23 Jul 2024


Dedicated drives cut refrigeration costs by up to 40%

Parker Hannifin has announced a range of variable speed drives dedicated to use on commercial food refrigeration systems.

Called iSpeed, the drives have been designed to control the operating speeds of refrigeration compressors, matching system output to variations in demand, thus optimising energy efficiency and reducing the need for maintenance. Parker reckons that the drives can cut energy use by up to 40% on single-compressor systems, and up to 25% on multi-stage compressor racks.

The drives, to be marketed by Parker’s Sporlan Valve division, have been developed in partnership with the German company Kimo, which specialises in refrigeration software. The drives are based on Parker SSD designs with dedicated firmware.

As well as saving energy, the smooth changes in compressor speed to match demand, are expected to help minimise problems caused by fluctuations in pressure and temperature. This should improve food shelf lives by reducing dehydration and shrinkage.

The smooth speed changes are also expected to reduce wear and stresses on moving parts.

In many applications, the technology will allow fewer compressors to be used, with one variable-speed-controlled compressor running temporarily run at higher capacity to meet short-term increases in demand, rather than starting up several fixed-speed compressors. In a typical installation, one iSpeed drive will control one variable-speed compressor and up to eight fixed-speed compressors.

The new drives can be retrofitted to existing refrigeration systems by end-users, or used by OEMs in new builds.