Komatsu is a historic Japanese company that designs and builds construction machinery and equipment such as excavators and skid-steer loaders; it is recognized worldwide for its constant pursuit of innovation and ever-increasing focus on sustainability.The collaboration between Komatsu and HiRef began in 2020, with a request for two specially designed cooling units for the production line at the Este plant (Padua), and has continued over the years with the installation of another cooling unit and a reversible heat pump.
In 2020, HiRef designed and installed two high-efficiency (EER 3.27) TVA721CL chillers with heat recovery using the eco-friendly refrigerant R1234ze (GWP 6).
The two chillers, positioned on the ground in the Este plant, cool the production line environment through 6 air handling units placed in succession. Independent flow valves were installed in the plant, which is more than 250m long, and are essential for regulating air delivery and optimizing machine performance.
A few months later Komatsu, chose HiRef to create a custom unit, capable of making workers' job in the painting booth healthier and more comfortable.Before the installation of the new unit, workers were forced to stop the production process several times during the day in the summer months due to the high temperature. A TVA661CL was chosen: a high-efficiency (EER 3.26) cooling-only double screw compressor chiller with heat recovery and R1234ze refrigerant.
Finally, in 2022, the Japanese multinational turned to HiRef for the cooling of its new warehouse in Noventa Vicentina (Vicenza). The right temperature of this new room is ensured thanks to a high-efficiency (EER 3.30) reversible scroll heat pump serving the new aerothermal circuit.
THE WINNING SOLUTIONS
What choices made the difference?
The R1234ze refrigerant and desuperheater in all units supplied by HiRef.
Sustainability guides HiRef in its everyday choices, which is why, in full agreement with the design, it has proposed customized solutions involving the use of R1234ze refrigerant, which has a very low environmental impact, with a GWP of 6. A choice also welcomed by the client and Massimo Cavallaro's PROGIMP design studio, demonstrating a forward-looking and modern vision.
Finally, thanks to the proposal of desuperheaters HiRef was able to offer a complete and green solution, able to meet the precise needs of the customer; in fact, with this sustainable solution, Komatsu is able to recover waste heat and use it to heat sanitary water and the one used by pressure washers, with significant energy and economic savings.
What have been the keys to a successful and lasting partnership?
The people! Throughout each phase of the project there has never been a lack of constant collaboration and assistance, because only dialogue, combined with expertise and attention to needs can open the door to a trusting relationship that lasts.