Sabroe, Johnson Controls.

Johnson Controls’ Sabroe Celebrates 125 Years of Business

The Danish manufacturer has been producing natural refrigerant-based heating and cooling systems since 1897.

Denmark-based manufacturer Sabroe, a sub-brand of Johnson Controls International (JCI), is celebrating 125 years as a “pioneer in industrial refrigeration systems,” according to a recent statement from JCI.

From its first CO2 (R744)-based refrigeration machine, built by engineer Thomas T. Sabroe in 1897, to the ammonia/NH3 (R717) chillers, heat pumps and other technologies that it manufactures today, Sabroe has been providing its customers with natural refrigerant-based cooling and heating systems for over a century.

“This anniversary is a truly remarkable moment for our Johnson Controls team in Denmark,” said Lene Overgaard Andersen, General Manager at Johnson Controls Denmark. “Our more than 700 employees in Denmark are extremely proud of our rich history [and] we all feel privileged to continue to pursue the innovation journey that Thomas T. Sabroe embarked on 125 years ago.”

125 years of sustainable refrigeration

The manufacturer’s first refrigeration machine “revolutionized industrial refrigeration,” transformed the city of Aarhus – where Sabroe was founded – into a “dynamic industrial town” and boosted the entire region’s economy, according to JCI.

In addition to being exported to several European countries, the system was used in dairies and abattoirs across Denmark, “contributing greatly” to the development of the country’s agricultural sector, JCI added.

Since then, Sabroe has evolved with the acquisition of other brands and eventually becoming a brand under JCI in 2005.

Today, Sabroe’s “reliable and sustainable” refrigeration and heating systems support numerous industries within Denmark and around the world, from energy infrastructure and transportation to pharmaceuticals and food and beverage.

“Sabroe products and applications have enabled millions of people to enjoy a modern lifestyle [by providing] a farm-fresh meal in the middle of the city [or] a cold drink on a sunny day, or making sure that the internet, powered by energy-optimized data centers, never overheats,” said JCI.

“Sabroe products and applications have enabled millions of people to enjoy a modern lifestyle [by providing] a farm-fresh meal in the middle of the city [or] a cold drink on a sunny day, or making sure that the internet, powered by energy-optimized data centers, never overheats.”Johnson Controls

Decarbonizing for the future

Sabroe is now “renowned” for its “cutting-edge, high-quality products” that “support customers in achieving their decarbonization goals through well-tested green technology, using natural refrigerants,” said JCI. “Not only is this viable and sustainable, but also safe and energy efficient, reducing costs and providing clean heating and cooling to several industries, including district heating.”

Earlier this year, it was announced that a new “super” hospital being built in Denmark would use an ammonia-based district cooling and heating system from JCI that includes chillers, heat pumps, a heat exchanger and other auxiliary equipment manufactured by Sabroe. The 11MW (3,128TR) is expected to save the hospital 80% of its electricity consumption and prevent the emission of 500–700 metric tons of CO2e per year.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank our customers, partners and suppliers all over the world for choosing Johnson Controls as their trusted partner and we remain fully committed to continuously developing solutions that meet market demands and drive sustainability goals,” said Andrea Vallejo, Vice President and General Manager for Global Industrial Refrigeration at JCI.


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