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BluAstrum reduces energy consumption in refrigeration

Ammonia chillers for applications in industry and in building HVAC

The challenge in terms of sustainability:

In refrigeration, the objective is to provide useful energy under application of a minimum of primary energy: i.e., with maximum efficiency. In the past, however, efficiency has chiefly been considered under operational conditions of full load. The current viewpoint has, in contrast, focused on the case of partial load, which is in fact highly relevant in actual practice. In addition, users are increasingly demanding refrigeration systems that operate with natural refrigerants – since synthetic refrigerants and their leakage can contribute to depletion of the ozone layer and to environmental warming.

The initial situation:

In many industrial operations, refrigeration equipment with synthetic refrigerants (FKW / HFKW) is being operated in which continued use is expensive or forbidden – or which should be replaced by modern machines owing to lack of efficiency. Examples here are older plants that are still using R22. Investors and operators of industrial refrigeration plants, and of HVAC-equipped buildings, expect efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration components.

The solution:

GEA Grasso BluAstrum is the name of a range of screw chillers with great efficiency and compact dimensions. This simplifies the replacement of old plants, since  BluAstrum can be delivered to the installation point through standard doors. This range operates with the natural refrigerant ammonia, which has no ozone-depletion potential and does not contribute to environmental warming. Owing to its material properties, ammonia is one of the most efficient refrigerants. BluAstrum is designed for refrigerant outlet temperatures of -15 to 15 °C. A key element of the BluAstrum is newly developed, efficient screw compressors. Owing to the compressor speed-control range between 1,000 and 4,500 rpm, and the so-called Vi setting, they operate with outstanding performance and with good efficiency at partial and full loads. The feasible energy-efficiency ratio (ERR) is accordingly up to 5.2. The elimination of an oil pump also contributes to efficient use of the electrical energy used by the new compressor. Long-life bearings and advanced processing methods for the rotors minimize maintenance expense and positively influence life-cycle costs. The new compressor range is planned to include six models within the performance range of 500 to approx. 1,800 kW. The first model available on the market has refrigeration capacity of around 1,000 kW for HVAC applications. The BluAstrum range enables bridging the gap between HVAC solutions and industrial applications: both with use of an old yet future-oriented refrigerant: ammonia. With its long service life, outstanding manufacturing processing, quiet operation, and best-possible graduation adaptation in operation, the BluAstrum is optimally suited for use in continuous industrial operation as well as for the seasonal requirements of building HVAC.

The sustainable strengths:

In addition to its enhancement of energy efficiency and use of natural ammonia as refrigerant, the BluAstrum is characterized by its small footprint (1,000 kW cooling capacity on 5 m²). It is therefore well suited as replacement for older or inefficient plant equipment. For new facilities, it requires comparatively little surface area, with smaller constructed space – which minimizes building and building-operation costs or which, conversely, enlarges the usable space available. Thanks to the noise-suppressing enclosure, low-maintenance operation, and simple delivery and installation, BluAstrum is also outstandingly suited for the HVAC of larger buildings: e.g., office complexes and multi-purpose halls. It is highly convincing here with its good partial-load efficiency. Thanks to frequency-controlled compressor-speed control, and the Vi setting, BluAstrum achieves a European Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ESEER) of 8. Its energy efficiency is the state of the engineering art and is among the very best on the market. BluAstrum chillers make a sustainable contribution to energy and cost savings in industrial refrigeration.

The inventors:

GEA Refrigeration Technologies
GEA Refrigeration Technologies, part of the internationally active GEA Group, is a synonym for industrial refrigeration technology. Starting as long ago as the end of the 19th century, it has been our business to cool processes and products and to temperature-control transported goods. You will find our solutions in the food and beverage sectors; in the petrochemical, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries; on fishing ships; in natural gas liquefaction; in infrastructure facilities; and in ice plants. We have likewise gained the best experience for refrigeration in leisure facilities. In fact: refrigeration has been our passion for many decades. As a result, our colleagues are enthusiastically at work in development and production – as well as in the preventive and remedial maintenance of your refrigeration equipment.

Brief profile of the company:

Name: GEA Refrigeration Technologies
Headquarters: Bochum, Germany
Year established: 1896
Employees: 3,147
Solutions: refrigeration components and solutions
Internationality: global