January 22, 2008
With environmental impact a key concern for the entire HVACR industry, global metals manufacturing and technology company Luvata has further developed the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refrigerant in its new solutions. From an environmental point of view CO2 is a superior alternative to environmentally-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), as well as being non-flammable, non-toxic and less expensive. Luvata has explained that, as well as potentially offering zero ozone-depletion and less effect on global warming, the use of CO2 can also allow more efficient operation of the system than traditional refrigerants.
The technology, developed by Luvata’s coils and coolers division, has been selected by The Coca-Cola Company for use in environmentally-friendly vending machines for the 2008 Beijing Olympics as part of the global beverage company’s commitment to sustainability.
Giovanni Simeoni, Head of Sales and Marketing, Product Development and R&D for Luvata’s ECO-Heatcraft division, explained the benefits of using CO2 as a refrigerant: “In addition to the environmental advantages, it has a higher heat-transfer coefficient than traditional refrigerants, which can lead to increased efficiency in the heat transfer equipment it is used in. The higher volumetric efficiency of CO2 refrigerant (known as R744) also means that the cross-sectional area of pipes used in heat transfer equipment can be reduced. As a result, equipment has the potential to be smaller, lighter, more efficient and better for the environment.”
This is one of the first launches in the HVACR market from Luvata following its acquisition of the world-leading coils and coolers manufacturers, ECO Group. Mr Simeoni, who has spent over 30 years with the group, commented: “ECO Group started the development of this particular CO2 application in response to the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol and the demands of customers who were increasingly concerned with the environmental impact of traditional HVACR solutions. We are delighted to bring this latest development to the market as further evidence of the company’s commitment to sustainable HVACR.”
Luvata has many years of experience in thermodynamics and an in-depth knowledge of heat transfer. As a result, the company is a supplier of many key multi-national companies, including Tesco, to which Luvata has supplied refrigeration coolers for a large ‘eco-supermarket’, as well as Coca-Cola.
Mr Antoine Azar, Global Technical Manager - CO2 project, from The Coca-Cola Company commented: “As a company we are committed to sustainability and minimising the environmental impact of our operations. At the 2008 Olympic Games, all of our coolers and vending machines will feature CO2, a natural, HFC-free refrigerant.”
Until recently, CO2 had only been used as a refrigerant in commercial applications. Luvata believes the promising results seen from this new technology will mean that, over the coming years, its market will expand to include refrigerated transport, automotive and residential air conditioning, as well as commercial and marine applications.
Mr Simeoni concluded: “Luvata invests in R&D and product design to help us find solutions to the challenges facing the HVACR industry, both now and in the future. We will continue to focus on the development of environmentally-friendly solutions, such as the use of CO2 as a refrigerant, for the mutual benefit of our customers and the HVACR industry as a whole.”
Formerly known as Outokumpu Copper Products and acquired from Outokumpu OYJ by Nordic Capital in 2005, Luvata is the leading international metals supplier of solutions, services, components and materials for manufacturing and construction. Luvata’s solutions are used in industries such as power generation, architecture, automotive, transport, medicine, air-conditioning, industrial refrigeration, consumer products and construction. The company’s continued success is attributed to its longevity, technological excellence and strategy of building partnerships beyond metals. Employing over 8,500 staff in 18 countries, Luvata works in partnership with customers such as Siemens, Toyota, CERN, Shaaz, and DWD International.