Embraco's R290 Condensing Unit
Embraco's R290 Condensing Unit

Embraco Launches R290 Condensing Units for European Market, Targeting Foodservice

The lineup, 7 to 9% more efficient than HFC units, will be highlighted at Chillventa in October.

Embraco, part of Nidec Global Appliance’s portfolio of brands, has announced a new range of indoor propane (R290) condensing units for Europe, especially for foodservice applications, such as under-counters, blast chillers, cold rooms and reach-ins.

The lineup will be one of the groups of products highlighted at the Chillventa trade show, which will be held in Nuremberg, Germany, October 11–13, 2022. The new range follows customized R290 condensing units that Embrace has been offering in recent years.

A new feature in the R290 condensing units is a mini-channel condenser technology, which is based on thinner tubes that raise the pressure on the refrigerant and require a smaller refrigerant charge than other technologies. Another feature is electronic fan motors (ECM technology) in all models, which further increases energy efficiency.

In size, the new R290 models are as compact as the current HFC refrigerant range, with heights ranging from 254 to 322.5mm (10 to 12.7in). The equivalent displacement options go from 4.5 to 38cm3 (0.27 to 2.3in3) for both low- and medium-temperature applications. The cooling capacity ranges from 0.4 to 2.8kW (0.1 to 0.8TR) on medium back pressure (at -10°C/14°F) and 0.3 to 1kW (0.1 to 0.28TR) on low back pressure (at -35°C/-31°F).

The new portfolio comes in three pre-defined configurations for OEMS or installers.

The new R290 portfolio, equipped with Embraco compressors, can achieve an energy efficiency improvement of between 7 and 9%, compared to the current HFC range of condensing units, said Embraco.

Compressors options include fixed-speed models launched in the last three years, such as the EMX, EMC, NEX, NTX and NJX, as well as variable-speed models, such as FMFT and FMFD.

Compliance with EU regulations

“With this new line, our goal is to combine the latest technologies with the best alternative in refrigerant options, to offer a future-proof solution, regarding regulations over global warming potential (GWP) of commercial refrigeration equipment,” said Alessandro Pedrazzi, EMEA Distribution and Aftermarket Sales Senior Manager at Nidec Global Appliance.

On January 1, 2022, the new GWP limit defined by the European Commission’s F-gas regulation entered into force. It bans thermetically [JH4] sealed refrigeration systems that contain HFCs with GWP of 150 or more from use in refrigerators and freezers used for storage, display or distribution of products in retail and foodservice. In 2025, the same restrictions are set to cover other commercial refrigeration applications, such as [JH5] ice machines, ice cream makers, milk coolers, water fountains, blast chillers and beer dispensers.

“We consider that natural refrigerants, such as R290, are the best alternative to comply with the current and future regulations because they combine energy efficiency with ultra-low GWP,” said Pedrazzi. “The natural refrigerant R290 has a GWP of less than 1 (according to new studies of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in August 2021). And our experience with Embraco compressors show that it can represent up to 10% of energy savings in the refrigeration system, in comparison with HFC refrigerants.”

This new lineup’s energy efficiency levels will also help commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturers to be compliant with the EU’s Ecodesign and Energy Labels, which have defined categories of energy consumption for professional refrigeration equipment since 2016 and for food retail refrigeration equipment since March 2021.

“We consider that natural refrigerants, such as R290, are the best alternative to comply with the current and future regulations because they combine energy efficiency with ultra-low GWP.”

Alessandro Pedrazzi, Nidec Global Appliance

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