Johnson Controls unveils the most efficient, low-GWP line of centrifugal chillers with the YORK YZ Magnet Bearing Centrifugal Chiller.
The engineers who designed it can’t stop talking about it, and the contractors who’ve seen it in action say they’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s the YORK YZ Magnetic Bearing Centrifugal Chiller, and the foot traffic in the Johnson Controls area of the AHR expo earlier this year was particularly high due in part to its unveiling.
The YORK YZ Chiller challenges conventional chiller design, taking decades of industry-leading expertise and approximately 50 existing patents and building upon Johnson Controls’ technology with more than 30 new patent applications. The new chiller delivers up to 35% annual energy savings, reduced maintenance costs, and the widest operating envelope in the industry.
Life Cycle Costs
“In every market in the land there is this life cycle market—these guys who care deeply about their energy consumption,” says Laura Wand, vice president and general manager of global chiller products, building technologies, and solutions at Johnson Controls. “You’re going to see the YZ Chiller in hospitals, large office complexes, mixed-use complexes, data centers, universities, large public schools—anywhere those people who have intense pressure on their operating budgets are looking for certain payback. We can get you a payback, and it’s certain.” Invest in the YZ Chiller now and you’ll start saving money the minute you turn it on, she says.
Wand says price is based on value, and Johnson Controls never asks customers to pay more than the chiller is worth in energy efficiency payback. “It’ll be worth it in the bottom line,” she says. “But we live in a world of two to three-plus year payback.”
The YORK YZ chiller uses an integral, variable speed drive and advanced magnetic bearing technology with a single moving assembly suspended in a magnetic field that doesn’t need lubrication. The technology requires 80% fewer moving parts than traditional oil or refrigerant-lubricated drivelines. “When you’ve got a mag bearing chiller, there’s no oil in it, and that means less maintenance,” Wand says, adding that oil equals extra parts like an oil pump, valves, connectors, sensors, and so forth. “When you take oil out, you get rid of all that claptrap and you improve your heat transfer.”
With the mag bearing technology there’s also no friction, and thus, no wear. This technology lasts the lifetime of the chiller, Wand says, and it’s also quiet. “Magnetic bearing technology has been used for turbo equipment for awhile. We first started getting involved in it (in 1998) when we were serving our navy customers, who certainly liked the attribute of low noise.”
The YZ chiller can deliver significant energy savings and lower operating costs by taking advantage of the off-design conditions where chillers operate 99% of the time. The variable speed drive slows the YZ down on warmer days automatically based on the conditions it sees, instead of using a braking system like a fixed speed chiller. “It dramatically reduces your energy,” Wand says.
The YZ operates with entering condenser water temperature as low as 40°F, providing enhanced performance in every operating condition and the widest operating envelope in the industry. The chiller can also operate with condenser temperatures below the evaporator temperatures, eliminating the need for a water-side economizer, which simplifies the system, requires less mechanical room space, and saves money on components, piping, controls, and maintenance. Installing contractors are saying they can push this new chiller to efficiency levels never seen before. The chiller can also meet most retrofit needs and be broken down to fit in tight spaces.
Part of why the YZ Chiller stands out, though, is due to its low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant—R-1233zd(E). Chosen for its efficiency, safety, availability, low environmental impact, and cost, nonflammable R-1233zd(E) has an ultra-low GWP of 1.
A Suite of Solutions
Even on the hottest day of the year, you’re using less power with the chiller. When combined with Johnson Controls Metasys building automation system, though, you’re sure to get the best results. Of course, determining your building’s system starts with Johnson Control experts, Wand says, pointing to the people who go into a building to understand it as a unique ecosystem. “Every building’s a snowflake. You have to actually solve for it and have the right building blocks to bring to that conversation—the world’s most efficient chiller, the world’s most comprehensive and easy to use building control system, and connected chillers that allow you to say, ‘Wait a minute, that is not operating the way it was. Something’s weird.’ Instead of burning power, it waves its hand and says, ‘Hey, come look at me. Fix me.’” It starts with the knowledge of the Johnson Controls experts who study a building and offer solutions.
Johnson Controls has experts all over the globe, including in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. “We can go into any facility and have a capital cost optimization discussion with people who want to buy chilled water at a low price or we can have a life cycle cost conversation,” says Rod Rushing, vice president and president of building solutions North America for Johnson Controls. “We’re in a unique position now that we have such a broad offering of chillers that allows us to have a really broad conversation about what’s really important to that individual owner. ‘Are you trying to hit a capital budget? Are you trying to buy across life cycle?’”
While the solutions are varied, the YZ Chiller itself has many options should it be the best fit for a building’s needs. Wand says the company was committed to launching a whole platform at the same time, with chiller models that cover 165 tons to 1,000 tons. “There’s a right answer for every building that gives you the best cost performance,” Wand says. “The beauty of Johnson Controls is we have it. We’re in a great position, and we love our ability to serve our customers.”
York YZ Chiller at a Glance
Magnetic bearing technology
New low-GWP refrigerant
Up to 35% annual energy savings
80% fewer moving parts
- Lower operating costs