ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - 59

ASHRAE - CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

IMAGE: DANFOSS

FIGURE 7 Compressor development timeline.

their original performance over
time, validating the long-term
performance maintenance benefit. Recent studies have shown
that oil-free compressors do not
incur any mechanical wear that can
adversely affect performance over
time. Independent studies have also
shown that most chillers installed in
the field have excess oil in the system which can also adversely affect
performance (ASHRAE Research
Project Report RP-751). This risk is
eliminated with oil-free compressor
technology.
In the last few years, the industry has recognized the value which
oil-free centrifugal compression
provides, including with the validation coming from several additional
related technology developments.
The result has been that, what was
once the dream of a development
team in Australia, has become the
mainstream HVAC industry technology solution for mid-size air- and
water-cooled chillers.
For the most recent developments,
we determined the opportunity to
bring those same technology benefits to an expanded application
array. Expanding a compressor
application array in our industry
generally means higher differential
temperatures and pressures (lift,
in dynamic compression terms).
The main constraint in expanding

FIGURE 8 Recent compressor developed for higher
lift (differential temperature/pressure) conditions.

PHOTO: DANFOSS

first phaseout step in-place in 2016
and the second in 2018.
This has presented ongoing challenges to the industry as a whole-
but also raises opportunities. With
the combination of technologies
also comes the flexibility to adjust
the design to accommodate alternative refrigerants, including one
of the HFO alternatives that meets
the long-term ultra-low GWP goals,
and allows an efficiency gain vs the
current refrigerant baseline while
trading off capacity. This long-term
solution furthers a user's ability to
meet current and future environmental goals, lower both direct and
indirect CO2 emissions, and also
minimize the long-term risk associated with utilizing the refrigerant
it replaced. Thus, oil-free magnetic
bearing compressor technology has
expanded from a single compressor
with a single HFO, to four different
platforms with an additional lowGWP option.
In the larger capacity segment,
where customers were already making purchase decisions based on
life-cycle cost analysis, the same
technology concept could provide
benefits vs the currently-available
solutions.
On the oil-free long-term performance benefit and after extended
period of operation, oil-free compressors have proven to maintain

to higher lift applications with an
oil-free magnetic bearing-based
centrifugal compressor design
is in managing forces. Managing
these forces becomes significantly
easier with a mechanical design
that separates the two compression
stages, balancing the axial (backand-forth) form of those forces. This
new design expands the technology
application potential from traditional water-cooled and temperate
climate air-cooled to higher ambient
air-cooled, heat pump (water-towater and air-to-water), thermal
storage and medium temperature
process applications.

What The Future Holds
With over 70,000 compressors
installed mostly in water-cooled
and air-cooled chiller applications,
additional improvements to reliability and performance, it is now
time to determine the next opportunity. Luckily, the constantlyevolving refrigerant and efficiency

APRI L 2020

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ASHRAE JOURNAL

59


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ASHRAE Journal - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - April 2020

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - 3
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - 4
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - 6
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - 8
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ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - April 2020 - Cover4
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