An international manufacturer of heat transfer and cooling system components has developed a maintenance-free condenser and evaporator that will reduce the cost of running a refrigeration appliance, offering huge savings on energy bills and maintenance costs for customers operating commercial refrigerators on a large scale.

Independent tests have confirmed that Bundy Refrigeration’s Aluminium Wing Tube (AWT) condenser led to a reduction of kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy consumption on a commercial refrigerator from six up to fifteen per cent compared to forced draft condensers based on traditional technology (wire-on-tube), depending on whether a simply competitive or a fully optimised AWT configuration is applied; and in either case with a footprint reduced by about half.

Bundy Refrigeration has manufacturing plants in Italy, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, and Brazil. Its latest innovation is part of its commitment to net zero and the company believes the condenser will be a hit with refrigeration manufacturers and their commercial customers, particularly those operating multiple refrigeration units in supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and hospitals.

As refrigeration units run more efficiently with AWT technology, manufacturers can improve the energy class of their products, making them more attractive to cost-conscious buyers. The compact design of AWT condensers also means they can modify their refrigeration models, reducing the overall dimensions of the condensing unit box, to give end users more storage capacity for food and drink.

“Wing tube technology was developed with the aim to improve the performance of the condenser, the heat-transfer capacity and energy consumption efficiency of the appliance as a whole, without compromising on critical factors such as compactness, robustness and maintenance-free operation in real-world conditions,” said Matteo Codecasa, Head of Product Development at Bundy Refrigeration. “Wing tube is the culmination of a rigorous product development process with thousands of hours expended on research, prototypes, testing and intense customer collaboration.”

Condensers cool refrigerant so that it turns refrigerant gas back into a liquid as part of the refrigeration cycle. However, the real working environment is generally unclean and traditional condensers are prone to dust clogging, which reduces efficiency and affects performance. In turn, undue stress builds up on the compressor, which means it works harder, using more electricity and shortening the lifespan of the refrigerator. In some cases, the dust build-up can be so severe that it causes the appliance’s compressor to overheat and shut down.

“We have solved this problem with our unique wing tube design by introducing an extended heat-dissipating surface to the condenser’s compact design, connecting it to the refrigerant carrying tube through the most efficient possible means, which is continuity-of-material – no mechanical coupling, no welding, nor brazing. High heat-transfer performance is achieved with less extended surface dissipating with higher effectiveness, leaving wider spaces between the condenser’s fins, delivering optimal air flow, and preventing dust and debris building up over time. Our wing tube condenser design allows refrigerators to operate 24/7 at peak efficiency with no dust clogging and no need for disruptive maintenance. This will have a significant impact on the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) and reduced maintenance costs over an appliance’s lifetime.”

But it is the immediate impact on running costs that gives the Bundy team the most satisfaction. “Our tests compared AWT with a traditional wire-on-tube condenser according to relevant standards (EN ISO 22041 and 22043) and found AWT consumed significantly less electricity. When you consider that single units in commercial refrigeration may use several kilowatt-hours of energy per day (say 3 to 5 kWh/day), a six per cent saving per appliance over a year is extremely good news for the end user. Imagine what this could do to the energy bills of supermarkets running multiple refrigerators.

“Results of our tests were run in parallel with and confirmed by independent third-party tests. Moreover, tests were extended further with the implementation of a fully optimised AWT configuration that allowed us to enhance the appliance’s efficiency to reach up to fifteen percent reduction of energy consumption on the same unit,” said Matteo.

The robust AWT condenser is also kind to the environment. Made one hundred percent from aluminium alloy with no prospect of electrochemical corrosion, the AWT condenser is environmentally friendly with easy end-of life recycling options – no need to separate materials. With fewer brazed joints than traditional condensers, the production process virtually eliminates the need to rework due to leakage at brazed joints.

AWT condensers and evaporators come in a wide range of configurations, with varying tube sizes, 4-, 6- and 8-mm diameter, in widths from 150-mm up to 420-mm, with modular heights up to 20 rows of tubes and depths up to eight ranks. Additionally, Bundy has the capability to design units to meet specific customer requirements.

Bundy’s innovative AWT condensers and evaporators are already in production with commercial refrigeration manufacturers keen to integrate AWT into their appliances. End users will welcome more energy efficient refrigerators at a time when energy bills continue to rise. AWT technology is Bundy’s positive response to the challenges we face achieving net zero.

The new range of AWT condensers and evaporators will be on display at Chillventa in Nuremberg 11-13 October on Bundy Refrigeration’s stand, 5-110.