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Copeland™ Takes Home AHR Innovation Awards for Compression Technologies


The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) recently announced the winners of its 2023 Innovation Awards, and Copeland variable-speed and two-stage compressors picked up top honors in the refrigeration and heating categories. In addition, the Copeland oil-free centrifugal compressor was a finalist in the cooling category. Recognition of these innovations reflects Copeland’s commitment to advance more sustainable compression technologies in the next generation of lower-global warming potential (GWP) and energy-efficient HVACR equipment.



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Each year, AHR Expo selects winners across 10 industry categories that represent the most innovative products and technologies entering the market. From an industry-wide perspective, these awards exemplify how HVACR manufacturers are working toward global sustainability targets and developing solutions that address the most pressing technological challenges. Products are reviewed by a panel of third-party judges comprised of distinguished members of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Among the 10 innovation award winners, one will be selected as the Product of the Year — which will be awarded at the AHR Expo in Atlanta, February 6–8.

Copeland compression technology has been recognized for efforts which push the envelope of innovation and raise the bar for performance via the development of environmentally friendly refrigeration, heating and cooling technologies.

Heating winner: Copeland ZPSK7 scroll compressor

Building on the previous award-winning ZPSK6 platform, the Copeland ZPSK7 scroll compressor represents the most efficient two-stage compressor developed in Copeland’s rich 100-year history. With a product range spanning 1.5 to 5 tons, this innovative compressor product line is ideally suited for residential and light commercial HVAC applications. Copeland ZPSK7 scroll compressors are designed to operate in two stages based on the heating or cooling demand — at full-load (100 percent) or partial-load (65 percent) capacities.

When a partial load is needed, bypass ports located inside the compression chamber partially open to unload the compressor and modulate capacity to 65 percent. Operating at partial capacity during light-load requirements inherently lowers energy consumption while reducing in-rush currents from compressor stops and starts. When demand increases, a modulation control valve activates, sealing the bypass and increasing capacity to 100 percent.

The Copeland ZPSK7 scroll compressor also delivers important benefits in humidity reduction and air quality. By running at lower capacity without stopping, it enables continuous airflow over the coil and filter. Two-stage modulation also supports an HVAC system’s ability to adjust its capacity to match the load, resulting in longer run times at higher efficiency while maximizing comfort.

Refrigeration winner: Copeland ZFW variable-speed scroll

The Copeland ZFW variable-speed scroll solution seamlessly pairs brushless permanent magnet (BPM) motor-based scrolls with Copeland variable frequency drives (VFDs), EVM Series and Emerson controls to enable the many benefits of variable-capacity modulation:

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Precise load matching and temperatures
  • Greater application and operational flexibility
  • Increased equipment longevity and refrigeration reliability

Designed for use in low-temperature, stationary refrigeration applications — such as self-contained coolers and freezers, display cases and condensing units — the Copeland ZFW variable-speed scroll provides twice the capacity while providing a 20–30 percent efficiency improvement when compared to a fixed-speed compressor of the same size. Featuring vapor injection technology and speeds from 1,000–7,000 rpm, the Copeland ZFW offers an unparalleled range of variable-capacity modulation control, while .

For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), one Copeland ZFW variable-speed compressor can cover a wider range of refrigeration capacities, reducing the need for multiple compressor SKUs for varying equipment sizes. Variable-speed compression supports a variety of retailers’ sustainability and operational goals — from reducing energy consumption and maintaining tighter refrigeration setpoints, which can help owners and operators to protect food quality and safety. Today, the Copeland ZFW is available for use with A1 refrigerants and will be qualified for use with A2L refrigerants by 2024, making the platform a robust option for complying with current and future commercial refrigeration regulations.

The Copeland EVM/EVH Series drives are optimized for compatibility with Copeland compressors and preconfigured for use with Emerson controls (iPro, E2, E3, Site Supervisor), and also can be integrated universally with any controller. As a stand-alone VFD solution, Copeland EVM/EVH drives can be applied on fans, pumps and other electric motors. Built-in Bluetooth capability helps to streamline commissioning and servicing.

Cooling finalist: Copeland oil-free centrifugal compressor featuring Aero-lift™ bearing technology

The Copeland oil-free centrifugal compressor is a high-speed turbomachine designed to deliver high performance via its groundbreaking Aero-lift bearing technology. Unlike most compression platforms, the Copeland oil-free centrifugal solution compresses lower-GWP refrigerant without the requirements of oiled lubrication. Aero-lift bearing technology does not require the significant electronic componentry that traditional magnetic bearings require, reducing a financial barrier that typically limits market adoption of oil-free compression.

With a platform range spanning 50 to 100 tons, the Copeland oil-free centrifugal compressor featuring Aero-lift bearing technology is applicable across a broad spectrum of HVAC applications and is especially well-suited for air-cooled chillers. to operate efficiently in warmer climates, this compressor solution can deliver world-class performance in warmer climates up to condensing temperatures of 140 °F.

Since this compressor is also qualified for use with lower-GWP refrigerants — such as R-513A, R-515B and R-1234ze — it delivers a unique combination of reliability, application flexibility, energy efficiency and sustainability.

To learn more about these award-winning compression technologies, please visit our AHR webpage.



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