What distinguishes the thermeco2 high-temperature heat pump from ENGIE Refrigeration? For which applications is it especially suitable – and how can this model save money in buildings, districts and industry? The expert Frank Glaser, a key account manager for industrial and commercial heating at ENGIE Refrigeration, explains all this in our interview.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century – and it affects each and every one of us. It’s high time to act! One central lever is to minimise carbon emissions wherever and whenever possible. National and international governments are increasingly creating the relevant legal framework, such as the EU Directive on the energy performance of buildings ((EU) 2018/844) or the F-gas Regulation restricting fluorinated greenhouse gases ((EU) 517/2014). We at ENGIE have decided to support our customers on their path to climate neutrality with future-oriented products and services. Our mission is ‘zero carbon transition as a service’. The thermeco2 high-temperature heat pump from ENGIE Refrigeration meets this requirement perfectly. Users who choose the thermeco2 benefit from an efficient, energy-saving and environmentally friendly technology – and I believe it is always the right time to make such a decision.
The refrigerant we use in the thermeco2–CO2, technical designation R-744 – plays an important role. It means we are not affected by the F-gas Regulation, and users won’t have to expect any other legal restrictions or prohibitions on use. In the long term, CO2 is cheaper than alternative refrigerants. This provides planning and investment security. In addition, it is a natural substance and thus contributes neither to the destruction of the ozone layer (ODP=0) nor to the greenhouse effect (GWP=1). Another advantage of CO2 is that it has low safety requirements and is both non-toxic and non-combustible. To sum up: CO2 as a refrigerant is economical, climate-friendly and safe. This means the thermeco2 is a future-proof investment in every regard.
The good news is that the thermeco2 high-temperature heat pump is an environmentally friendly solution for numerous areas of application. It develops its full potential where there is a simultaneous strong demand for heat and refrigeration. The thermeco2 is perfect for heating and cooling in public buildings and hotels, in districts, and for energy suppliers and the waste management industry. Our heat pump has also proved effective for many years in food manufacturing – for example in meat processing plants, dairies, cheese dairies and the confectionery industry.
From a technical perspective, our thermeco2 is the perfect high-temperature heat pump for challenging temperature ranges. Its fundamental principle of operation is to absorb heat at a low temperature level and dispense it as useful heat at a higher temperature. The standard temperature range reaches from hot water at +90 degrees Celsius to refrigeration at +4 degrees Celsius; a range from hot air at +120 degrees Celsius to deep freezing at -30 degrees Celsius is available upon request from our sales support. This combined heating and cooling by the heat pump guarantees maximum output values and maximum efficiency. Our portfolio includes nine different models with performance levels between 90 and 1,400 kilowatts for indoor installation. In all thermeco2 high-temperature heat pumps, semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors with part-winding starting reduce the start-up current peaks. Furthermore, 19 millimetres of diffusion-resistant insulation prevent condensation and corrosion throughout the entire refrigerant circuit. And a filter dryer guarantees operational safety and a long service life. Depending on their requirements, customers can choose additional options and accessories, such as an internal heat exchanger (IHE) for increasing efficiency or for higher supply temperatures.
Our thermeco2 high-temperature heat pump develops its full potential in challenging temperature ranges. Traditional heat pumps generate around 55 degrees Celsius in the medium temperature range and therefore have to use a heating element or gas torch for extra heat when a higher temperature level is required. In contrast, the thermeco2 can produce temperatures of up to 90 degrees Celsius. Wide spreads, for example a heating capacity from 40 degrees to 90 degrees, are also no problem for this model, while traditional heat pumps achieve their maximum efficiency at a comparatively very low temperature spread of five kelvins. For many typical thermeco2 applications, the operating companies could alternatively use a chiller with a gas torch or a heat pump, i.e. a two-stage cascade. Our thermeco2 is always considerably more efficient and profitable than a cascade. The procurement costs may be slightly higher, but they usually pay for themselves within a period of four years. In addition, users need to operate and maintain only a single system. On average this can yield savings of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros – and this is per year. They also avoid the conventional fuels of gas and oil, which significantly reduces carbon emissions. In short, no other machine on the market offers these advantages. The thermeco2 high-temperature heat pump definitely plays a pioneering role here.
A few weeks ago we installed a machine type HHR 130 thermeco2 high-temperature heat pump with refrigeration at the Ludwigsburg District Office. It provides the base load refrigeration for year-round server cooling at the in-house data centre on the administrative campus of the Ludwigsburg District Office and thus ensures that it operates reliably. Due to the high exit temperature of up to 90 degrees Celsius and a low inlet temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, the temperature spread is extremely challenging. Alternative solutions could only have mastered this challenge with a great deal of technical and primary energy expenditure. In contrast, combined heating and cooling with the thermeco2 unfolds its full potential under these conditions. And it does so in an especially eco-friendly way: the thermeco2 reduces carbon emissions by 38.4 tons a year compared to the previous refrigeration system – a huge saving that naturally pleases the District Office.
The thermeco2 high-temperature heat pump fulfils the conditions of various funding programs run by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAfA). This also includes the law on federal funding for efficient buildings (BEG), which came into force on 1 January 2021. In my experience, it is possible to receive funding for up to 50 per cent of the procurement costs. My colleagues and I are happy to advise you if you have any questions.
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