Evapco Expands Line of Low-Charge Ammonia Chillers

Evapco Expands Line of Low-Charge Ammonia Chillers


U.S. OEM Evapco has announced the expansion of its LCR-C line of low-charge packaged ammonia chillers, adding capacity and larger compressors for production and process cooling as well as air conditioning in a range of industrial applications.

Evapco, based in Taneytown, Md. Introduced the line in 2017 with the SS (small-single family) unit, 10 of which have been installed in the field, including at several dairies, a food ingredient manufacturer, a chemical manufacturer and a produce warehouse, according to Kurt Liebendorfer, Vice President at Evapco. 

He described the “sweet spot” for the LCR-C chiller product line to be 0-35°F (-17 to 2°C) chilled-fluid temperatures.

The new products – which have almost doubled the SS product’s nominal capacity of 130TR (457kW) to 250TR (879kW) at 22°F (-6°C) supply glycol – include the LS (large-single family) and LD (large-dual family) models. Both new models also increase the nominal capacity of the system at 44°F (7°C) chilled water – used for large air conditioning systems– to 400TR (1,406kW) from 150TR (528kW). The units can be ground- or roof-mounted, indoors or outdoors.

The LS model is available with larger single compressors with variable vi technology, eliminating the need for a compressor VFD, including at part-load operation. The LD model offers redundant dual compressors, each rated for 50% of total unit capacity.

All LCR-C chiller units are designed with an ammonia charge of approximately 1 lb/TR (130g/kW), according to Evapco, which also produces low-charge ammonia packaged freezer units.

AC applications

Liebendorfer noted that Evapco is air conditioning one of its own manufacturing plants – a 130,000ft2(12,000m2) building that produces several of Evapco’s core products – with an LCR-C chiller using 44°F chilled water.

While the Evapco chillers can be used in commercial AC applications, Liebendorfer acknowledged that the cost of commercial grade water chillers with HFC or HFO refrigerants designed for the AC applications are typically half the price of the low-charge ammonia chillers. That’s because “the ammonia chillers are intentionally designed for colder temperatures than AC-temperature levels,” he said.

Other differences, he said, are that the industrial-grade Evapco chillers are designed for a 30-year life, twice that of commercial-grade chillers; and commercial-grade water chillers cannot typically be applied to applications below 32°F (0°C) chilled-fluid temperatures. 

The price premium for industrial-grade low-charge ammonia chillers applied to AC applications “will decrease over time, but is a current hurdle unless there are other project drivers such as sustainability mandates for natural refrigerants, energy-efficiency requirements or a requirement for industrial grade equipment,” he said.

“The ammonia chillers are intentionally designed for colder temperatures than AC-temperature levels.” 

Kurt Liebendorfer, VP, Evapco

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