A jury of ASHRAE engineers selected Danfoss as recipient of the 2009 AHR Exposition Refrigeration Innovation Award. The honored product is a newly-developed energy-saving variable frequency drive for compressors, pumps, and fans, the most common energy-consuming applications in supermarket refrigeration.

“In designing the AKD 102, we worked with food retail professionals to create a drive that is set up and commissioned using common refrigeration terms and logic rather than the ‘computerese’ encountered with other drives,” says David Hebel, North American business development manager at Danfoss. Hebel demonstrated the drive’s Setup Wizard that should make the installer’s work a comfortable process using language familiar to refrigeration technicians. Every drive in the AKD 102 series, from 1.5 to 125 hp, uses the same Setup Wizard and manual. Technicians use identical methods for setup, commissioning, adjustment, and troubleshooting with every drive. This was seen as a positive advantage by food industry professionals, who often have several different-sized drive applications in a single facility.
In refrigeration applications, the AKD 102 constantly matches compressor output to demand, resulting in a higher coefficient of performance (COP). “With the AKD 102, there is no wasted capacity and no wasted energy,” Hebel said.
Pumps and fans become compelling opportunities for energy savings with the AKD 102 drive because they consume power according to the Affinity Law. This principle of physics states that when power is used to drive a rotating shaft, energy use is proportional to the cube of shaft speed. By load matching, fans designed for peak load can successfully perform at reduced speed about 85% of the time. Reducing fan and pump speed results in dramatic energy savings.
The Award for the AKD 102 drive brought to seven the number of awards that Danfoss has taken home in as many years, an unprecedented record; Danfoss is also the first company to receive two Innovation Awards in one year. The second award was for development of the Apexx VSH variable speed R-410A scroll compressor for commercial air conditioning.
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