Building an Oil-Free Future

TECH & MACHINES, ZLOGS  /   /  By LG HVAC

LG’s LeviTech™-equipped Oil-Free Chillers Are Breaking with Convention to Offer
Radical Solutions to Climate Control

 

The vast majority of those who benefit from the power of today’s advanced climate control systems never pause to think about the innovations that make the unprecedented level of comfort we enjoy possible. Despite the chiller’s relatively low profile among those, it benefits the most, the technology is still the subject of important breakthroughs and exciting developments. Researchers are discovering that this foundational technology can be improved to magnify cooling capabilities while minimizing environmental impact. This new generation of solutions led by LG’s LeviTech™-equipped chillers has the potential to transform the market by offering exciting new features alongside enhanced usability and convenience.

While oil-free centrifugal compressors are nothing new, a growing number of end users are beginning to recognize that they represent the ideal solution for a diverse range of building types. At a time when sustainability and eco-friendliness are en vogue, these advanced machines make it easier than ever to go green. Ever since the technology was first released a decade ago, industry insiders have celebrated its potential to reduce maintenance obligations as well as eliminate the oil-related mechanical bearing rebuilds and service contracts required to maintain warranties.

Key oil-free compressor suppliers and OEM manufacturers believe that the global oil-free market is only in its earliest stages of development, with high future growth potential. Despite carving out significant market share in developed economies – 8 percent in the United States and 15 percent in the UK – oil-free chillers have failed to make their presence felt in developing markets like China where the technology hovers between 2 to 3 percent. However, demand for oil-free chillers is on the rise across the world, especially in government projects. The deep pockets of many government departments allow them to afford the initial investment, and long term efficiency is also valued by those thinking in decades instead of years. This trend is exemplified in how oil-free chillers have slowly overtaken the small to medium chiller market, including scroll and screw chillers.

 

LG’s LeviTech™-equipped Oil-Free Chillers

 

LG developed its unique LeviTech™ chiller technology by starting with the smallest individual components and treating each constituent part as the centerpiece of the entire project. This unrivaled attention to detail makes LeviTech™ an oil-free chiller technology like nothing that has come before. LG manufactures both magnetic-bearing and air-bearing centrifugal chillers, the first in the world to produce the latter. Both types of chillers are equipped with advanced technologies that eliminate friction, greatly increasing their energy efficiency. In the more common magnetic-bearing chillers, powerful magnets keep the shaft afloat to create a completely frictionless state, whereas air-bearing chillers rely on increased pressure in the refrigerant gas-filled housing of the compressor to open the leaf foil wider. This creates an air gap between the shaft and leaf foil assembly, allowing for frictionless operation. LG’s LeviTech™ oil-free line-up boasts a wide capacity range as its air-bearing chillers are ideally designed for smaller spaces while its magnetic-bearing chillers excel in larger settings.

LG’s lineup of LeviTech™ oil-free VSD Centrifugal Chillers also achieves world-class energy efficiency ratings thanks to its innovative VSD compressor technology. The use of LG’s oil-free LeviTech™ VSD technology results in lower operating costs while significantly reducing maintenance expenses by eliminating the oil management system. Furthermore, the new oil-free VSD Centrifugal Chillers employ a high speed direct connection that allow for operation at a mere 73dB(A).

In keeping with LG’s record of technological innovation, the UPS supplies constant power to the magnetic bearings and controller regardless of input fluctuations or power shortages, protecting them against potential damage during power failure. The solution’s black box records performance issues as they occur, making service tune-ups simple and straight forward. These and other tangible benefits separate LG’s lineup from the competition, opening up the chiller market like never before.

In addition, LG’s oil-free LeviTech™-equipped VSD Centrifugal Chiller lineup offers capacities ranging from 100RT to 1,100RT that can be installed to serve not only small to large sized buildings but also to provide specialized climate control in demanding projects ranging from ice storage to district cooling.

The incredible planning and innovation that went into LG’s latest chillers help show the company’s dedication to an underappreciated technology. LG believes that by reimaging climate control and creating solutions that are more efficient and effective than ever before, more and more people will begin to take note. Oil-free chillers have the potential to increase sustainability wherever they are installed. Capable of exceling in a wide variety of settings, these advanced solutions continue to demonstrate the path forward for those interested in building a better, more environmentally-friendly future without sacrificing performance. The benefits of these chillers appeal to more than just building managers, and their expanding role in day to day life will help the technology become a household name around the globe.

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