Industrial process technologies supplier Alfa Laval has launched its new Alfa Laval AC65 brazed plate heat exchanger at its first online net-zero launch event, where it showcased new, cutting-edge thinking in energy efficiency, clean energy and circular-economy solutions.
The AC65 is designed to meet the growing market demand for next-generation heat exchangers for the high-volume heat pump market.
Every year, Alfa Laval supplies millions of extremely cost-competitive heat exchangers to the boiler market; as well as hundreds of thousands of high-performance, premium-quality heat exchangers to the heat pump market. However, the heating world has begun a rapid,
dramatic transformation. Boilers are gradually being phased out in favour of heat pumps.
This shift is creating an increasing demand for heat exchangers optimized for use with heat pumps, including Alfa Laval’s latest innovation, the AC65, which delivers what Alfa Laval refers to as ‘total efficiency’, which includes thermal, process and developmental efficiency.
The performance of the AC65 is unrivalled. Heat pumps designed using the AC65 as an evaporator can reach COPs above 4.5 at nominal conditions. The compact design of the AC65 makes it ideal for residential heat pumps, and it is ready to handle new low-GWP refrigerants, including propane.
The high production capacity keeps the AC65 cost-competitive, while still meeting the highest quality standards, says Alfa Laval Business Unit Brazed & Fusion Bonded Heat Exchangers president Fredrik Ekström.
The Alfa Laval AC65 is a perfect fit for newly developed heat pumps. The tall, thin design of the AC65 creates a high thermal-length, which guarantees that the unit is not only a highly effective evaporator but is also a great condenser for reversible heat pumps.
He explains that a few unique key features give the AC65 its edge. The first is FlexFlow, a unique, asymmetric plate design that makes it possible to minimize the evaporator’s refrigerant charge, lowering the overall cost of applications that use synthetic refrigerants.
In applications that use propane – a natural, low-GWP refrigerant that is a growing trend – this feature is even more critical, as the amount of propane that can be used in a single unit is strictly limited. Asymmetric design also reduces the pressure drop on the secondary side, making it possible to use a smaller pump and less electricity.
He adds that the second important feature of the AC65 is the DynaStatic distribution system.
The DynaStatic distribution system is the latest system developed by Alfa Laval. This technology allows Alfa Laval to tailor the geometry of the distributor, making it possible to adapt the AC65 to future trends and future customer needs, including changes in application requirements, new refrigerants, or any other requests.
Together with the high-thermal-length design of the AC65, it also accounts for the high efficiency of the evaporator, since it ensures that the gas and liquid mixture that goes into the unit is distributed properly along the plates.
“The AC65 can be adapted to meet future trends and customer needs, including changes in application requirements, new refrigerants, or any other requests. The unique features of the AC65 make it a truly future-proof investment for our customers.
“The AC65 is produced at Alfa Laval’s new San Bonifacio factory, which offers both high production volumes and high production quality, thanks to next-generation tooling and machines, according to Industry 4.0,” he continues.
“With double the production space of its predecessor and a state-of-the-art thermal lab, the San Bonifacio plant makes it possible to test all new refrigerants safely, including flammable refrigerants, such as propane,” he says.
Alfa Laval copper-brazed plate heat exchangers are a compact, efficient and maintenance free
solution for heating, cooling, evaporation and condensing in numerous applications. Each
unit is designed for duty optimisation, with a range of unique features that ensure both superior thermal performance and maximum reliability.