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CANADA:  Smartcool Systems has announced initial results of 18% energy savings from an evaluation of their energy efficiency technology on two sea-going refrigerated containers.

George Burnes, President and CEO of Smartcool said:

"This is an exciting new market that we are entering, not only does it offer a huge amount of potential on its own, but it is also highly complementary to our established customer base of food retailers. Our major supermarket customers depend on refrigerated transportation as an integral part of their business. Offering a new solution to address the costly energy consumption in this sector will open the doors to new customers and provide a lucrative value-added offering to our existing customers."

Chris Lefaivre, VP of Operations, said:

"This market has vast untapped potential. Options for refrigerated transportation companies to reduce their operating costs are few and far between. By offering our solution to make their refrigeration systems more energy efficient, we will be assisting cold freight transportation companies with their bottom line and their green initiatives. It is a multi-million dollar opportunity for Smartcool and we are thrilled to be seeing such strong test results right at the start."

Currently, the ECO3 hardware platform is being used to deliver Smartcool's proprietary software algorithms to this new application. Further testing on over-the-road refrigerated trailers will be completed in the second quarter, prior to a number of pilot installations.

If the testing proves successful, it could lead the development of a new hardware platform powered by Smartcool’s software, a platform designed specifically for the refrigerated transportation sector which includes over-the-road trailers, box trucks, sea-going containers and rail containers. Globally, there are over 5.5 million refrigerated trucks and trailers, and an additional 2 million refrigerated sea-going containers

About Smartcool

Smartcool Systems Inc. is a clean technology company, publicly listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX-V: SSC). Smartcool works with customers around the world to make their Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump systems more energy efficient using own unique technology.

GEA Refrigeration Technologies have launched a new open source control panel, said to be user friendly, highly versatile and delivers maximum efficiencies.

The Omni™ control panel monitors and controls not only GEA components but also those of other brand manufacturers. The system is preconfigured at the factory and then can be adjusted to site conditions during commissioning.

The system openness makes it an all-inclusive command centre, which eliminates the need for auxiliary controls. The management system controls valves, pumps and compressors all from the one control panel.


Some of the Omni™ control panels key features include:

  • High-definition (1366 x 768 pixels) colour display
  • Touch screen controls for zooming documents or historical graphs
  • Ethernet interface and wireless technology
  • Smart phone and tablet remote access viewing and control
  • E-mail and text message notifications
  • Stand-alone Microsoft Windows operating system

 Global support

The GEA Omni™ is manufactured in North America, Europe, and Asia, design engineered to meet the needs of a global customer base. Preconfigured in more than 25 languages, GEA Omni carries the benefit of global sales and support network.

To find out more about the Omni™ control panel  click here or email them here

About GEA Refrigeration Technologies 

GEA Refrigeration Technologies is a leading global Group in Industrial Refrigeration. They design, engineer, install, and maintain innovative key components and technological solutions to its customers for whom refrigeration is an essential part in their primary process.

Reflok’s revolutionary connection system, which combines aerospace technology using aluminium in place of copper tube, has been given the approval by Mitsubishi Electric (UK) for use in the installation of its air conditioning systems.

Mitsubishi Electric (UK) Living Environmental Systems, Steve Hayward said “The use of Reflok’s aluminium joining system means our customers can benefit from not having to heat joints in pipework, leading to a quicker and a more cost effective installation. Reflok’s products also provide the correct solution to prevent any galvanic corrosion, which is one of the most important requirements when joining two dissimilar metals together.”

Jon Shipman, MD of Reflok manufacturer JSC said. “We had always thought of Mitsubishi’s blessing as the likely game changer, mainly because they are so big. It’s an endorsement which we have been striving for since Reflok was introduced and the timing is perfect. This year is the big R22 refrigerant change out and Mitsubishi can barely keep their stuff on the shelves at the moment. Now they are happy, it gives the green light to the other manufacturers”

About Reflok

Reflok® is a revolutionary system developed to simplify the installation of VRF systems without the use of heat.

To find out more about Reflok click here


Toshiba Air Conditioning (a division of Toshiba Carrier UK Limited) is introducing a major advance to its award-winning refrigerant leak detection and management system.

In the event of a refrigerant leak, the new system isolates the specific section of refrigerant pipework containing the leak, enabling the rest of the system to continue functioning as normal.

Conventional approaches shut down the entire system in the event of a leak, impacting occupants throughout a building until the source of the leak can be identified and repaired. The new technology means that only the immediate area served by the compromised circuit suffers loss of service.

David Dunn, general manager, says: “This technology is a major step forward and extremely useful for applications such as hotels and multi-tenanted buildings. It means that, in the unlikely event of a leak, those areas unaffected can continue to function as normal and receive cooling and heating as required. The benefits are obvious, from both a commercial and customer service point of view.”

Toshiba’s new refrigerant detection and isolation technology uses a number of separate “isolation cells” throughout a building, consisting of an RBC-RD3 refrigerant concentration sensor, a pair of motorised isolation valves, and an RBC-RD7 control box.

The motorised valves are fitted in refrigerant pipework (Liquid and Gas) outside each conditioned space, the room sensor is located within the space at low level, and the control box is mounted next to the indoor unit.

If the sensor detects refrigerant in the room, it triggers an alarm and an L30 fault code on the indoor unit, detected in turn by a central controller or BMS, and initiating the isolation sequence. The motorised valves close automatically, effectively isolating the conditioned space from the rest of the system.

At the same time, on-site maintenance staff and service contractors are notified of the alarm status and its location, and can zero-in on the problem to resolve it.

The technology is primarily designed for use with Toshiba VRF systems (SMMS, SMMSi, SHRM, SHRMi, Mini SMMS), but can also be used with split systems. It can be specified on new installations or retrofitted on Toshiba equipment on existing sites.

Alongside the introduction of the new system, Toshiba has developed an improved version of the RBC-RD3 in-room refrigerant concentration sensor. The new unit has a recessed design to protect it from accidental damage, and can be fitted into a standard, single electrical back box.

While the standard version is supplied in white plastic, the design of the face-plate can be changed to match the room décor or client specification, particularly important for application in hotels.

The device is recessed into a wall approximately 150mm from floor level within the conditioned space, and connected to the indoor unit via supplied leads. On detection of a higher-than-normal refrigerant concentration, it shuts down the indoor unit and gives an audible and visual alarm.

About Toshiba Air Conditioning

Toshiba Air Conditioning is a division of Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd. Toshiba Air Conditioning provides sustainable solutions integrating energy efficient products for residential and light commercial customers.

Toshiba Air Conditioning (a division of Toshiba Carrier UK Limited) has introduced a new range of compact outdoor condensing units, designed to be easy to carry and install.

The Series 4 units are as much as 8kg lighter than previous models, representing a reduction of some 11 per cent, a major advantage for installers transporting and installing the units.

This enables units to be installed above one another, in a double-deck configuration, saving space on buildings and outdoor plant areas.

Much of the weight reduction has been made possible by the development of a new twin rotary DC compressor, which is lighter but more powerful than the one it replaces.

The new condensers offer night set-back operation, limiting sound during sensitive periods by up to 10dB(A), and a saver function that can suppress the upper limit power consumption between 50 to 100 per cent in 1 per cent increments, boosting efficiency.New compressor has major advantages

Overall efficiency has been improved by up to 10 per cent, depending on the model, with the SEER value for the 2hp unit raised from 5.89 to 6.14.

Operational temperature range has been increased from 43 to 46 degrees C, and units are suitable for use with 50 or 60 Hz power supply, opening up opportunities for further applications.

For more details contact Toshiba Air Conditioning on 0870 843 0333, email, or visit

About Toshiba Air Conditioning

Toshiba Air Conditioning is a division of Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd, company registration No 3723803. Toshiba Air Conditioning provides sustainable solutions integrating energy efficient products for residential and light commercial customers.

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Croton, NY – Polaris Vending, Inc. is excited to announce the launch of the patent-pending COILPODtm dust containment bag which is an environmentally-friendly solution for the indoor cleaning of self-contained condenser coil units in refrigerated or freezer merchandiser display cases (which contain food, beverages, drugs, or flowers), prep tables, or other refrigerated appliances. These units are contained in retail food and beverage outlets of all types, hospitals and pharmacies.


A person desiring to clean the condenser coils contained in such appliances first places the COILPOD bag (approx. 28” wide x 13”deep x 18” high) over the coil structure and then simultaneously supplies exhaust air and vacuum from a “shop vac” through two ports in the bag’s surface to remove debris from the coils while vacuuming it into the “shop vac”. The bag entraps the removed debris during the cleaning operation, protecting the environment outside the bag from undesired contamination.

We believe that the regular cleaning of the condenser coils in such merchandiser units, utilizing the COILPOD bag, will result in a substantial savings in energy costs and will also prolong the life of such equipment.

Visit Polaris’ website for full details on this exciting, new device technology.

Or for further information Contact : or Phone: (+1) 888-800-5535


Grow your refrigeration and air conditioning business with fridgehub


Resource Data Management (RDM), the leading control and monitoring company, has introduced the Intuitive Power Store to protect refrigeration systems from damage following power outages.

Refrigeration compressors, as used across the food and drink industry, can suffer severe damage following start-up after a power failure as a result of stepper valves being out of sequence and in the wrong place.

This can lead to liquid refrigerant entering the compressor crankcase, resulting in low oil pressure and possible failure. Resultant damage can shorten compressor working life or may be so serious that it requires complete replacement, representing a huge expense for end users.

Recognising the problem, RDM has developed the Intuitive Power Store which links to the company’s stepper valve controller, to provide protection against compressor damage on start-up following power failure.

refrigeration compressors for the food industry

The combination automatically closes stepper valves when mains power is lost. “It is effectively a mini Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) with a brain,” says Andrew Chandler, md of RDM.

In the event of mains power loss, the Power Store provides the energy to enable the stepper valve controller to accurately control the setting of the valve to a fully closed position. When mains power is restored, stepper valves are then returned to the correct operational settings gradually, in line with the evaporator duty required.  This means that the compressor is not hit with a large and unpredictable load before it is fully up and running, and in a safe operating condition to respond.

“Power outages are by no means uncommon, for all sorts of reasons. The cost of replacing compressors can be very significant for end users. The new RDM system gives refrigeration users the vital protection they need, and provides the opportunity to control system restart to ensure cooling power is delivered to where it is needed - while minimising the impact and potential damage on refrigeration plant.”

The company points out that the combination of Intuitive Power Store and stepper valve controller represents a fraction of the price of a compressor.


This article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

Follow @theFridgehub on Twitter

Subscribe to Fridgehub Industry News Updates

UK:  Businesses waste several hundreds of thousands of pounds on unnecessary cleaning and maintenance of heating and ventilation equipment.

Businesses throughout the Thames Valley region are paying higher energy bills and expensive maintenance costs in order to keep their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment running effectively, claims RAB Specialist Engineers.

Simply by fitting a new external air filtration device, supplied by the Newbury-based start-up firm, could result in total savings of more than £2m for many businesses operating air handling equipment in the Thames Valley area.  Made from a washable polypropylene material, the simple filter screens can be fitted over air intake equipment. The screens act as a primary pre-filtration defence against large volumes of airborne debris, which, over time, can cause extensive damage to sensitive HVAC equipment.

RAB Specialist Engineers, which provides consultancy and air handling engineering services to the building services sector, says the savings are based on figures representing just 50% of the number of businesses occupying the 12 million ft2 of office space currently available in the Thames Valley region.

Airborne debris, such as domestic waste, carrier bags, leaves, pollen and insects, is the leading cause of fouling and clogging of cooling towers, heat exchangers, air cooled chillers, rooftop units and other HVAC systems according to local entrepreneur and businessman Richard Betts.

Identifying a niche in the air handling market, and with over 30 years’ experience in the industry, Richard Betts explains how a simple preventative measure to stop airborne debris from entering HVAC equipment could save millions of pounds in unnecessary replacement and maintenance costs.

“Our research shows that when air handling equipment becomes clogged up with debris, internal components such as dirty condenser or evaporator coils restrict the airflow through the equipment and increases the amount of energy required by compressor motors to maintain optimum performance.  Studies show that air handling equipment, which is commonly used by many local business premises, will use up to 30% more energy if external air filtration equipment is not fitted. Furthermore, higher operating pressures and temperatures will reduce the life expectancy of these valuable assets and can result in compressor failure.

Essentially, a compressor is the heart of any air conditioning or refrigeration system and without it, cooling cannot take place. This can be a facility manager’s worst nightmare as compressor replacement is the most expensive repair on any HVAC system.

Rising energy prices are forcing many businesses to implement smart energy efficiency measures. Fitting air intake filter screens from an experienced company such as RAB Specialist Engineers, is one way energy and facility managers can achieve this goal, while at the same time reducing extensive maintenance costs and extending the life of expensive HVAC assets.

When you consider the cost of maintaining HVAC equipment that hasn’t been fitted with air intake filter screens in terms of servicing time and replacement parts then the screens make financial sense. Typically, businesses will see a return on investment in less than two years.

Air intake filter screens are already used extensively in a number of different industry sectors throughout the US.  Companies such as Starbucks are using them on refrigerated food displays, Harvard Law School has fitted them to filter out fine construction dust on its louvered air intake systems and Motorola has installed them on its two-way radio transmitting station located on the 108th floor of the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Here in the UK we’re dealing with an increasing number of new enquiries every day and we’ve already supplied one of the UK’s leading supermarkets with air intake screens for its cooling plant, which had become inefficient due to plastic bags and other debris blocking the filters.

Managing Director Richard Betts is currently offering expert advice and a range of engineering services to businesses looking to reduce energy costs and improve the efficiency of HVAC equipment. For a breakdown of the energy calculations and maintenance costs used by RAB Specialist Engineers, click here.


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Mitsubishi Electric has launched a new air conditioning unit that uses less refrigerant than traditional VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) systems whilst providing simultaneous heating and cooling in a simplified two-pipe design.

The system is already working to full effect at the offices of mechanical and electrical specialists, Working Environments Ltd, who are using the new air conditioning unit to deliver comfortable and stable internal temperatures for staff at their Southampton headquarters.

“We have worked closely with Mitsubishi Electric for many years and when we first heard of this innovative development, we wanted to be one of the first to check out its merits,” explained Mike Jenkins, Special Projects Director for Working Environments.

“By combining the benefits of a water based system with the efficiency and flexibility of a heat recovery VRF system, HVRF is proving the ideal integrated solution.”

HVRF has other significant key benefits which open its use up to many other buildings. Having no refrigerant in occupied spaces whilst delivering simultaneous heating and cooling via quiet fan coils means HVRF is particularly suited to applications such as hotels and high end residential situations.

In addition, the system offers significant reductions in installation time and lower running costs and emissions than the traditional methods of heating and cooling.

Current legislation restricts the use of refrigerants in buildings, with EN378 in particular intended to minimise possible hazards to persons, property and the environment from refrigerating systems and refrigerants.  As such, leak detection must be provided if, in the case of R410a, a concentration of 0.44 kg/m3refrigerant could be exceeded if all the refrigerant from a system were to leak into a single room.

This legislation is particularly applicable for hotels.  Generally, this limits systems to about 20Kg of R410a or forces the addition of leak detection systems.  The only other option is to break larger systems down into smaller ones.  Either way, an increase in cost and complexity cannot be avoided…until now.

“We realised that one way to reduce cost and minimise possible hazards to persons, property and the environment, would be to remove the refrigerant from occupied spaces using a water based system,” explained Mark Grayston.  “This hybrid VRF system has been developed exclusively to answer this need.”

The outdoor unit behaves in much the same way as a two-pipe heat recovery VRF system with two refrigerant pipes connecting a Hybrid Branch Controller (HBC), which has been optimised to provide the same efficiency as standard VRF.

The HBC enables simultaneous heating and cooling with heat recovery to take place in a similar way that the standard Branch Controller can.  However, instead of two refrigerant pipes sending refrigerant for cooling or heating to the indoor units, hot or cold water is sent instead using either plastic or copper pipe.  Efficiency is further improved from the heat-recovery defrost, enabling short defrost times with immediate return to heating.

HVRF provides the function of a four-pipe fan coil system and the efficiency of modern VRF in one system.  Off coil temperatures are dependent on on-coil temperatures which results in high sensible cooling and efficient heating.  Load capacity control is achieved through the use of inverter driven pumps and flow control valves which are all built into the HBC.  Phased installation also reduces building down-time and room sizes can be reduced whilst still providing a high end heating and cooling system.

All the advanced VRF controls can be used and combined with the flexibility of design and installation that VRF offers and high levels of efficiency, HVRF now offers a serious alternative to chiller technology and allows even more building owners to benefit from the low carbon potential of heat pumps.

Heat Recovery system

This article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

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Mitsubishi Electric has launched a new air conditioning unit that uses less refrigerant than traditional VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) systems whilst providing simultaneous heating and cooling in a simplified two-pipe design.

The HVRF system operates without using refrigerant in occupied spaces, removing the need for leak detection equipment and allowing more properties to take advantage of manageable phased installation through the system’s modular design.

At the heart of the new system is an HBC (Hybrid Branch Controller) box, which is connected to the outdoor unit via traditional refrigerant piping. Between the HBC box and the indoor fan coils, the system uses water piping but still offers high sensible cooling and stable room temperatures for maximum comfort.

“Many of our buildings have been traditionally cooled and heated through a combination of chiller technology and oil or gas boilers, but with increasing legislation on energy efficiency and the rising cost of fuel, we now need a low-carbon, cost-effective alternative,” explains Mitsubishi Electric’s Mark Grayston.  “We have developed this new approach to answer the need for energy efficiency and internal comfort.”

Set to rival traditional heating and cooling, the new HVRF system delivers optimum comfort and efficiency, using an innovative combination of unique 2-pipe technology and water to provide simultaneous heating and cooling with heat recovery.

reduced refrigerant Air Conditioning unit - Infographic

This article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

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