U.S.-based Johnson Controls International (JCI) has announced an update of its Frick Rooftop Freezer (RTF) product line with its new Frick Freezer Penthouse Evaporator-Retrofit, model FPHE-R, designed to improve reliability, ease of installation and maintenance accessibility for industrial refrigeration applications.
The FPHE-R design is configured for ammonia (R717). However, based on customer needs, other types of low or ultra-low GWP refrigerants, such as CO2 (R744) or water, can also be used in the units with a different evaporator design, said JCI.
“Our line of freezer evaporator units has been proven in the field for the past four decades,” said Chris Paraskevakos, Vice President of Product Management at JCI. “We’ve heard our contractors and advanced this product line to meet today’s industrial refrigeration challenges.”
“A rerouting of the low-voltage [120V] junction box brings electrical access to the exterior of the unit, eliminating the need for electrical penetrations by the contractor,” said JCI in a statement. “There is no longer a need to run low voltage wires through the walls of your evaporator,” JCI said in additional information, which improves serviceability and reliability since moisture and air cannot infiltrate or escape the unit.
The retrofit puts the unit in a “lower height” box, reducing the weight and making it easier to ship for a cost-effective solution, JCI said. The upgrade also includes larger access doors closer to the ground, allowing technicians to walk directly into the unit.
JCI also added a single-layer rubber roof membrane to the unit, creating a weatherproof seal to “prevent air and water infiltration that could cause ice build-up and other issues in the unit.” The new exterior is darker in color and finished to reduce the adhesion of dust and dirt.
Designed to sit on roof curbs open to cold rooms below, the FPHE-R allows building owners to choose various configuration options, including factory-mounted and wired fan-motor starters and a removable cooling-coil access panel.
The FPHE-R units maintain the same footprint and duct openings as the RTF product line, making it “ideal” for retrofits or replacement applications, JCI said. “The product line will further expand in the next year,” Paraskevakos said.
“We’ve heard our contractors and advanced this product line to meet today’s industrial refrigeration challenges.”Chris Paraskevakos, Vice President of Product Management at JCI
New engineering center
On May 17, JCI announced breaking ground on a new 105,000ft2 (9,755m2) engineering center and laboratory facility located across from its Glendale, Wisconsin, campus, in collaboration with Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based real estate owner and developer Weas Development.
The facility, expected to be completed in late 2024, will provide space for approximately 250 engineering and technology-focused employees to design and test “smart, healthy and sustainable building technologies,” JCI said in a statement, with JCI to lease the property from Weas Development.
“This new facility is an important step for Johnson Controls and a continuing sign of our commitment to innovation and the Milwaukee metro community we call home,” said George Oliver, CEO of Johnson Controls.
JCI’s portfolio of natural refrigerant products includes ammonia-based chillers, compressors, evaporators and heat pumps for commercial and industrial use from sub-brands that include Frick, Sabroe and a recent acquisition, Hybrid Energy.