Mayekawa USA MYCOM (Mayekawa) exhibited its FUGU mCHILLER water-cooled ammonia/NH3 (R717) chillers for the first time in the U.S. at the AHR Expo, generating a lot of interest from building mechanical engineers, said Troy Davis, Energy Group Manager for Mayekawa USA MYCOM.
AHR Expo took place from January 31 to February 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Mayekawa USA MYCOM introduced the FUGU mCHILLER water-cooled NH3 chillers to the U.S. market late last year after extensive factory testing in Europe. “It was developed by our Mayekawa Nordic Team for the European market to compete against standard HFC and HFO chillers at a good cost point and [as a] complete unit, ready to go,” said Davis.
Many building mechanical engineers were interested in this technology due to its very low ammonia refrigerant charge and compact package, said Davis. “Industrial end users for food processing also liked the package as factory-built and plug-and-play-type equipment for chilled-water or process-cooling applications.”
In addition, Davis said that this year he is seeing more interest from building mechanical engineers in using ammonia chillers for comfort-cooling applications.
To date, Davis said he has several units quoted for wineries, breweries, food processing and some larger district cooling/campus projects, but no installations in the U.S. yet.
Greater interest in NatRef heat pumps
Davis said that interest in the U.S. in heat pumps using natural refrigerants has been growing due to the electrification trend and carbon-emissions reduction goals announced in the last few years.
“Market penetration is increasing for both CO2 [R744] and NH3 packaged heat pumps,” said Davis.
Mayekawa offers UNIMO air-to-water and water-to-water CO2 heat pumps as well as larger-capacity PlusHEAT NH3 packaged water-source heat pumps. These heat pumps also generated a lot of interest at the AHR Expo this year, Davis said, for a variety of applications including domestic hot water (DHW) systems for buildings, food-and-beverage processors, and industrial manufacturing facilities with waste heat recovery opportunities.
“Our CO2 heat pumps are popular for DHW systems [ in buildings] and smaller food-and-beverage processors, whereas our larger-capacity NH3 heat pumps are finding a market for hydronic heating systems [in buildings] and DHW applications for larger campuses, universities and food-and- beverage processors,” said Davis. “So it seems commercial and industrial heat pump applications using natural refrigerants are now becoming more of an interest and utilized than previous years from the inquiries we received at the AHR Expo this year.”
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