- Many of the current refrigerants have a substantial environmental impact, and the objective of the work is to identify more environmental alternatives, says Christian Schlemminger, scientist at SINTEF Energy Research.
- We are competing on the international market, and have customers operating in demanding environments with increasing operation temperatures. It's important for MKK to deliver systems that provide sustainable solutions both for the customer and for us, says Chief Executive Officer Ann-Hele Baadstrand.
From the Eiffel Tower to the Antarctic
MKK is a Norway-based manufacturer of tailormade HVAC systems (heat, ventilation, air conditioning) for industrial applications throughout the world.
MKK delivered systems for the Eiffel Tower's elevators and for a research station in the Antarctic. The most common deliveries are systems for offshore installations, and for cranes in the smelting industry. The research project will be specifically aimed at improving the smelting industry systems.
- I'm looking forward to this task, says Schlemminger. Developing sustainable solutions for and together with Norwegian (and international) industry is our main task here at SINTEF.
- A normal air conditioning system, like the ones people have at home, usually operates in normal temperature environments. The systems I will be examining are installed in smelting facilities and operate in extreme environments with very high ambient temperatures (up to 90°C). Additionally, they can't take up too much space. The choice of refrigerant has an impact on the compressors, which are the "hearts" of these systems, says Schlemminger
Loan a scientist
Kunnskapsparken Helgeland was tasked with setting up the project, and chose a SINTEF scientist, Christian Schlemminger. He has cutting-edge expertise in research and development of systems and components in cooling and heat pump technology, and is among other things the leader of compressor-related research in the FME HighEFF research centre. MKK gets financing for the project through the Research Council of Norway's program Borrow a Researcher.
Stein Espen Bøe, from SINTEF Helgeland, acted as an intermediary to find the right SINTEF scientist, and assisted in drafting the application to Nordland county council.
- We're pleased that Nordland county council saw the value of our project and decided to finance it. With this project, we will be at the leading edge of the research in our field. This will strengthen our position and give us a competitive advantage, as well as an economic upside, says CEO Ann-Helen Baadstrand.