22 September 2021
TURBOALGOR - Reducing the environmental impact of the cold chain

 

Summer 2021


Turboalgor is an innovative Italian SME startup, participated by Angelantoni Group, which brings an automotive-derived solution to the refrigeration sector, that guarantees energy savings up to +23% and an increase in cooling capacity up to +56%, at low temperatures.

Turboalgor has a clear goal: to reduce the environmental impact of the cold chain, which is now responsible for almost the 20% of world electricity consumption. This number will grow significantly over the next 30 years due to increasing global temperatures, economic development and urbanization. Nature remains the greatest resource for each of us, which is why it is fundamental that technologies evolve to impact the environment less and less. Turboalgor takes an active part in this ambitious project, allowing to reduce the electricity consumptions related to refrigeration systems and CO2 emissions.

By applying long-established technology in the automotive sector, the turbocharger, Turboalgor has patented and created a system capable of making the compression cycle of refrigerant fluids more efficient, while improving the cooling capacity of refrigeration systems and their energy efficiency, extending their service life, instead of replacing them.

In the refrigeration sector there have been no significant innovations in the last 20 years, excluding the inverter. Turboalgor’s innovation represents a radical change from any other existing energy saving solution. Furthermore, it is also applicable in the presence of the energy saving technologies currently available in the refrigeration sector.

Conventional vapor compression refrigeration systems have an important point of inefficiency, the expansion valve. This takes the coolant from a high pressure to a low pressure and dissipates energy. By inserting a turbocharger and two heat exchangers, it is possible to recover part of this energy, as well as increase the cooling capacity of the system.

"Turboalgor is the result of an intuition, not of a logical process. I made parallelisms between automotive and refrigeration sectors and I noticed that there was a common problem, the waste of energy", explains Maurizio Ascani (pictured), Turboalgor Innovation Technology Manager.


The product range is developed in different combinations of absorbed electrical power (20 kW – 300 kW) and evaporation temperature in order to meet the needs of those who work along the entire cold chain, a sector currently responsible for the 20% of the world electricity consumption.

To date, solutions for Low and Medium Temperature are available on the market and Turboalgor technology will soon be compatible even with higher temperatures, typical of industrial air conditioning and process cooling. Turboalgor technology can be applied both to existing systems, with the Stand Alone Kit Solution, and to newly manufactured systems, with Integrated Solutions, where the heart of Turboalgor technology (right), is included directly into the refrigeration system during its construction.

Turboalgor technology is compatible with HFC (freon) organic refrigerant fluids such as R404a or similar type, including the latest generation ones such as R448a, R449a, R452a whose GWP (Global Warming Potential) is less than 2.500, and in the future with natural refrigerants such as CO2 and NH3.

Turboalgor has already some important references in the Food and Refrigerated Logistic sectors, such as Cesare Fiorucci S.p.A, Di Battista Food Srl, and STEF Italia S.p.A with the Stand Alone Kit and it turns to all the companies working along the cold chain, belonging also to different market sectors such as GDO&Retail, Chemical and Pharma.

"Working with Turboalgor has been a great experience since they are trained and professional people who have shown maximum availability, also collaborating with our refrigeration technicians. I would absolutely recommend to evaluate the product, because with the saving that could be obtained, the return on investment is really interesting." Says Matteo Bruzzano, STEF Italia Energy Manager.

It has already been developed the first Integrated Solution with Di Battista Food which is bringing -9% of energy costs and +15% of cooling power on average.

With integrated solutions there is an optimization of both layout and costs: the more the level of integration increases the more the payback time for end-users is reduced.

"We chose Turboalgor because it has a significant impact on both environmental and economic terms. Furthermore, there was the possibility to reduce the compressors size and to reduce the power consumed for the same performance." says Rocco Di Battista, Di Battista Food owner.

Despite the difficult period that the world is experiencing, Turboalgor is encountering strong interest from the market and it’s looking for companies that share the same values and that are interested in preserving the environment.

As a result of directives aimed to reduce and to eliminate refrigeration fluids that contribute to global warming, refrigerating plants using natural refrigerants are becoming more and more widespread.

Among these CO2, being neither flammable nor toxic, is assuming a relevant importance, but it is characterized by a higher consumption of electricity.

Energy efficiency, which is important in all applications, takes more relevance in this specific case.

Unfortunately, turbocharger cannot be used in this type of system due to the high pressures and low volumetric flow rates of the refrigerant fluid.

For this reason Turboalgor has developed a device completely different from the turbocharger, but with the same purpose: to compress refrigerant fluid without using primary energy but by reusing the energy of the refrigeration circuit that would otherwise be lost; this device is the "free piston expander" that is a piston-cylinder system with no electric motor and whose movement is guaranteed by the "waste energy" which in a normal refrigerator would not be usable.

Theoretical analyses foresee that, through the free piston expander and related auxiliary devices, it will be possible to save between 10-20% of electricity.

The experimentation on the test bench of the first free piston expander prototype will have to quantify the extent of the benefit obtainable in terms of energy efficiency.

Turboalgor is also working on the "heart" of refrigeration system, that is the compressor; successfully completed the research activities on an innovative reciprocating compressor characterized by efficiency increases more than 10%, the activities aimed at industrializing and placing on the market this type of compressor have begun.


Contact details:
Maurizio Varesi
Sales & Marketing Director

Turboalgor S.r.l.
Headquarter
loc. Cimacolle, 464
06056 Massa Martana (PG) – Italy

Sales Head Office:
Centro Direzionale Milanofiori
Strada 1 Palazzo F 1
20057 – Assago (MI)

Tel: +39 029 397 0170
Mob: +39 339 683 3685
Email: maurizio.varesi@turboalgor.it