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Fri3Oil gets thumbs up from J.L. Harrison Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Ltd.

Refrigerant Recovery

J.L. Harrison are a specialist air conditioning and refrigeration contractor. Incorporated in 1961, the company has traded successfully for 55 years. We have been using the Fri3Oil technology for several years now on applications where flushing of either complete systems or partial system sections has been an essential requirement to exceptionally high levels of cleanliness so as to remove all traces or original / corrupted oil, acid, particulates and so on. Indeed, the Fri3Oil machine has also enables us to remove substantial quantities of water from systems, including compressor crankcases, where the evaporator on waters chillers has frozen and fractured, thereby allowing the chilled water system to flood the refrigeration circuit.

The Fri3Oil machine recovered refrigerate in liquid form at around 3/4 kg per minute into recovery cylinders and this saves an enormous amount of time, especially on those refrigeration and A/C systems where we may be dealing with a refrigerant charge of up to 500kg, this otherwise taking days to remove. Having applied the Fri3Oil machine to a project where it is either necessary to remove all traces of mineral oil in readiness for the injection of synthetic oil when replacing the original refrigerant with a new refrigerant type, or where a system is corrupted with acid, we end up with clean recycled refrigerant, a thoroughly clean system and all the contaminants neatly stored in a vessel for easy disposal.

Where acid formation within a system has occurred, leading to compressor motor burnout, failure to remove all traces of acid and particulates from the failed compressor motor windings nearly always leads to subsequent failure of the motor within the new replacement compressor. Consequently, it is essential to use the Fri3Oil technology to ensure an absolutely clean system before executing repairs, especially where compressor replacement following a burn out is necessary.

Lee Harrison

Managing Director
L. Harrison


10 Steps to Refrigerant Retrofit Heaven

R22 Refrigerant Retrofit Service
New Business Edge Total Flushing/Refrigerant Retrofit/Performance Evaluation/Optimisation Service
HVAC & Refrigerant Retrofit

HVAC system replacement is a costly and messy process that can disrupt building operations over an extended period of time. This means it’s crucial to ensure the retrofit produces the maximum benefit. Not only will this enhance the operation of the facility, it will also help to ensure that the retrofit process will not have to be repeated in the near future.

Facilities Managers and ACR Contractors embarking on an HVAC retrofit should keep the following 10 steps in mind.

1. Direct Swap?

The easiest and quickest way to replace an older HVAC system is to put in a new system that matches the old one. For example, when the building chiller reaches the end of its service life, it is common practice to install a new chiller of the same type and capacity. Conditions today are probably different, perhaps vastly different, than they were when the original chiller was installed.

While that approach is simple and quick, it is often not the best choice. Most HVAC systems and their components have normal service lives of 15 to 25 years if properly maintained. When a system is originally installed, it is sized and designed to meet the needs of the building at that time. Buildings change, and so do the operations that take place within the buildings. There might be more people in the building and more electronic equipment – computers, printers, copiers and the like. Simply replacing ‘like for like’ does not take these changes into consideration. To get the most out of HVAC system retrofits, the new system with new options must be designed to match the current and future needs of the facility.

2. New Technologies

HVAC technology has achieved tremendous progress in the past 15 years. New DDC control systems provide a better climate while reducing energy costs. High-efficiency or alternative-fuel chillers can reduce the cost of air conditioning. Variable frequency drives can improve the operating efficiency of both chillers and fan systems. Interoperable building automation systems give facility executives the tools they need to better manage operations.

Although these HVAC technologies are relatively new, they are not risky. They have proven themselves in a range of applications. They are widely used today in new construction. Many are considered essential to keep facilities competitive.

An HVAC retrofit is often a good time to take advantage of these newer HVAC technologies. To determine which technologies are appropriate and cost-effective for the application, take a close look at the existing facility and how it is operated.

3. Flexibility

Buildings today are in a constant state of churn. Interiors are rearranged. Old tenants move out and new ones move in. Infrastructure requirements increase. The result is that facility executives are constantly changing facilities to meet the needs of occupants. One thing that doesn’t change easily in many existing buildings is the HVAC system.

This is why flexibility should be a key goal of HVAC system retrofits. HVAC systems should be able to adapt to those changes without requiring costly alterations. Otherwise, facility executives face a no-win situation: covering the cost of expensive changes to the HVAC system or living with an HVAC system that can’t keep up with changes in the building.

4. Part-load Performance

Chillers are the single largest users of electricity in practically all buildings. Not surprisingly, improving the efficiency of chillers has been a major goal for chiller manufacturers. As a result, today’s chillers are 25 to 50 percent more efficient at full load than those of 15 years ago. When selecting replacement chillers, much emphasis is paid to this full-load efficiency rating, however that’s only part of the picture.

Most chillers operate at full load for less than 5 percent of their total run time. The other 95 percent of the time chillers are operating below full-load capabilities. As the load on chillers decreases, so does the efficiency of the units.

Because chillers operate under part-load conditions for such a high percentage of their run times, the annual energy cost of the chiller will be determined primarily by its part-load efficiency. Although it might cost more to purchase a unit with better part-load efficiency, this premium will be recovered many times over through energy savings during the life of the chiller.

5. Maintenance

As HVAC systems age, maintenance requirements increase. Maintenance costs are too often ignored when system retrofits are being evaluated. In fact, as long as a system doesn’t stop working, it might not even be considered as a retrofit candidate. Just because a system is able to limp along doesn’t mean it’s operating efficiently or meeting the requirements of the application.

Look through maintenance records for the building. High maintenance costs and increasing maintenance requirements are an indication that those systems or components might be approaching the end of their service lives. Facility executives should set priorities for HVAC retrofits based in part on maintenance requirements. Alternatively, an ACR Health Check using performance analysers such as ClimaCheck will immediately indicate poor perfromance and areas for improvement through optimisation.

Another factor to consider is the availability of replacement components. When components for a particular system are no longer available from the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer should go out of business, it is only a matter of time before it will be necessary to replace that system. This has happened frequently with building automation systems. Before the development of interoperable systems, users were at the mercy of the system manufacturer. Many manufacturers failed or decided to get out of the building automation system business. Others upgraded their systems and discontinued support for older generation systems. Once the spare parts inventory was depleted, users had little choice but to retrofit their building automation systems.

Consider also the maintenance requirements of the systems and components that are being installed as part of the retrofit. Can they be maintained by in-house personnel, or will their maintenance have to be performed under contract? What tools and training will be required to properly operate and maintain the new system? What are the projected maintenance costs? Ignoring maintenance requirements for the retrofitted system will only guarantee having to retrofit the system before it would otherwise be necessary.

6. Looking Ahead

There is a tendency when planning for HVAC retrofits to develop tunnel vision and focus on only a specific component or portion of the HVAC system. Chillers that are becoming unreliable or the air handler that no longer meets the needs of the conditioned space, might be serious problems that demand to be addressed. But before making retrofit decisions, facility executives should step back and determine if other projects planned for the building will affect HVAC system operation.

For example, upgrading the lighting system or installing more energy-efficient windows will reduce cooling loads. If those projects are planned in the near future, then a planned retrofit program for the building’s chiller should be scheduled after they have been completed. Reduced cooling loads will allow a smaller chiller, reducing both first and operating costs.

7. Building Occupants

One of the goals of any HVAC retrofit program is to improve the level of service. While facility executives might understand the technical problems with the existing HVAC systems, they will not fully comprehend the needs of building occupants unless they get them involved in the retrofit process. After all, occupants are the ones that understand their environments the best. Facility executives will not know what system will best meet occupant needs – indeed, they might not even have a good understanding of what their HVAC needs are. Occupant input will give the facility executive a clearer understanding of what the HVAC system will be expected to acheive.

Building occupants are also good sources of information on the performance of existing systems. Frequently, they are aware of problems that go unreported to building staff. That information is often crucial in setting priorities for HVAC system retrofits.

There’s one other good reason to get occupants involved: HVAC system retrofits can be disruptive. They can require temporary relocation of building occupants. Heating or air conditioning service may be disrupted for days or weeks. A schedule of moves and outages will have to be developed. Without the cooperation of occupants, retrofits can turn into scheduling nightmares.

8. Program Approval

HVAC retrofits must compete with other programs for funding. Too often, though, facility executives simply submit funding requests with little or no supporting information. As a result, projects fail to win the funding needed to perform a complete retrofit. Instead, components are patched together just to keep the system running.

To increase the chances of receiving funding, facility executives must submit their budget requests in a format familiar to financial managers. Energy savings, maintenance savings, return on investment: These are among the terms that will help convince financial managers of the value of the project.

It’s also important to provide the right level of detail. For example, if reliability is an issue, it isn’t enough simply to report that fact; instead, the facility executive must show that it is a problem with key supporting information. How many times has service been interrupted? What was the cost of those interruptions to the maintenance department? What was the cost to building occupants? What level of performance can be expected from the retrofit system?

An HVAC retrofit is a major undertaking for the facility department, the occupants and the organisation’s management. It is also an opportunity. An opportunity that, because of the cost and disruption involved, might not come along again for decades. What’s more, the success of the project will shape the way that occupants and top management perceive the facility department and contracting team, a perception that will influence the success of future facility initiatives. Taking the time to get the retrofit right is worth the effort.

9. Refrigerants

As of January 1st 2015, R22 Refrigerant will be discontinued. Systems using R22 that require invasive servicing or repair must undergo complete refrigerant R22 removal and deep system cleansing before introducing the alternative refrigerant. An increasing number of equipment manufacturers will be offering flammable refrigerants. Are you ready?

10. Optimisation

Recognised as one of the UK’s leading air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump specialists, Business Edge are working with manufacturers, contractors and end users to ensure absolute optimal performance from all environmental control systems.

In almost 100% of cases, our Health Check Analysis shows potential for improvements in efficiency and energy savings, on occasion up to and beyond 30%!

• Our ACR&HP Health Check is completely non-invasive.

• We can work with your existing contractor.

• Data will be provided to demonstrate and verify potential energy savings.

How much money does a saving of 30% energy consumption represent to you?

Set high goals for your AC&R system, then meet them.

Contact us or speak to one of our technical team on: 023 9223 0007 if you’d like to discuss the benefits acheivable during your next retrofit.

Take a look at our Building Services Energy Efficiency 2015 Check List and ACR System Optimisation information.

Refrigerant Retrofit Service

R22 Refrigerant Retrofit Service

New Business Edge Total Flushing/Refrigerant Retrofit/Performance Evaluation/Optimisation Service

The 1st January 2015 deadline is now approaching fast where R22 can no longer be used for service and repair work.

Our industry has not been able to convert this vast bank of installed equipment.  Conversion is difficult.  Accordingly, we are now offering our specialised service to contractors, FM’s and end user clients which include performance analysis, complete deep cleaning/flushing to remove all traces of oil, acid particulates, water, etc, evaluation of a suitable alternative and performance optimisation on re-commissioning.

For further details contact us.

Find out more about our Refrigeration Training and Air Conditioning Training Courses.

F-Gas Legislation – ACR Leak Detection 24/7

2015 F-Gas regs dictate monitoring…

The fixed ClimaCheck Performance Analyser provides non-invasive monitoring of temperature/pressure/power meter connections for ACR & HP systems and delivers live reporting and alerts 24/7.

Up to 30% Energy Savings!
Lease your fixed unit from ONLY £95 per month!

The real potential with having ClimaCheck as part of your tool kit, is the system optimisation possibilities. Our experience shows that ClimaCheck can save up to 30% of ACR energy costs.

Refrigerant Recovery Service with Fri3Oil

“The Multi-purpose and Multi-Refrigerant Refrigeration Cleaning System.”

Fri3Oil Refrigerant Recovery Machine

Fri3Oil Refrigerant Recovery Machine

Fri3Oil works with any type of refrigerant and can be used on any type / size of refrigeration or air conditioning system. Fri3Oil is thus ideal for refrigerant/oil conversions (retrofits of MO/POE Oil) or the removal of all contaminants following a compressor motor burnout.

The Fri3Oil system is available to hire or buy from Business Edge together with a full flushing and recovery service from our experienced team. Read more about the Fri3Oil Refrigerant Recovery Machine here.



Refrigerant Recovery Machines

Flushed and Chuffed with Fri3Oil by Andy Taylor

Refrigerant Recovery Machines
 Refrigerant Recovery Machines

Business Edge was asked to carry out cleansing works, employing the Fri3Oil system, on an indoor evaporator and inter-connecting pipework to a replacement outdoor Airedale condensing unit.

Liquid HCFC R22 was injected into the system in sufficient quantity to raise the liquid level inside the system, in order to achieve liquid return to the Fri3Oil machine. The refrigerant acted as a carrier, raising all system contaminants (oil, acid, water, etc) to the surface until gravity forced all unwanted particulates and chemicals into the intermediate R.E.A. Receptacle.

The refrigerant was drawn back into the refrigerant cylinder, until 100% vapour was detected at the inlet to the Fri3Oil machine. Once this had been acheived, the cleansing process then began.

A successful flushing operation was executed with satisfactory results, data recorded and witnessed. A considerable amount of contaminant was removed from the system. System flushed – Customer chuffed. Read more about our Refrigerant Recovery Machines…


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