after it created an amusing misunderstanding amongst English-speaking visitors to its website.

Formed in 1951and based in Osaka, the Fukushima Corporation is named after its founder Nobuo Fukushima and is a serious far-eastern manufacturer of food service refrigerators and freezers, blast chillers and refrigerated display cases.

The company caused some hilarity on the internet, however, when naming its cartoon character mascot from a combination of its company name and its "happy company" philosophy. The resulting name should be pronounced “foo-koo-pii”, which sounds cute in Japanese but is easily misconstrued as a less than complimentary description by English-speakers.

Yesterday, the company replaced the English translation of the charcter's name and apologised for the misunderstanding and confusion "with inappropriate word to people living in the English-speaking world."

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Monday, 14 October 2013

Trane trio in skills final

UK: Three apprentices with Trane UK are among the six competitors who will compete in this year’s SkillFridge UK final. 

The three Trane apprentices are North Glasgow College/BEST students Stewart Bothwell and Scott Wearing and Joseph Conroy of Eastleigh College/ECTA. The other finalists are Umesh Kara of Climate Control (South East), studyng at the College of North West London; Gavin Murray of Montgomery Refrigeration, a student at South East Regional College; Chris Bailie of BL Refrigeration, studying at South East Regional College.

All will now go head-to-head in a three-day practical task at the Skills Show from November 14 to 16 at the NEC in Birmingham.

Contestants will have to tackle the complex installation and commissioning of a refrigeration system into a simulated cold room in the quest to be crowned SkillFridge champion.

SkillFridge is organised by SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering.

“Based on the standard witnessed in the heats we’re expecting this to be the most competitive UK final we’ve seen so far,” said Neil Collishaw of SummitSkills.

“With the Skills Show this year hosting even more competitions over a larger area, the stage for SkillFRIDGE is really exciting and a once in a lifetime chance for the competitors to demonstrate their skills to a huge audience.”

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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

DuPont seizes R134a counterfeits in China

CHINA: US refrigerant manufacturer DuPont has announced the seizure of 300 cylinders of counterfeit R134a in Hangzhou province, China.

DuPont identified Hangzhou Sporlan Heating and Refrigeration Company Ltd as a potential counterfeiter through a tip from another, unnamed, refrigerant manufacturer.

A raid of Hangzhou Sporlan facilities was performed by local law enforcement authorities and counterfeit cylinders and packaging were seized.

According to DuPont, the investigation confirmed that these were counterfeit refrigerant cylinders carrying the trademarks DuPont and SUVA as well as trademarks of another major manufacturer.

Hangzhou Sporlan was required to a pay damages to DuPont for the crime committed. In addition, Hangzhou Sporlan agreed to cease to use, advertise or otherwise infringe on the DuPont, SUVA and ISCEON trademarks and word marks. In addition, the agreement required that Hangzhou Sporlan reveal all their suppliers and information associated with bulk refrigerants, cylinders and carton packages of counterfeit goods so subsequent investigations can be pursued.

DuPont has not revealed whether the cylinders actually contained R134a, a sub-standard gas or a blend of other gases but DuPont Refrigerants’s global business manager Greg Rubin said "Counterfeit refrigerants present a danger to the marketplace, in terms of potential safety and environmental issues, as well as the possibility of equipment failure. In addition, counterfeit refrigerants can include CFCs and HCFCs in containers marked as HFCs which raises an illegal import issue and can be in violation of international treaties, such as the Montreal Protocol."

This is not the first time DuPont has taken action in China. At the end of last year the US manufacturer completed a two-year effort to stop the counterfeit activity of another Chinese company, Quzhouzhou Fuming Co Ltd in Quzhou City.

In that case a raid in September 2011 resulted in the seizure of 1,500 empty refrigerant cylinders with DuPont Suva and Freon packaging, 1,000 counterfeit labels and 1,000 counterfeit DuPont Freon R22 cylinders. Despite a cease-and-desist letter, the company continued to sell the counterfeit refrigerants. A judicial settlement was reached in August 2012 with the Chinese company being required to pay the equivalent of $39,400 to the Chinese government and to pay $32,000 in damages and court costs to DuPont.

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NAACEA: TM44 should have same status as EPCs

UK: The recently formed National Association of Air Conditioning Energy Assessors (NAACEA) has called for air conditioning energy assessments to enjoy the same legal recognition as Commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

The call follows yesterday’s statement by B&ES regarding the growing concern over the lack of enforcement for mandatory TM44 air conditioning inspections and the fact that over 95% were operating illegally.

“Whilst it is quite right of B&ES and other interested bodies raising concerns about the enforcement of the legislation introduced through the implementation of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), we believe that the legislation introduced covering commercial EPC’s should rightly be extended to the mandatory air conditioning energy assessment,” said NAACEA chairman Neil Dady.

“This simple extension of the legislation would force landlords and commercial property owners to act or risk trading standards issuing fines of up to 12.5% of the rateable value, capped at £5,000, as a penalty for non-compliance.”

Under legislation introduced on January 9 this year all commercial properties sold or let must have an EPC commissioned prior to, or within 7 days of, being put on the market. There is a further 21 days allowed for the completion and acquisition of the EPC after which time fines can be imposed’.

“Both EPCs and Air Conditioning Inspections are part of the same Government regulations,” continued Neil Dady, “But it seems greater emphasis is being given to the value of an EPC, that in itself, does not provide the detailed recommendations generated through a well written air conditioning energy assessment report.”

According to the NAACEA, since mandatory lodgement was introduced in April 2012 over 16,000 inspections have been carried out in England and Wales (mandatory lodgement has not yet been introduced in Scotland).

“So although there are concerns about enforcement there are a large number of energy assessors getting on with the job.”

NAACEA says it is is keen to bring together all interested parties in order to coordinate a national awareness campaign.

“It is our belief that because of the various commercial interests of all parties (accreditation bodies and assessment companies) any traditional marketing of inspections is very fragmented and almost non existent,” said Dady.

“It is also important that we do not lose sight of the energy saving benefits that are being identified by energy assessor’s, quite often the cost of assessment is easily recovered through savings if the recommendations are fully implemented.”

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HFC use down as EC meets to agree phase-outs

EUROPE: As the negotiations get underway in Europe to phase-down HFCs, a new report suggests that European use of HFCs in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment is static and may be declining.

The tripartite negotiations on amendments to the F-gas regulations began yesterday in the EU after the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) agreed on a mandate for the Lithuanian presidency.

The chair of COREPER I ambassador Arūnas Vinčiūnas noted, that reaching an agreement by co-legislators before the end of this year will allow early implementation of the F-gas Regulation amendment, including its phase down schedule. The Lithuanian presidency will now negotiate with Parliament with a view to agreeing what it describes as "a clear regulatory framework ensuring substantial reduction of fluorinated greenhouse gases in cost effective manner and at the same time giving clear signals for development to the industry."

Current phase-out timetable proposals that F-gas emissions should be reduced in the order of 70-78% by 2050 and by 72-73% by 2030, along with suggested equipement bans, are likely to be met with stiff opposition.

The negotiators have sat down armed with latest figures from the European Environment Agency which suggest that the use of HFCs used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment is declining. These latest figures which cover the production, import and export of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the European Union in 2012 show that although refrigeration and air conditioning is by far the largest market for F-gases (62%), their usage in this sector declined by just over 4% from 53,606 tonnes in 2011 to 51,392 tonnes last year. In terms of CO2 equivalents, however, the reduction was just 0.23%.

While the effects of the recession cannot be ignored, the production, import and export of HFCs for the refrigeration and air conditioning sector declined by around 25% from its peak in 2010 in terms of both tonnage and CO2 equivalents. HFCs for acr usage is down over 20% since 2007 and down over 13% in CO2 equivalents

Exports were relatively stable at 21,041 tonnes but down 8.5% on CO2 equivalents.

Refrigerants pre-charged in imported or exported equipment are not included in the figures.

For F-gases as a whole, which includes perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) in addition to HFCs, production appears to stabilise after a sharp decline from 2007 to 2010. While in metric tonnes, HFC production is dominant (above 90%), the share of SF6 and PFC is highly relevant when measured in CO2-equivalents. It has been gaining weight consistently since 2009. Imports of F-gases have been on the decline since 2008, with a dip in the 'economic crisis' year of 2009. Similar to production data, exports (when measured in metric tonnes) appear to stabilise after the sharp decline that was observed from 2007 to 2010. When measured in CO2-equivalents, however, 2011 and 2012 export levels exceed the 2007 starting point, mainly due to increasing SF6 exports. Finally, the longer-term trend for EU net supply shows a stabilisation at levels which are close to the 'economic crisis' year 2009. Quantitatively, PFCs are not significant for any of these parameters.

SF6 is of relatively minor relevance if expressed in metric tonnes (8% or less), but its very high GWP increases its contribution to the overall share when expressed in CO2 -equivalents. In GWP-weighted tonnes, SF6 in 2012 accounts for 55% of exports, 17% of net supply and (combined with PFCs) 47% of production. Imports were very much HFC‑based, with only 6% being SF6. 

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Grimsby Ice Factory on Monuments Watch

UK: The Grimsby Ice Factory, with its historic, irreplaceable Grade ll* listed refrigeration equipment, has been selected as one of the World's most treasured places by the New York based World Monuments Fund.

The Ice Factory and Grimsby's surrounding Kasbah district have been selected for inclusion on the 2014 World Monuments Watch.

The Watch is intended to call international attention to the challenges facing cultural heritage sites around the world. Inclusion on the list provides an important opportunity to promote the site locally and internationally and work towards its protection.

"The timing of this announcement could not be more fortuitous, as we prepare to make our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the bulk of the £12m required to take the Ice Factory project forward," commented Vicky Hartung, chair of the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust (GGIFT).

"We are very grateful to Jon Wright (then of the Council for British Archaeology) whose suggestion it was to nominate the Ice Factory, and who wrote a strong letter of support; to Dr. Jonathan Foyle (CEO of the WMF Britain) and his team, who visited Grimsby in July and saw first hand the magnificence and dereliction of the Factory; and to the Prince's Regeneration Trust, NELC officers, and everyone else who has advocated for this project over the past three years."

The World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organisation dedicated to saving the world’s most important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe.

The Grimsby Ice Factory was the largest in the world when it opened in 1901. It closed in 1990 and has since received grade-ll* listing for the rarity of the refrigeration equipment contained within it. The centrepiece is the plant room containing four huge J&E Hall four-cylinder compressors of 16.5in diameter, 15in stroke. The compressors are over 80 years old.

You can find out more about the World Monuments Fund listing here:

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Monday, 7 October 2013

Over 95% of ac systems in breach of energy regs

UK: A lack of enforcement is in serious danger of killing off the TM44 air conditioning inspection regime, according to the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES).

Under UK energy efficiency regulations, all air conditioning systems in buildings with a cooling capacity of over 12kW should have been inspected – but fewer than 5% actually have been, according to Bob Towse, head of technical and safety at B&ES.

“This means that the vast majority of such systems have been in breach of the law for at least two years,” he said.

“Apart from the potential legal penalties, building owners and managers are missing out on the energy efficiency benefits that are flagged up by the inspections,” said Mr Towse.

All air conditioning systems put in place on or after 1 January 2008 should have been inspected within five years of installation, with older systems over 250kW output inspected by January 2009, and other systems above 12kW inspected by January 2011.

“Very few building owners are even aware of their legal responsibility, while local authorities – who are charged with enforcing this law – are not doing a great job of it,” Mr Towse pointed out.

The B&ES maintains that many industry observers fear that the inspections will go the same way as other measures, such as the Code for Sustainable Homes, as the Coalition Government looks to cut what it regards as “business red tape”.

Mandatory air conditioning inspections were brought in under the implementation of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), with “compulsory lodgement” of the reports through the Government’s non-domestic energy performance certificate register being introduced two years ago.

Bob Towse
However, the Government has since doubled the cost of lodgement, and there have been problems with the software imposed on certification bodies by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

“It is complex, time-consuming and not at all user-friendly,” said Mr Towse. “The assessors are contractors trying to make a living in a tough economic environment, so they will not be encouraged by being forced to use ‘glitchy’ software and to pay more for the privilege.”

B&ES has also pointed to other anomalies in the system, including the fact that fines for non-compliance can be less than the amount paid for an inspection – the maximum penalty is just £300. Insurance companies are also reported to be offering policies to cover building owners and operators who might be caught out by the scheme.

“Under compulsory lodgement, it should be easier to trace buildings that are failing to comply with their legal obligations, but there is little evidence that this is being done – and local authorities do not appear to have the expertise, resources and/or inclination properly to take on the challenge,” Mr Towse insisted.

“However, if the regime is allowed to die, so will a central pillar of the country’s strategy to reduce energy waste in buildings – and to help businesses cut their running costs.”

Neil Dady chairman of the recently formed National Association of  Air Conditioning Energy Assessors commented: "It is quite right for B&ES to raise these concerns. Energy assessors are increasingly frustrated by the lack of activity by the Government to raise awareness and enforce legislation. However NAACEA also believe that the accreditation bodies and assessors need to do more to co ordinate our own efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of the inspection.

"Because of the various commercial interests of all parties any marketing of inspections is very fragmented and almost non existent." 

NAACEA says it wants to bring the interested parties together with the hope that a national awareness campaign can be launched.

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Sunday, 6 October 2013

Price is right for The Ice Co

UK: The storage and logistics arm of Europe’s largest ice manufacturer, South Kirkby-based The Ice Co, has bought the cold store division of David Price Food Services.

The deal includes the David Price depots in Glasgow and North Tyneside, along with 29 employees.

The new business will trade as The Ice Co Distribution Ltd, a subsidiary of the J Marr Group.

Belle Tyson, managing director of J Marr Ltd said: “The Ice Co is delighted to have acquired the sites in Glasgow and Wallsend, North Tyneside, and is looking forward to integrating them into the group and growing the business.

“The acquisition of these sites further supports the J Marr Group’s strategy, which is to increase the services, storage and distribution it offers across the UK.”

In addition to these new sites we also have existing depots in South Kirkby, Newark, Fleetwood, Preston, Driffield and London.

David Price Food Services Ltd was established in 1988 following the purchase of a coldstore from the Hays Group and offering storage and distribution services for the north east food manufacturing industry.

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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Tilburn is new FSDF president

Garry Tilburn: second term as president
UK: The UK’s Food Storage and Distribution Federation (FSDF) has appointed Garry Tilburn of Reed Boardall Cold Storage as its new president. In this his second term as president, he succeeds Malcolm Johnstone who has stepped down after three years in the role. 

As managing director of Reed Boardall Cold Storage Ltd for over 20 years and having worked in the food sector for 40, Garry Tilburn is well know in the industry. Reed Boardall Cold Storage is one of the biggest temperature controlled sites in the UK, with a capacity of over 142,000 pallets.

Mr Tilburn brings a wealth of experience to his new role as president, having fulfilled the position at many other federations and companies, including the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses for over seven years.

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New company offers "green" options

UK: Green Cooling is an innovative new refrigeration company supplying the foodservice industry with coldrooms, high efficiency CO
2 cooling systems and capitalising on full or partial heat recovery. 

Launched in March of this year by Garry Broadbent and Dave Blinkhorn, Green Cooling has already picked up a number of major contracts including supplying and installing around 35 coldrooms per year to a major UK restaurant chain. Other jobs have seen the team involved with the installation of a CO
2 system in London’s Cafe Royal and the company is currently involved with supplying equipment to the proposed new Stonehenge visitor centre. 

Chef James Martin in front of his new Meat Market Fridge
A recent high profile job sees a Green Cooling coldroom taking pride of place in a new restaurant opened by celebrity chef James Martin within the Manchester 235 Casino.

While the refrigeration demands of catering facilities are usually dealt with at the back of house, away from the eyes of customers, at Manchester 235 the refrigerated coldroom is a key feature within the restaurant.

Green Cooling supplied a refrigerated dry-aging room behind a 2.5m x 1.5m window that would allow the meat to be viewed from the restaurant.

“This a unique way of involving diners with the produce directly in the restaurant environment,” commented Green Cooling’s David Blinkhorn. “We have designed and installed many feature wine walls to achieve the same objective within a restaurant but this is a great example of refrigeration working with design to create a striking & unique feature for the stored meat.”

Green cooling working on behalf of Modo CKD provided a complete design, specification and installation service that included the cold room structure, the highly-insulated argon filled Meat Market Fridge window along with a stainless steel meat rail, low noise refrigeration system and ancillary equipment.

Green Cooling
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Daikin Japan to launch R32 in commercial ac

JAPAN: Already being deployed in its residential air conditioning units in Japan, the low GWP, HFC refrigerant R32, is now being introduced by Daikin in a range of commercial units for the first time.

It was 12 months ago that Daikin announced the introduction of R32 in all residential models sold in Japan. Daikin India was next to adopt R32 in its Ururu Sarara units, followed in June this year by Daikin Europe announcing the arrival of R32 in small splits this autumn.

While the emergence of R32 products in Europe is still awaited, Daikin Japan has today announced that it will introduce of a range of Five Star Zeas commercial units in Japan on November 1.

The new units are in sizes up to 6hp and feature a range of indoor units. In addition to the adoption of R32, a key feature of the new design is Daikin’s PLR (pressure loss reduction) refrigerant circuit which is said to optimise the use of R32.

R32 is a single component, zero ODP gas with a GWP around a third that of R410A - the refrigerant it replaces. It is classified as A2L, or mildly flammable, under ASHRAE classifications.

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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Maximum efficiency at full and part loads

UK: McQuay has launched a new air-cooled chiller which is said to maximise performance at both part and full loads by incorporating both a built-in inverter and variable volume ratio.

Based on the J&E Hall single screw compressor running on R134a, the ATS chiller is available in three versions from 170 to 730kW and is said to offer the highest efficiencies and smallest footprint of any chiller on the market.

The chillers have a capacity range three times as wide as the units they replace. On top of this, full load efficiency (EER) is 35% better, seasonal efficiency (ESEER) is 26% higher, and the unit is 30% smaller.

The ATS solves the dilemma of choosing between an inverter-driven chiller offering high efficiency at part loads or a non-inverter-driven unit for high efficiencies at full loads.

“The ATS unit gives you the best of both worlds in a single chiller with no need to compromise on efficiency or reliability,” says McQuay UK’s chiller technical manager James Henley.

A twin circuit offers redundancy and the in-built inverter design ensures a power factor constantly higher than 0.95 at full load. All the unit’s electronic components and boards are sealed by special coating that protects them against moisture and vibrations.

In-built temperature control maintains a constant 40°C throughout the entire functional envelope by means of a regulating valve, controlled by a solid-state relay. Heaters are switched on during stand-by hours at low ambient temperatures to eliminate moisture and prevent freezing.

The VVR controller’s moveable slide is positioned by the controller in two possible positions. This, along with advanced controller software, ensures a variation in the discharge side geometry. The result is an optimised pressure ratio depending on the compressor’s working conditions.

Thanks to a dynamic condensing pressure management system, the controller is able to modulate the chiller’s running conditions to achieve the optimum working point.

The ATS chiller also features high efficiency condenser coils made with internally enhanced seamless copper tubes arranged in a staggered row pattern to improve the efficiency still further.

Other features and benefits include an integrated sub-cooling circuit, economised refrigerant circuits and inverter-driven, brushless axial condenser fans with superior aerodynamic wing-profile blades for enhanced performance and acoustic efficiency.

Payback is said to be, typically, around three years or as little as one year in process cooling applications.

The chillers and compressors have been tested for more than 12,000 hours in factories, on selected job-sites in Europe and Middle-East, and at extreme ambient temperatures of up to 50°C in Dubai.

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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Danfoss Turbocor releases 1234ze compressor

USA: Danfoss Turbocor Compressors has now announced the production and sales release of the new TG310 compressor, using the low GWP refrigerant HFO1234ze(E).

Protoypes of the new compressor were made available to oems last year for development work in air-cooled chillers.

The final TG310 compressor now on general release carries the CE mark and CE PED mark. It ranges from 230 to 310 kW and is is suitable for use with 400V, 50Hz power supplies.

Similar to the company’s current TT series compressors, the TG310 models are oil-free, variable-speed, magnetic bearing centrifugal compressors. They are said to offer outstanding full- and part-load energy efficiency and feature a small footprint, light weight, low vibration, very low sound, intelligent controls, and soft starting characteristics.

As well as possessing a GWP of just 6, Danfoss Turbocor says that the HFO1234ze shows improved energy efficiency compared to the current R134a model.

“The TG310 is a highly energy efficient and environmentally progressive compressor, and represents the innovation our customers expect from the pioneer and world leader of oil-free, centrifugal compressors for the hvac industry,” said Doug Bishop, Danfoss Turbocor vice president of marketing and communications. “We look forward to the rapid adoption of the technology as customers seek to enhance the sustainability of their hvac systems.”

The market was first alerted to Turbocor’s work with 1234ze at the beginning of 2011 when UK companies Klima-Therm and Cool-Therm announced that they were making available a chiller using a Turbocor compressor running on the refrigerant.

The British companies, which had developed the chiller in association with Italian manufacturer Geoclima, retracted its announcement after Danfoss Turbocor insisted that its compressor had not been verified for use with HFOs.

Klima-Therm and Cool-Therm later developed a chiller running on 1234ze using Frascold semi-hermetic compressors.

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Airedale to move to temporary site

Airedale will build a new, state-of-the-art factory at its fire-hit Rawdon site

UK: Fire-hit manufacturer Airedale International is to move to a new temporary production site in Leeds within the next few weeks.

The air conditioning manufacturer, which was hit by a devastating fire on September 6, is to transfer production to a 130,000ft2 facility in Gelderd Lane. Meanwhile, there are plans to design and build a new, state-of-the-art factory, business suite and technology centre facility at the existing site in Rawdon, Leeds.

Clive Parkman, Airedale’s Managing Director said: “I firmly believe that we can build a bigger, stronger Airedale that will see us secure our world-leading, award-winning position in the market for another 40 years and beyond.”

With key items of plant including sheet metal and paint shop intact, Airedale intends to transfer production to the ‘Leeds West’ site, which is located on one of the main routes into Leeds and close to the motorway networks. The new facility provides sufficient space to house production and administration until the existing site is redeveloped.

In the interim, much of the manufacturer’s normal operations are said to be continuing virtually without interruption.

Service engineers attended at customer sites from day one, as planned, and production of controls, small systems, condensers and condensing units was equally quickly resumed. Some of its production of systems destined for the Southern hemisphere has also been picked up by Airedale’s sister company in South Africa. In the weeks up to the move, Airedale is concentrating on fabrication and component assembly so that units can be built and despatched as soon as the new site is operational around mid October.