Alfa Laval is bringing the proven high-pressure performance of its AXP product line to a new size of heat exchanger specially engineered for use with CO2. The new Alfa Laval AXP82 will enable use of the same heat exchanger design for a wider kW range of transcritical duties than possible with previous models. Best of all, it combines a market-leading standard for low pressure drop and high design pressure with excellent fatigue performance to meet the unique demands of these applications.
The development of AXP82 has come as a response to the rapid growth of transcritical CO2 systems for heating and cooling duties. Today carbon dioxide is used in an ever-growing number of applications and in larger systems than even just a short time ago.
“The market for CO2 has grown quickly as more system builders and end-users are making the switch to natural refrigerants in response to changing environmental legislation,” explains Fredrik Ekström, President of the Business Unit for Brazed & Fusion Bonded Heat Exchangers at Alfa Laval. “In addition to commercial refrigeration, today we’re seeing customers in a growing number of industries making the switch to CO2 – that includes air conditioning and industrial applications as well as marine customers.”
However, CO2 can put extreme demands on traditional heat exchanger designs. “The ‘XP’ in AXP stands for extreme pressure, and that’s exactly what we have developed this range of heat exchangers to handle,” Ekström continues. “With the launch of AXP82, we will be able to ensure reliable thermal performance for systems of varying sizes, in a wider scope of demanding CO2 applications.”
In fact, the fatigue performance of AXP82 exceeds even the high standard of previous models. This is thanks to the addition of new innovations, such as an all-new channel plate design built with Alfa Laval’s unique PressureSecure technology. As a result, AXP82 offers an even higher degree of support for transcritical CO2 pressure and temperature challenges.
“At the same time, we have engineered AXP82 to provide world-class heat transfer performance as well,” says Ekström. “The new model has a number of unique features that increase thermal efficiency with minimal pressure drop.”
An important element has been a renewed, larger port design on the heat exchanger. By optimizing the balance between port size and mechanical performance, Alfa Laval has been able to ensure low pressure drop combined and a high design pressure, while simultaneously achieving high fatigue resistance.
In addition to the new channel plate and port designs, AXP82 is also the first heat exchanger model in the AXP range to feature a frameless construction. This reduces the weight of the design and ensures a more compact heat exchanger.
“For customers, the more compact design offers a number of very clear benefits,” Ekström adds. “In addition to a smaller footprint, the reduction of material in the construction improves sustainability in a cost-effective way.”