Testing is critical for quality
In Italy, Swegon Operations Srl in Cantarana di Cona, near Venice, makes a comprehensive climate-control system portfolio. To ensure the highest quality of the air conditioning equipment it produces, Swegon operates a Testing Room laboratory entirely dedicated to R&D and product testing. The lab has three climate-controlled chambers and end-of-line benches to allow thorough testing of every single piece of equipment, before delivery to customers.
The testing lab accurately replicates the climatic conditions the equipment will encounter in the field. It allows simulation of outdoor environments with temperatures from -15C to +55C, ranging from freezing winters and extremely hot summers.
New CHIL testing lab needed quickly
To meet the growing needs of its expanding business, and continuously evolving European standards, Swegon Operations needed to build a new test room with high capacity and flexibility.
In just 18 months, Swegon was able to design and build the new CHIL – “Cooling & Heating Innovation Lab”. In here, technicians test chillers and heat pumps with air or water condensation with single chamber or split chamber configurations. The only limit is one machine cannot exceed 800 kW.
To allow “Witness Tests” attended by the customer, the new Swegon laboratory is equipped with six cameras to enable remote attendance in real time, plus recording of the test if desired.
ABB inverters are the natural choice
For many years Swegon has relied on ABB technology built into its chillers, heat pumps and multifunction systems. When equipping the new CHIL climate chamber, Swegon didn’t hesitate about installing six ABB ACH580 frequency converters, which are programmed based on the signals from the field. The ACH580 drives support the control room, the “heart” of the operation which must manage and balance huge quantities of heat, to guarantee constant temperatures for the required time.
Favorite in the lab and the field
“Wherever we need an converter to drive pumps on the hydronic side as in variable compressors, our favorite one is ABB,” said the managers of the company. “So, when adding the new climate chamber, it didn’t make much sense for us to look for a different converter. We know ABB drives, they are reliable and they perform, so we repeated our choice again for this critical testing application for precise control of the pump operations.”
To run compressors or fans, Swegon’s engineers prefer an external converter that can be programmed with the specific know-how developed by the company over the years. “This is a strategic advantage for us,” they said. “A more compact unit with an integrated converter is a solution that can meet the space saving requirements, but it has limited application control capabilities onboard. We prefer an external drive to make best use of our know-how and develop proprietary features, rather than an off-the-shelf solution. The same applies to our refrigerating compressors. By using our proprietary control software, we can give our customers higher efficiency, and differentiate ourselves from competitors’ products.”