Japanese manufacturer Mayekawa has begun supplying its FUGU mCHILLER water-cooled, low-charge ammonia/NH3 (R717) chillers to the U.S. market, having installed 40 to 50 units in Europe this past year, according to Troy Davis, Energy Group Manager for Mayekawa USA MYCOM.
Davis shared that information at the AHR Expo, which took place February 6-8 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
The FUGU mCHILLER is a plug-and-play solution for air conditioning, data center cooling and process cooling for industrial and food and beverage producers, including breweries and wineries. According to Mayekawa, the benefits of the units are safety, low operational costs, reliable performance and easy installation.
Mayekawa offers three sizes of the FUGU mCHILLER, supplying chilled water or glycol from 12 to 53°F (-11 to 11.7°C). The FUGU mCHILLER has a low charge, ranging from 0.5 to 0.75lbs (0.23 to 0.34kg) of ammonia per ton of cooling capacity, which provides 200 to 300TR (703 to 1,055kW) per module, said Davis. The coefficient of performance (COP) for the three models ranges from 4.94 to 7.2.
Last year, at the 2022 AHR Expo, Davis said the FUGU mCHILLER generated a lot of interest from building mechanical engineers. For building cooling, “you can put an outdoor package outside and transfer the heat outside.” An advantage of using ammonia refrigerant is “it is pretty much the only refrigerant that goes straight up into the atmosphere, unlike CO2 [R744] and synthetics that [initially] fall down because they are heavier than air.”
Davis observed that “there’s a lot more knowledge about natural refrigerants” in the U.S., adding, “it took 10 years, but they are finally aware, and [the U.S. market] is changing quickly.”
Last May, Mayekawa announced the first FUGU mCHILLERS were installed in France, Germany and Spain. At the 2023 AHR Expo, Davis reported that 40-50 units have now been installed in Europe. Mayekawa is expanding its production facility in Europe to meet the increased demand and allow additional storage to support the supply chain.
One European customer representative, Søren Gram, Managing Director, Svedan Industri Køleanlæg, said, “The Mayekawa [FUGU] ammonia chillers did give promised capacities and efficiencies. The total system has performed to end users’ full satisfaction.”
Additional information on the FUGU mCHILLERS units is on Mayekawa’s website.Last year, Mayekawa also introduced an air-cooled, low-charge ammonia chiller, the mCHILLER TAKA at the Chillventa trade show last October in Germany.
ATMOsphere Natural Refrigerant Label
Last fall, Mayekawa Europe received the Natural Refrigerants Label from ATMOsphere, publisher of Ammonia21.com.
“Natural refrigerant technologies and energy-efficient solutions have been and will remain our top priority at Mayekawa,” said Mayekawa Europe. “We strongly believe that natural refrigerants are the future of our industry. The ATMOsphere label is a recognition of our efforts toward a more sustainable world.”
To qualify for the label, Mayekawa had to demonstrate company vision, customer satisfaction, and measurable impact in the natural refrigerant manufacturing and marketplace.
“It took 10 years, but they are finally aware, and [the U.S. market] is changing quickly.”Troy Davis, Mayekawa USA