Johnson Controls' OpenBlue Innovation Center in Cork, Ireland.
Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue Innovation Center in Cork, Ireland.

Johnson Controls Acquires Hybrid Energy, Producer of Ammonia Absorption/Compression Industrial Heat Pumps

The acquisition expands JCI’s high-temperature industrial heat pump offerings to temperatures over 100°C.

Ireland-based Johnson Controls International (JCI) has announced the acquisition of the Norway-based Hybrid Energy to expand JCI’s offerings of high-temperature industrial heat pumps with a patented ammonia/NH3 (R717) heat pump that can achieve temperatures above 100°C (212°F).

Hybrid Energy’s heat pump technology converts low-temperature energy to high-temperature energy using ammonia mixed with water at standard pressures (25bar/14.5psi) in what Hybrid Energy calls a hybrid absorption/compression process. District and industrial heating and processes have been Hybrid Energy’s focus.

JCI expects Hybrid Energy’s heat pumps to provide cost-effective sustainable solutions for industrial customers while addressing decarbonization.

“It’s an exciting time in our industry as we come together to bring the next generation of safe, sustainable energy management technologies to market,” said Claude Allain, President, Johnson Controls HVAC/R and Data Centers. “Hybrid Energy is well positioned in its ability to deliver extremely high-temperature process heating while maintaining energy efficiency – and with the reach and resources of Johnson Controls, we will be able to solve the challenges of more customers.”

“Between Hybrid Energy’s unique heat pump technologies, the reach and capability of Johnson Controls and the collective brain power from both, we’ll help advance a sustainable future by setting the standard for high-temperature industrial heat pumps,” said Rune Rinann, CEO of Nordic Technology Group, Hybrid Energy’s previous parent company. Rinann feels it is time for clean energy technologies to become available and used globally as many countries diversify their energy sources.

According to Hybrid Energy, while a traditional heat pump using pure ammonia can heat water to 50°C (122°F) with a design pressure of 25bar (362.6psi), the company’s Hybrid Heat Pump can heat water to 120°C (248°F) at that pressure using the same equipment.

The absorption/compression process used by Hybrid Energy was patented by August Osenbrück in 1895. “The problem was turning the process into a robust and commercial product,” the company said. “With its patented technology, Hybrid Energy made it possible with its first commissioning in 2004.”

Long history in industrial refrigeration

JCI operates in more than 150 countries with over 100,000 employees, offering a large portfolio of building technology, software, and service solutions, the company said.

JCI said it has a history of working with innovators to bring cutting-edge technology to a global audience. Last September, Denmark-based Sabroe, a sub-brand of JCI, celebrated 125 years of supplying industrial refrigerators systems. According to JCI, from Sabroe’s early CO2 (R744)-based systems that “revolutionized 20th-century dairy and abattoir operations” to its modern ammonia chillers and heat pumps manufactured today, “Sabroe supports industries in Denmark and around the world, said JCI, including “energy infrastructure and transportation, pharmaceuticals and the food and beverage industry.” JCI acquired Sabroe in 2005.

“Hybrid Energy is well positioned in its ability to deliver extremely high-temperature process heating while maintaining energy efficiency.”

Claude Allain, President, Johnson Controls HVAC/R and Data Centers

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