MILAN, Italy, 11 September 2023: Frascold announced it has partnered with a startup, Aircodue, a spin-off of the Miri Group, in line with the efforts in the railway sector to accelerate the energy transition. Making the announcement through a Press release, Frascold said the partnership has led to the development of a CO2 heat pump, which features several technological innovations and is equipped with compressors from Frascold’s transcritical series and will address the air conditioning and regulatory constraints in the railway sector. Frascold said four goals underpin the partnership, namely, energy savings, low environmental impact, low maintenance costs and enhanced reliability, in full compliance with national and international standards.
Frascold said it has also cooperated with Aircodue in a research project investigating whether it would be possible to replace an existing (drop-in) system with a new CO2 heat pump, capable of operating in line with the previous configuration and supplying multiple unit requirements. The company added that the ARCA project – Air Source Reversible CO2 Air Conditioner – by Aircodue, adopts patented technical solutions and takes the form of a demonstrator of a split system of approximately 28 kW, calibrated to the demands of a medium-distance railway carriage, which is used extensively in Italy.
Frascold also said the performance data of the heat pump were compared with those of a conventional system by dynamically simulating operation in heating mode over a wide range of winter temperatures. Conducted through the Energy Diagnostics of a medium-distance vehicle and using dedicated software, the analysis took three locations representative of Italy’s main geographical areas, namely the Brenner Pass, Rome and Palermo, the company said.
|Seasonal energy requirements||kWh||25913||8901||4095|
|Energy consumption of conventional unit||kWh||30713||12885||7000|
|ARCA energy consumption||kWh||15102||5529||2917|
|Annual energy savings||%||51||57||58|
|Savings in CO2 emissions||Tonnes CO2||6.8||3.2||1.8|
Once the prototype was built, Frascold said, a large-scale climate chamber testing programme was carried out, during which the performance in both heating and cooling was verified, thereby confirming the theoretical data.
Mirco Pasotti, Area Manager – Sales, Frascold, said, “The analysis results are remarkable, with the heat pump delivering savings ranging from 51% to 58%, depending on the zone and a considerable reduction in tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.”
Luigi Buttiglione, Technical Manager, Aircodue, said, “A major design project for the railway industry, where the choice of a natural refrigerant requires careful evaluation in terms of installation and regulatory framework.”
Giovanni Paone, Chairman, Aircodue, said: “In addition to being a viable solution to the phase-out policies for fluorinated refrigerants, CO2 complies with the environmental and safety policies of the leading players in the industry. In this respect, Frascold played a key role by its expertise in the field. A long-standing partner, with whom we have been working to develop next-generation technologies for a responsible evolution in the sector.”