Viessmann R290 Heat Pump
Viessmann Vitocal 250A-Pro. Photo Credit: iF Design Awards.

Viessmann R290 Commercial Heat Pump Wins Gold iF Design Award

The German manufacturer’s air-source Vitocal 250-A Pro unit, designed for modernization, provides 70°C flow temperatures.

The Vitocal 250-A Pro air-source propane (R290) commercial heat pump, manufactured by German OEM Viessmann Climate Solutions, has won a 2024 gold iF Design Award for setting “a new aesthetic benchmark in the product category of large heat pumps.”

“Despite having an architectural quality, it is not over-designed,” said the iF Design Award jury. “By using a natural refrigerant, this heat pump reduces its environmental footprint compared to models that use synthetic refrigerants, [making it] a worthy winner!”

Viessmann released the Vitocal 250-A Pro heat pump in the spring of 2023, replacing a previous model that used F-gas refrigerants.

Established by iF Design in 1954, the annual iF Design Award recognizes concepts, products and projects in nine disciplines. The 2024 contest had a record 10,800 submissions from 72 countries, which were evaluated by a jury of 132 design experts from 23 countries. Only 75 submissions were awarded gold.

Viessmann was the sole heat pump manufacturer to win gold in the Product and Building Technology categories. Several companies were awarded gold in the Product category, including Apple, Kia and Fujifilm, while only three received gold in the Building Technology group.

Awards will be presented to the winners on April 29 at the Friedrichsstadt-Palast in Berlin.

Viessmann Climate Solutions previously won a gold iF Design Award in 2021 for its R290 Vitocal 25x-A residential heat pump.

“By using a natural refrigerant, this heat pump reduces its environmental footprint compared to models that use synthetic refrigerants, [making it] a worthy winner!”

iF Design Award JJry

For modernization projects

According to Viessmann, the Vitocal 250-A Pro system is developed for modernization projects and can use existing radiators with or without underfloor heating. According to the company, the heat pump can be installed in commercial buildings, multi-family buildings and smaller non-residential buildings.

The unit provides 70°C (158°F) flow temperatures in ambient temperatures down to −10°C (14°F), with a rated heating output from 2.6 to 13.4kW (0.8 to 3.8TR).

“[It] makes particularly efficient use of environmental energy for heating and cooling, with a COP of up to 5.3,” the manufacturer says. “The integrated management system ensures transparency in energy consumption and cost.”

The monobloc design requires 60% less space than comparable models, with the “whisper-quiet” operation allowing placement anywhere on the property, Viessmann says.

Florida-based OEM Carrier Global Corporation announced it was acquiring Viessmann Climate Solutions for €12 billion ($12.7 billion) from the Viessmann Group in April 2023. The deal was finalized in December after receiving regulatory approval from the European Commission.

“[It] makes particularly efficient use of environmental energy for heating and cooling, with a COP of up to 5.3.”

Viessmann

Other award-winning designs

The 2023 Red Dot Awards, an annual international design competition put on by Red Dot since 1992, featured four R290 monoblock heat pump awardees:

  • The A-series heating system, an air-source heat pump water heated manufactured by China-based GD Midea Heating & Ventilating Equipment, has “a characteristic design language” that ensures a “uniform appearance in the house,” according to the Red Dot jury.
  • The Dotels Window Blinds Design Heat Pump “harmonizes excellently with contemporary building architecture due to its functional design language,” said the Red Dot jury. China-based GZ Dotels Electric Appliances, a partner company of China-based Axen, manufactures the unit.
  • The Hellas R290 heat pump series, manufactured by China-based Guangdong Warmhouse Technology, uses a vertical grille to conceal the operating fan and other internal components. “The series impresses with its modern straightforwardness where form and function go hand in hand,” the Red Dot jury said.
  • The Volcanic Plus air-source heat pump, also manufactured by Guangdong Warmhouse Technology, “derives its appeal from the juxtaposition of textured and smooth surfaces complemented by color accents,” according to the jury.

The U.K.-based 2022 Build It Awards recognized Swedish manufacturer NIBE for its propane air-to-water S2125 heat pump, awarding it Best Heating System or Product. According to the manufacturer, the unit can supply water temperatures of up to 75°C, with up to 65°C (149°F) in ambient temperatures down to −25°C (−13°F).

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