Norske kjølerom, kjølehjørner & kjøleaggregaterNorwegian Cold Rooms, Corner Fridges & Refrigeration Units

Thermocold Case Study by Danfoss

Thermocold customers save up to 80% on energy through Danfoss solutions

Three industry giants came together to implement innovative and test new cooling solutions that will set the trend for the cold rooms and cooling corners of the future.

Thermocold KFD A/S wanted to lead the way for their industry by improving energy efficiency and implementing low-GWP refrigerants in their popular cold rooms and cooling corners for homes, schools, restaurants, hospitals, and industrial settings. Introducing variable speed compressors

with electronic thermostats and switching refrigerant from R134a to R600a (Isobutane) turned out to be a highly effective solution, earning the company’s cooling corners an A+ energy label and saving their customers up to 80% on their energy bill.

The challenge: Thermocold wanted to optimize energy efficiency and take the lead in climate-friendly solutions

Refrigerant legislation imposed to combat climate change requires a gradual phase-out of some of the HFCs widely used for domestic cooling solutions. Even though the deadline for the phase-out imposed by the EU F-Gas Regulation is not until 2020, Thermocold took up the challenge early and started investigating how to replace 134a with a natural refrigerant in their cold rooms and cooling corners.

At the same time, Thermocold was looking for how they could save enough energy to qualify their products for the NEMKO A+ energy label. One of the key challenges was to achieve high efficiency at all running conditions while using natural refrigerant R600a, especially when the ambient temperature was high or in situations with frequent door openings.

The solution: A new compressor and Danfoss electronic thermostat paved the way for climate-friendly and energy efficient cooling units

Having been long-term partners in cooling technology, Thermocold knew they could turn to Danfoss for help configuring the next generation compressor and control solution for their cooling units.

“When Thermocold contacted Danfoss with a wish to improve the energy efficiency of the cooling units, we immediately contacted Nidec as the ideal supplier of bestinclass variable speed compressors for domestic and light
commercial applications. In combination with our ERC smart controller, we could offer a winning solution to Thermocold,” says Lars Thuesen, sales director from Danfoss.

After careful testing, monitoring, and evaluation, we arrived at an optimal solution that fulfilled the criteria set up by Thermocold. The solution for the cooling corners consisted of:

  • A Nidec XV7.2 compressor with variable speed to ensure significant energy savings. Full load operation is extremely rare in most cooling applications, and the unique technology of the XV adjusts capacity automatically to the actual requirements at any time. This means that the compressor runs at low speed most of the time, minimizing energy consumption.
  • The compressor was fitted with a Danfoss ERC electronic thermostat. The digital controller manages energy consumption, defrosting, and fan operation to ensure high efficiency under all load conditions.

The system runs on R600a, a natural refrigerant also known as Isobutane. R600a has become the refrigerant of choice in domestic and small commercial cooling units due to its low environmental impact and excellent  thermodynamic performance. The refrigerant is non-toxic with zero ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) and very low GWP (Global Warming Potential).

At Nidec, the transition to natural refrigerants is running full speed.

“We are in the process of converting our wide compressor program to natural refrigerants, notably Isobutane and Propane. Combined with variable speed, we typically see energy savings of 40-50% with the new refrigerants. This is a win-win for our OEM customers and the end-users,” says Allan Slot, Senior Application Engineer at Nidec.

“This is a win-win for our OEM customers and the end-users,” says Allan Slot,  Senior Application Engineer at Nidec.