GEA Refrigeration Technologies has increased the efficiency of its freezer systems by approving its semi-hermetic GEA Bock HG and HA compressors for operation with the refrigerant R407F.
R407F had several advantages over the commonly used R22 refrigerant, the gas which has traditionally been used in commercial refrigerators for four decades, said GEA.
R22 – or chlorodifluoromethane - is a greenhouse gas and its manufacture creates a byproduct that significantly contributes to global warming. As a result its use in the food industry is being phased out.
Use of R407F is more efficient that other R22 alternatives such as R404A. It is also estimated to have a 50% lower Global Warming Potential (GWP).
Significant increase in energy efficiency
“Laboratory tests showed that the use of R407F results in a significant increase in the energy efficiency of a system, compared to R404A,” said GEA.
“Only based on the compressor, this results in an increase at the relevant operating points of the Coefficient of Performance of 5-10% in deep freezing as well as 7-12% in normal cooling.”
In addition, R407F requires less system adaptations when replacing R22, said GEA. However, its use leads to high discharge end temperatures in deep freezing, the company said, so compressors usually require the use of a cooling fan as well as liquid injection.
Integrated external air cooling
GEA has solved this issue with its air-cooled GEA Bock HA compressors. Designed with integrated external air cooling, they can easily be operated with F407F in deep freezing without additional investment in cooling fans or liquid injection, the firm said.
In the GEA Bock HA model, the drive motor of the compressor is cooled via an air guide hood.
GEA is one of the largest suppliers of process technology and components for the food and energy industries. It generated revenues in excess of €5.4bn in 2011, 70% of which came from the food and energy sectors. The group employs 24,000 people globally.