To help customers decarbonise their facilities, Daikin Applied has announced the release of two new products that add to its lineup of Trailblazer air-cooled scroll and Pathfinder air-cooled screw chillers.
The company’s new Trailblazer (model AGZ-F) is one of the first chillers available in North America with low-global warming potential (GWP) and highly efficient R-32 refrigerant. Daikin has also added a closed-loop version of the Pathfinder with Free Cooling (model AWV) to its portfolio. Ideal for data centres and other energy-intense applications, this chiller delivers the efficiency benefits of an integrated water-side economiser, commonly known as ‘free cooling’, while eliminating the need to use glycol in the building water loop as an antifreeze.
“There is no single path to reducing a facility’s carbon emissions and climate impact. It takes a combination of low-GWP refrigerants and efficiency gains, along with electrification technologies, to make significant strides,” says Jim Macosko, vice-president of product and sustainability solutions at Daikin Applied. “The latest chillers are two additions to the extensive toolkit we have to help customers wherever they are on their decarbonisation journey.”
Trailblazer AGZ-F with R-32
While there are other low-GWP refrigerants on the market, the low-GWP plus high capacity and efficiency of R-32 is a leading combination for decarbonisation. With R-32, Trailblazer AGZ-F delivers 10% greater capacity and efficiency versus previous models, with the potential to provide cost savings and reduce carbon emissions. Also, with a 33% reduced footprint and 10% reduced weight, AGZ-F presents a more compact solution for engineers, contractors, building owners and operators cognisant of limited space.
With a 30- to 240-ton range, AGZ-F features composite condenser fan blades as well for a simpler mechanical design with less potential for parts failures and related maintenance spend.
The use of R-32 proactively addresses federal legislation to phase out higher-GWP refrigerants such as R-410A. Along with the new Trailblazer chiller, Daikin is working to integrate R-32 into more of its applied offerings. That’s because R-32 has a reduced GWP compared with R-410A, which lessens the warming impact per pound of refrigerant. R-32 also requires a lower refrigerant charge per ton of cooling compared to popular alternatives, reducing the amount of refrigerant needed. And R-32 has a positive impact on unit efficiency, which trims the kilowatt-hour consumption and grid-level emissions associated with electricity grids that rely heavily on fossil fuels to generate electricity.
Pathfinder AWV with Closed-Loop Free Cooling
As data centres continue to scale exponentially, there has been increasing customer interest in HVAC systems that don’t require an antifreeze in the facility water loop. The Pathfinder AWV with Closed-Looped Free Cooling eliminates the need to add glycol to the building’s water loop to prevent freezing in colder climates. By pairing an intermediate heat exchanger with the chiller, glycol can be used outdoors in the chiller, but remains isolated from the building water loop, which reduces any potential impact to performance and maintenance inside the facility.
While data centres will undoubtedly benefit, it can also be useful for other applications that need cooling regardless of season including hospitals, and indoor agricultural and manufacturing facilities. The variation allows the chiller to be used in a wider variety of climates, while still driving the efficiencies associated with free cooling.
Closed-loop free cooling uses outdoor air to naturally cool the fluid loop, reducing compressor work and increasing chiller efficiency. It also operates without needing water from a cooling tower. This drastically cuts water consumption, as well as costs for water, sewer and chemical treatment.