sull'edizione 2003 dell'IKK
quest'anno, la rivista APPLIANCE si è recata ad Hannover,
in Germania, per assistere all'edizione 2003 dell'IKK, la Fiera
Internazionale dedicata ai prodotti della refrigerazione, del
condizionamento dell'aria e della ventilazione.
corso della fiera sono stati esaminati molti nuovi sviluppi
ed in particolare il contenuto della proposta del Parlamento
Europeo e del Consiglio d'Europa relativa alle emissioni di
alcuni gas serra fluorurati pubblicata lo scorso agosto.
Tra gli altri
argomenti, sono stati esaminati anche il rapporto sul mercato
del condizionamento dell'aria tedesco; la fusione della Electrolux
Compressors nella nuova società denominata Appliance Component
Companies (ACC); le ultime novità di Danfoss, Embraco
e Airwell; e la crescente diffusione di prodotti con inverter
sur l'IKK 2003
magazine APPLIANCE s'est rendu à Hanovre, en Allemagne
afin de rédiger un article sur l'IKK 2003, la Foire
Internationale de la Réfrigération, Climatisation
de cette manifestation, plusieurs thèmes
ont été évoqués dont notamment
la publication de la proposition du Parlement européen
et d'une « Council Regulation » relatives à certains
gaz de serre fluorés au mois d'août 2003. Ou encore
un rapport sur le marché de la climatisation allemand,
la fusion des Compresseurs Electrolux en une société nouvellement
constituée, Appliance Component Companies (ACC), les
changements instaurés à Danfoss, Embraco, et
Airwell, ainsi que la croissance des lignes de produits d'inverseurs à dérivations
zur IKK 2003:
Zeitschrift APPLIANCE reiste nach Hannover (Deutschland),
um über die IKK 2003, die internationale Fachmesse für
Kälte, Klima und Lüftung, zu berichten.
der Messe wurden zahlreiche Marktentwicklungen besprochen,
allem die Veröffentlichung des Richtlinien-Vorschlages
zu fluorierten Treibhausgasen im Europäischen Parlament
im August 2003. Andere Themen waren ein Bericht zum deutschen
Klimaanlagenmarkt, die Fusion von Electrolux Compressors
in sein neu gebildetes Unternehmen, Appliance Component
Companies (ACC), Entwicklungen bei Danfoss, Embraco und
das Wachstum von Multi-Split-Inverter-Produktlinien.
Hannover Fairgrounds hosted the 24th IKK exhibition, the International
Trade Fair for Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Ventilation, on Oct.
In comparison to ISH - the
Frankfurt, Germany-based HVAC/R fair that also covers sanitation -
IKK is a smaller trade show that focuses on commercial refrigeration
and ventilation. But while this year's IKK occupied only four halls
of the Hannover Fairgrounds, many suppliers of compressors, refrigerants,
and cabinets were present.
This year was the second time IKK was held in Hannover. It used to
be in Nürnberg, in the south of Germany, but now the two cities will host the event intermittently. There has also been discussion about the show's annual cycle: some companies, such as Carrier, only attend every 2 years. But IKK feels that the innovation cycle in the industry needs to be an annual platform. Also, because IKK is designed for customer dialogue and industry networking and does not focus on "grand exhibition presentation" and
new product introductions, the event is relatively low-cost and low-key,
at least compared to Frankfurt's large-scale ISH. For example, the show
organizers offer a low-cost rental exhibition stand as part of the basic
stand rental cost; two-story stand construction has been banned; and
stand height has been limited to a 4.5-m maximum.
Another argument in favor of the annual cycle is the "vacuum" that
would be created by a 2-year cycle: another industry event would immediately
fill this gap.
Several market developments were discussed at the fair, but one of the most important issues was the recent (August 2003) publication of a proposal from the European Parliament and Council on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases. With this, the EU states are on the way to reducing the use and controlling the marketing of the greenhouse gases listed after the acceptance of the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. This means that new challenges are in store for manufacturers, plant assemblers, and operators.
The Kyoto Protocol commits the European Community to cut its emissions by 8 percent in the first obligatory period (2008 to 2012); this means a total reduction equivalent to 336 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Important elements of the EU proposal are measures against leaks (prevention, inspection, leak detection systems, etc.), recovery from existing circuits, personnel training and certification, and reporting the use of fluorinated gases to the Commission.
The ban on the use of fluorinated gas in car air-conditioning (HFC-134a) could be the most controversial issue of the regulation. There is a flexible system planned for a gradual phase-out from 2009 onwards, with a financial penalty set at the end of the phase-out period.
A fresh and simple approach was chosen by the Association of European Refrigeration Compressor and Controls Manufacturers (ASERCOM). The Association emphasized that 14 percent of total electrical power consumption in Germany is for cooling and refrigeration purposes, and that reduction of energy consumption is just as important as using the right refrigerants. Therefore, the organization has an Energy Efficiency Award (worth 10,000 euro), which was rewarded to three cooperating European companies - Thermetica of the UK, Dehon Service of France, and Mergl Engineering of Germany - that have developed a more efficient method of achieving peak cooling capacity in an agriculture setting, using ice slurry.
This "Thermal Storage Technology" generates the ice slurry not at heat
exchanger surfaces, but in the fluid of the storage tank itself. For
this purpose, a special, non-water miscible cold liquid flows through
the storage tank as transport fluid for the latent heat of ice generation
to be cooled back by the refrigeration system. The I-storm solution,
based on this technology, enables peak energy loads for cooling to be
shifted to off-peak times and has major advantages for air-conditioning
and other cooling loads. It is used for cooling milk on farms, where
high peak loads are required.
Other market developments at the fair
included a report on the German air-conditioning market. Unlike some
appliance markets, it is reporting healthy growth during recent years.
hot 2003 summer contributed to this trend. Market growth in units is
estimated at 15 percent for 2003.
One of the recent trends in air-conditioning is designing stylish
room units. Pictured is Daikin's Your Style indoor unit.
Driving this growth (other than the Europe's sweltering weather) are improvements in efficiency (lower-running costs), purchase prices, and convenience aspects such as sound level reductions. Many Europeans used to have a negative attitude against air-conditioning, but since the car industry managed to make air-conditioning almost a standard feature, attitudes have been changing. The German customers, well known for their high demands regarding comfort, seem to appreciate the low noise levels and better performance of inverter systems and are willing to pay the price.
Another trend seen at the show is further development of multi-split inverter product lines, such as the new outdoor units from LG Electronics, which can drive up to six indoor units, with a 13-KW max capacity.
LG's stylish indoor units also stood out at the fair, including its Art Cool units, which come in blue, silver, and wood finishes. Even a mirrored surface is available, and the remote control was even redesigned. The company also offers a Wide Art Cool line with higher capacities.
company Tadiran Appliances LTD traveled from Israel to
exhibit at IKK 2003, held in Hannover, Germany.
Daikin, a pioneer of inverter systems, proudly stated that inverter systems counted for almost 90 percent of split-system sales. Current German laws required the switch to R407C, and Daikin claims to be the first manufacturer to offer a full spectrum of R407C products. Still, the next preferred step is the switch to R410A due to its better performance and smaller components.
Daikin's VRV2 product line is fully redesigned to work with the higher pressures of R410A and has so far proved its success in the marketplace since its introduction in 2003. In June, European production of VRV2 products started in Belgium. There are now three product lines - Siesta (domestic, small office), Professional, and Your Style (Daikin's design line).
Daikin claims that multi-split is "a Daikin domain." The company offers
a wide range of multi-split products, including seven different indoor
units and outdoor units in nine capacities, four of which can reverse
the cycle and serve as a room heater.
Compressors Merges Into ACC
Although its exhibit was clearly marked Electrolux Compressors, the
exhibitor was Appliance Component Companies (ACC), the new company formed
out of (amongst others) Electrolux Compressors. Mike Deaton, area manager
of North America, told APPLIANCE: "As Electrolux decided its core business
was appliances, it transferred its motors (for wet products) to the new
company ACC (in 2002). In 2003, the Compressor Group joined ACC, composed
by the fully owned companies Zanussi Electtromeccanica SpA. (Italy),
Verdichter Oe. GmbH (Austria), Unidad Hermetica and Cubigel S.A. (Spain),
and the joint ventures Zanussi Elettromeccanica Tianjin Compressor Co.,
Ltd (China) and Shanghai Zanussi Electtomeccanica Co., Ltd (China)."
ACC's staff totals approximately 6,000 employees, with five compressor
and three motor factories in Europe and China. "In commercial compressors,
we work worldwide; in household, the focus is on Europe and the U.S.
Of course, with this inheritance, we still are the largest supplier for
Electrolux," Mr. Deaton said.
He also commented
on the ongoing energy efficiency trend in the compressor business. "Customers
expect improvements almost every year. Sometimes they are forced; in
many markets government regulations drive improvements," Mr. Deaton said. "In
use of refrigerants, there are severe differences. In Europe, R600a is
widely used. It is isobutane and flammable, but highly efficient. In
the U.S., they use the non-flammable R134a. It is a hydrocarbon, but
not as efficient. Commercial customers often use R404a when higher capacities
One of ACC's newest products is the GD30FDC, a new model for the recreational
market. With a 12-V d.c. motor and a built-in transformer, it can reportedly
be used in many different environments. It can also run on solar energy sources.
The company's new X-line of household compressors replaces the K-line and offers
a 10-percent efficiency improvement. According to Mr. Deaton, new motor technology
and lighter and stronger pump parts has allowed for less friction and lower
Also, a modular design for commercial markets can be found in the company's CGL
range. These condensing units allow all components to be selected separately.
ACC has also designed the valves on the front side of the units for easy maintenance.
Mr. Deaton noted that while CO2 is clearly the direction many developers
are looking into for the future, there are many problems to be solved. "The
energy efficiency and the price levels leave much to be desired," he
innovation already on the market is our car air-conditioning maintenance
unit. A special heavy-duty compressor (type RL90) is used to recover
refrigerants from car air-conditioners. No other compressor has been
designed to work under these heavy conditions."
Considered the largest compressor manufacturer in the world, Brazil-based
Embraco employs about 9,000 people in factories located in Brazil, China,
Italy, and Slovakia. Total production is estimated at 24 million units.
Embraco started in business in the 1970s, but quick expansion in the
1990s brought the company to its current size.
"Remember that we started with a Danfoss design, long ago, and now we are the market leader," Erivan Piazera, global market manager of Commercial Refrigeration told APPLIANCE. "Our
global market share is about 25 percent, but varies across the continents.
In Latin America it is 79 percent, in the U.S. 50 percent, and in Europe
35 percent. The Asian market is more difficult for us."
eye catcher at Embraco's IKK stand was a transparent
version of its top model variable-speed VCC compressor.
Mr. Piazera noted that, currently, Embraco is focusing on helping OEMs
improve energy efficiency. "In the general trend of improving efficiency, manufacturers always look at their compressor supplier at first. So we really feel the pressure on this theme," he explained. "But
we cannot do the job alone: many improvements must be made in the general
design of the appliance. So we do offer advice on system design. Even
if a large customer has all the design expertise in-house, they might
call us just to speed up the design process. For many smaller manufacturers
of light-commercial appliances, we do a lot of consulting business. We
are qualified also. For instance, we are certified by Coca-Cola as an
official test site for vending machines."
Embraco also wants to develop its product range, as it was mainly in the domestic market. Now the company is supplying commercial compressors to U.S. company Bristol. When Bristol decided to focus on their air-conditioning business, Embraco took up production of their commercial compressor product line under the Embraco Aspera brand name. The compressor line uses 404a, and the power range is 1 to 3 hp.
The company has also improved some of their existing product lines. Embraco's NJ compressor line is an evolution of the J line. The shell is redesigned with new suspension, a new muffler, and new discharge tubing. Noise is reduced to 5 dB, and vibration is down 30 percent. Capacity is 1.5 hp max. The NEK series (1.3 to 1.8 hp) replaces the NE series. The new series features an efficiency increase of 5 percent, a noise improvement of 7 dB, and vibration reduction of 22 percent.
"A top product is our VCC (Variable Capacity Compressor). Through the use of an electronic control unit, it can vary compressor motor speed, and thus the cooling capacity, from 50 percent to 150 percent," Mr. Piazera said. "Similar
to the inverter technology used in air-conditioning, a VCC is more efficient
and performs better. The capacity control can be done through a serial
communication interface (full duplex), through a (one-way) variable digital
frequency signal, or using the Drop In mode. This feature allows the
control system to interpret an on-off signal from a classic thermostat,
so the refrigerator manufacturer can use our VCC compressor without changing
the design of the refrigerator cabinet or introduce electronic thermostats.
The newest VCC3 has a more compact electronic unit, which is noise-free
Embraco believes that VCC technology is promising because it can offer
energy savings up to 35 percent. "Market share of the segment is still small, but it is an emerging product," Mr. Piazera said. "Improvements
are needed regarding the price level. We are also working in adapting
VCC for light-commercial use, with different sized control units."
Embraco also sees potential in the CO2 segment, but notes that there
are still some problems with the technology. As an example, Mr. Piazera
said that efficiency at low temperature levels is still not good enough. "The set-up of the appliance needs a total new design, as working pressures and temperatures are totally different," Mr. Piazera noted. "Of
course we will continue our research, as this is one of the alternative
technologies to current refrigerants.
"In the long term, you will see changes in the size and the operating ranges of our compressor platforms," he added. "With
improved efficiency, larger platforms are cannibalized by
higher performing, smaller siblings."
Leader in CO2
Danfoss is Denmark's largest industrial group with about 17,000 employees.
Its division for domestic compressors is called Danfoss Compressors
(there is also Danfoss Commercial Compressors) and is located in Flensburg,
Germany, but also manufactures in Slovenia, Slovakia, and Mexico. The
general European public only knows Danfoss for its room thermostats
radiator valves, although both products are actually a small part of
the portfolio. For example, many BSH (Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte
GmbH) products are equipped with Danfoss compressors. Production is
million compressors yearly.
compressor maker Danfoss was the only exhibitor
to show actual CO2 products at IKK 2003. Pictured
is the company's bright yellow test model.
Danfoss clearly stole the show with its bright yellow CO2 compressor,
located right in the middle of the stand. "We are really proud to present (for the first time) an actually working CO2 compressor," said Jürgen Süss, manager, Central Compressor R&D. "Of
course, this is a test product. Next year we will set up a production
line, which [will have] a max capacity of 50,000, to be reached in a
few years, depending on market resonance. The compressor is so far available
in three capacities, and our customers are testing the product. As main
design aspects are clear now, these tests mainly focus on long-term reliability."
As refrigeration engineers know, CO2 works at much higher pressures; volumetric cooling capacity is about nine times higher than current gases, so only 2.5 cm3 of compressor stroke volume is needed, down from 20 cm3 previously. Current applications include heat pumps and vending machines.
"A breakthrough for CO2 will only be when the energy efficiency as well as costs will be competitive," Mr. Süss explained. "We
already proved that efficiency is on par, but the cost price issue is
not solved yet. Remember that all parties involved must completely change
their current designs. At the fair, we found a lot of demand for information
on the CO2 issue; our brochure was out-of-stock very quickly, and we
had to go to the [photo]copy shop for reprints."
Despite the success at IKK and the great interest from political and environmental groups in general, Danfoss warns against seeing this experimental breakthrough as a total change of conditions. CO2 cannot just be used anywhere - despite strong wishes to replace other refrigerants.
Airwell, an air-conditioning manufacturer, is one of the market leaders in France. The company is called the ECP group, and it has a staff of about 4,000 with plants in France (2), Italy, Israel, and China, as well as an electronics assembly facility in Hong Kong. Its European headquarters is located near Paris. The mother company is Israel-based Electra - a unique aspect in today's air-conditioning market, where most European air-conditioning businesses are either Asian or American. The company's primary markets are Europe and Israel, with a focus on domestic air-conditioning.
New products include its variable
capacity multi-split systems. Using d.c. inverter technology, the DUO,
TRIO, and QUATTRO offer up to 8 kWh capacity. For advanced system control,
third generation of AircoNet Gateway is available. Using a gateway, all
functions can be controlled through a Web browser. Now, all Airwell appliances
can be connected.
manufacturer NASH offers advanced rooftop units containing
all air treatment functions, including a building control
An important new product for Airwell is a niche product, the IPOC, which stands for Intelligent Pre-assembled Outdoor and Customized. These are unique systems that look like conventional rooftop units, but can contain many more functions (heating, heat regaining, and humidity control) and are fully customized before installation. IPOC does have its own Building Management System, based on LON networking technology. Capacity ranges from 10,000 to 100,000 m3 air, and units can weigh up to 15 tons with prices ranging from 50,000 to 200,000 euros per unit.
Airwell entered the large systems market by taking over the German
manufacturer of IPOC, the NASH Company. This take-over is an interesting
piece of industrial history. Mr. Michel Roffé-Vidal, now manager of the NASH division explained: "After
working for many years in the air-conditioning business for companies
[such] as Lennox, I decided to start my own company (about 20 years ago),
and I developed the IPOC concept. From my experience, I knew there would
be a market for a fully equipped rooftop air-conditioning unit. The consulting
engineers tell us the requirements, we assemble the unit and final installation
is a snap."
He continued: "During recent years we realized that further growth
would be difficult and that we needed a bigger partner. We met with the
people from ACE and its Israeli owners, and all aspects lined up quickly.
Now, we think that expanding to 200-300 units per year
Same Time, Different City
the closing message, organizers were satisfied with the fair. Despite
the economic situation, attendance
was almost the same (20,600) compared
to 2 years ago. This in a time where capital goods exhibitions all over
the world are registering substantial drops in the number of visitors.
According to IKK organizers, the "convincing benefit-cost ratio" of IKK
is still a major factor in attendance.
As always, shows surveys
revealed some interesting trends: 88 percent of exhibitors stated
they made new business contacts, and every third exhibitor received
order, although the acquisition of direct orders was not a priority
for many exhibitors. More than 90 nations met at the industry event in
Hannover, accounting for around half of the total number of visitors.
Additionally, among international exhibitors, Italy lead the pack with
132 companies, followed by China, who had 62 exhibiting companies - a
possible indication of China's upcoming role in the world economy.
2004 is scheduled for Oct. 13-15, 2004 in Nürnberg, Germany.