Atlas Copco made headlines recently after introducing itself to the U.S. industrial process cooling chiller market with the launch of the TCX 4-90A chiller range. Chiller & Cooling Best Practices Magazine interviewed Robert Tucker to learn about Atlas Copco’s strategy in the United States. Tucker, a business development manager with more than 30 years of industrial fluid dynamics experience, leads the U.S. process cooling chiller initiative within the Atlas Copco Compressor Oil-free Air Division.
Atlas Copco recently debuted its TCX4-90A chiller range to the U.S. industrial process cooling chiller market.
Congratulations on this exciting news! Why has Atlas Copco decided to enter the U.S. process cooling chiller market?
Industrial machine and process cooling is an important market and one where we see a lot of opportunity and synergies with our compressed air business. We have a very strong brand presence in many strategic markets where we will market chillers, including food and beverage, machine cooling, medical pharmaceutical, plastics and printing. We can now add more value to customers as we assist them with engineering proper cooling systems.
Many of these markets use our oil-free air compressor technologies. These oil-free market segment applications tend to be more of an engineered solution, which is very much in alignment with the application and processes of industrial cooling.
What’s driving this highly engineered approach to the industrial cooling market?
The job of an industrial chiller system is to remove waste heat from the production process. An engineered approach helps clients determine the right cooling water temperature and flows to optimize production. Fine-tuning temperature specifications represent a tremendous opportunity to increase production output and reduce chiller operational costs. We see many applications using lower than necessary cooling water temperature specifications.
For this reason, many industrial facilities have existing cooling systems too large for the application. In those instances, the system consumes more energy than needed because it’s not thermodynamically balanced to match the production processes. We want to serve the market by providing customers with the experience and expertise needed to address their challenges and help them achieve their goals on an application-by-application basis. That’s in addition to providing innovative products, such as the TCX 4-90A range of chillers.
Tell us about the TCX 4-90A chiller range and some of the innovation behind it.
This is a line of compact, all-in-one chillers initially available in a variety of sizes from one to 28-tons of cooling capacity. The chillers feature an air-cooled refrigerant condenser and an integrated hydro module, which means the refrigeration and water circuit (or module) are contained within the same space-saving canopy. The unit’s state-of-the-art microchannel, cycling scroll, R-407C refrigerant condensing module is uniquely engineered with epoxy-coated aluminum, requiring 30% less refrigerant. This allows for maximum energy efficiency, while at the same time, reducing the refrigerant charge to a bare minimum. For the customer, it results in an environmentally friendly, very efficient chiller that saves space given its small footprint.
The TCX 4-90A chillers are available in a variety of sizes from one to 28 tons of cooling capacity.
The chillers also include the Elektronikon® MkV Touch screen controller to provide control and monitoring at the user’s fingertips. This controller includes our built-in SMARTLINK 24/7 remote monitoring capability as part of the chiller’s total package. SMARTLINK collects operational data from the chiller and provides customer’s machine data, in real time, in a clear format to ensure the TCX runs at optimal efficiency.
To further ensure years of reliable performance, the chiller’s storage tank and hydraulic parts of the centrifugal pumps are stainless steel and are factory installed and tested. They prevent process water contamination with rust particles. This also provides a higher level of reliability and temperature control.
The TCX 4-90A range features an air-cooled refrigerant condenser and an integrated hydro module within the same space-saving canopy.
What process cooling products can we expect to see from Atlas Copco in the future?
The TCX 4-90A range, which represents the first of many products we’re planning to launch, will be expanded to 64 tons of cooling capacity in 2021. Beyond that, our focus is to develop a steady stream of closed-loop process cooling solutions, ranging from multi-circuit process chillers with scroll and screw compressors to evaporative coolers, and more. We want to provide customers with multiple solutions that best suit their needs, while giving them the most efficient cooling possible over the lifespan of the equipment with the lowest possible cost of ownership.
Thank you for your insights.
For more information visit https://www.atlascopco.com/en-us/compressors/process-cooling-chillers.
All photos courtesy of Atlas Copco.
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