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Klass Visser
Klass Visser

Klaas Visser, Unforgettable Innovator of Natural Refrigerant-Based Systems, Passes Away at 83

Originally a Dutch maritime engineer, Visser lived for many years in Australia, where he developed many ‘industry firsts.’

Klaas Visser, owner of Australia-based KAV Consulting and a well-known innovator of industrial refrigeration systems using natural refrigerants, especially CO(R744), and ammonia (R717), has passed away at the age of 83.

A service will be held 2 pm on August 7 at the Bendigo Funeral Centre, 29 Miller Street in Bendigo, Victoria (Australia).  It will be live streamed at https://bendigofunerals.com.au/streaming/

A frequent speaker at HVAC&R conferences around the world, Visser was known for his wit and joie de vivre, as well as his fierce advocacy of natural refrigerants. He developed a series of “world firsts,” including the first multifunction two-stage transcritical CO2 refrigeration system with parallel compression, and a follow-up version using the first hybrid COevaporative condensers.

“He made such a huge impact on so many people and projects in the HVAC&R industry,” said Erwin Boermans, Founder and Managing Director of Australian engineering consultancy COMFORTiD.

Originally a Dutch maritime engineer, Visser “travelled the seven seas” before settling in Australia, noted Boermans.

“Klaas had a lust for life, a fire inside that gave all around him energy,” said Marc Chasserot, CEO of ATMOsphere, publisher of R744.com. “He is a true member of the ‘Natural Refrigerants Hall of Fame.’ Last time we spoke he was still working on his CO2 projects, constantly trying to improve, innovate. Best of all, Klaas was fun. I already miss his jokes and fantastic stories.”

Marc Chasserot, CEO of ATMOsphere, interviews Klaas Visser about Visser’s friend and mentor, CO2 refrigeration pioneer Gustav Lorentzen.

Visser worked from 1976 until 1994 with his friend and mentor, Norwegian CO2 refrigeration pioneer Gustav Lorentzen, considered the father of the modern CO2 refrigeration cycle. “He taught me quite a number of things, [including] that CO2 was probably the best refrigerant for all applications in the world,” said Visser, in a video interview with Chasserot. “This is slowly coming through, with many more applications happening day-to-day.”

“CO2 holds the key to a lot of environmental problems, as an alternative refrigerant without global warming potential or ozone-depletion potential but also because of its multifunctional characteristics,” Visser said. “It can effectively heat and cool buildings, generate hot water, and so on.”

Visser acknowledged that he had to prove to himself that Lorentzen was correct about CO2 as a refrigerant. “He gave me the concepts but I’m the sort of guy that [says] ‘show me first,’” he said.

Visser confirmed that “Gustav was right across the board.”

“He made such a huge impact on so many people and projects in the HVAC&R industry.”

Erwin Boermans, Founder and Managing Director of COMFORTiD

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