Westermeyer Centrifugal Oil Separator
Westermeyer booth at 2024 AHR Expo. Photo credit: Westermeyer LinkedIn

Westermeyer Introduces Centrifugal Oil Separator for Transcritical CO2 Systems

The new TOS-Series operates in maximum working pressures up to 1,885psi.

U.S.-based Westermeyer Industries, a designer and manufacturer of HVAC&R components, has introduced a new centrifugal oil separator, dubbed the TOS-Series, for transcritical CO2 (R744) systems with maximum working pressures up to 1,885psi (130bar).

According to the company, the “first-of-its kind” oil separator is an update to the “tried-and-true design” of stripping oil from refrigerants using centrifugal motion. Gary Westermeyer, Founder and President of Westermeyer Industries, helped develop the centrifugal oil separation technology.

The company is “wrapping up” provisional patent details on the technology, Adam Chapman, Sales Manager at Westermeyer Industries, told NaturalRefrigerants.com.

“Our TOS-series [will] help to meet [growing market] needs by providing efficient performance and cost-effective installation and service,” said Chapman.

The higher operating pressures and temperatures required by transcritical CO2 refrigeration make oil separation more challenging than synthetic systems due to the smaller density difference between the refrigerant and the compressor oil.

“[We] hope that the addition of centrifugal oil separators in the CO2 space will make way for further progress and product innovation in CO2 refrigeration,” Chapman said.

According to ATMOsphere’s 2023 Natural Refrigerants: State of the Industry report, there has been “robust growth” in commercial and industrial transcritical CO2 systems installed in Europe, Japan and North America. ATMOsphere is the publisher of NaturalRefrigerants.com.

Different design, similar idea

French HVAC&R component manufacturer Carly has a similar product on the market, its TURBOIL-R-P14 oil separator, for subcritical and transcritical CO2 applications, with working pressures up to 2,030psi (140bar). The manufacturer finalized the technical documentation of the design last November.

The patented TURBOIL system separates oil and refrigerant by simultaneously using “breaking speed, change of direction, centrifugation and coalescence,” Carly says.

Carly claims up to a 99.5% oil separation efficiency and recommends using TURBOIL-R-P14 for low-temperature CO2 applications.

During an appearance on the HVACRadio podcast in 2021, Chapman remarked that coalescence separators are “bulletproof with regard to oil separation” as long as they are sized correctly to the system cooling load. He added that the coalescence separator has a higher pressure drop than a centrifugal one and requires a filter.

Founded in 2001, Westermeyer Industries manufactures refrigeration system components in its 100,000ft2 (9,290m2) facility in Bluffs, Illinois, with products installed globally.

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