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Refrigera Booth at 2024 Mostra Convegno Expocomfort.
Refrigera Booth at 2024 Mostra Convegno Expocomfort.

Refrigera Launches 140bar Hermetic Service Valve for CO2 Systems

This is the first time the company has launched a service valve without a ball inside, according to COO Roberto Sabatino.

Italian component manufacturer Refrigera has announced the launch of a new two-way hermetic service and charging valve rated up to 140bar (2,030psi) to provide sectional maintenance in operating transcritical CO2 (R744) systems.

“This is a first for our company, launching a service valve without a ball inside,” said Roberto Sabatino, Refrigera’s Chief Operating Officer, in an interview with ATMOsphere at the Mostra Convegno Expocomfort, held March 12‒15 in Milan.

Service advantages: The hermetic valve, with a stem moving up and down to close or open a pipe, removes bubbles that can pass through closed ball valves, Sabatino explained.

Market context: Compared to 2022, the HVAC&R market slowed in 2023, with Sabatino acknowledging that Refrigera closed the year with sales down 7%. However, 2022 and 2023 should be viewed together for an accurate market picture, he said.

  • OEMs started 2022 with a low warehouse stock inventory due to several factors, including the Russia–Ukraine war.
  • While heat pump sales have slowed in Europe, Refrigera is seeing increased demand for its heat pump components from customers in North America and Northern Europe. In addition, Sabatino noted that demand for components for traditional refrigeration systems has ticked up.
  • Refrigera has seen an “incredible boost” to its sales through the first quarter of 2024. “I am spending more time in the plant than in my office,” Sabatino said.

Refrigera production: According to Sabatino, Refrigera offers 500 standard components in its catalog, with roughly 90% of all its products designed for natural refrigerant systems, including those for subcritical and transcritical CO2 applications.

  • Working with OEMs, the company has developed an additional 1,600 customized products.
  • Refrigera sells products in more than 70 countries, with markets in Australia, Europe and North America. All of its design and manufacturing occurs in Italy.

A three-pronged approach: “We focus our production on three strategic factors: product reliability, innovation and customization,” Sabatino said. “We are investing in improved materials to increase product life. We invest in product innovation to meet market demand, with our four-way reversing ball valve for CO2 heat pumps launched in 2015 acting as a great example. And we work with OEMs to co-develop components for specific applications, [and that] experience carries over into our other products.”

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