The Alfa Laval AC540 CO2 heat exchanger
Alfa Laval CO2 heat exchanger AC540

Alfa Laval Launches CO2 Heat Exchangers for Flooded and DX Evaporation

The AC540 brazed-plate heat exchanger family is designed to minimize the evaporator’s refrigerant charge and reduce the pressure drop on the secondary side, saving energy.

Swedish manufacturer Alfa Laval has just launched a new brazed-plate heat exchanger series, the AC540, which is suitable for CO2 (R744) refrigeration, particularly in flooded and DX evaporation, and includes technologies like Alfa Laval’s own DynaStatic refrigerant distribution system.

The products were officially announced on Alfa Laval’s website on February 23.

“Alfa Laval invests heavily in product development, and our focus on innovation is really apparent in this new family of brazed heat exchangers,” said Fredrik Ekström, President of AlfaLaval’s business unit for brazed and fusion-bonded heat exchangers.

“The unique asymmetric plate design of this family makes it possible to minimize the evaporator’s refrigerant charge and also reduces the pressure drop on the secondary side, making it possible to use a smaller pump, which lowers electricity consumption and reduces overall costs,” Ekström added.

The AC540 heat exchanger family

The Alfa Laval AC540 heat exchanger family includes four models, with two of them, called the ACP and CBP, suitable for CO2 refrigerant. The series is “ideal” for use with multiple-scroll chillers ranging from 250kW to 800kW (71.1 to 227.5TR) capacity. It is 750mm (29.5in) high and 400mm (15.7in) wide.

The CBP is a single-circuit model with a design pressure of 60bar (870.2psig). It can be used as a flooded CO2 evaporator, making it possible to “extend the benefits of plate technology to duties that were traditionally limited to shell [and] tube heat exchangers,” according to Alfa Laval. It can operate at 800kW (227.5TR), cooling 30% propylene glycol from 20°C to 13°C (68°F to 55.4°F) and evaporating CO2 at 10°C (50°F).

The ACP has the same design pressures as the CBP, and the AC in the model code indicates that the refrigerant distribution system is included within the unit, in this case Alfa Laval’s own DynaStatic distribution. Its intended function is as a DX evaporator in subcritical cascade systems.

Dynastatic distribution

The integrated DynaStatic distribution system can be optimized for a particular refrigerant and application, “provid[ing] high performance in evaporation and condensing duties,” according to Alfa Laval’s website. “In many cases, this performance can be 20 – 40% greater than comparable heat exchangers without a distribution system. This offers big advantages both for reversible systems and when defrosting is key to the application.”

Alfa Laval has designed the AC CO2 heat exchanger line particularly for air-conditioning, chiller and heat pump applications. In addition to the flooded and DX evaporator applications, the units can also be used as condensers for rejecting or recovering heat to water, economizers, subcoolers and desuperheaters.

Alfa Laval recently launched its net-zero strategy, and it includes increased focus on both low-GWP refrigerants and energy efficiency. An “important aspect is reducing the energy required per unit of cooling,” Alfa Laval said. “The AC540 family is targeted to do both, in a kW range designed to meet the requirements of system builders.”

“The 540 family is a great addition to Alfa Laval’s comprehensive portfolio of efficient, innovative and sustainable solutions. And of course, just like all of our products, they are supported by a worldwide network of experts who truly understand our customers’ business needs,” the announcement concluded.

“The unique asymmetric plate design of this family makes it possible to minimize the evaporator’s refrigerant charge and also reduces the pressure drop on the secondary side, making it possible to use a smaller pump, which lowers electricity consumption and reduces overall costs”

Fredrik Ekström, Alfa Laval

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