DID YOU KNOW….

DID YOU KNOW…

Henry Vogt was born in Louisville in 1856 to poor German immigrants.  Shortly after becoming a journeyman machinist in 1880, together with his partner, opened a small machine shop on Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky.  Specializing in general machine repair and the manufacture of freight elevators, he recognized that an engineered proprietary product would have numerous advantages over a general machine shop and soon established the reputation of “Building It Better”.  During that same year Mr. Thomas A. Edison, a previous neighbor to Henry Vogt, was granted a U.S. patent for the invention of the first incandescent light bulb.

In 1885, a boiler shop and foundry were added to the small machine shop for the manufacture of new products.  This year marked the introduction of a new line of products used to make “artificial” ice – the Absorption Refrigeration and Ice Making Machine.  This was just the beginning of the company we know now as Vogt Ice, the world leader in ice machine manufacturing.

Henry Vogt

Soft Start vs. Full Voltage start

Why is it better to use a Soft Start (Solid State) motor starter than a full voltage, across the line starter for large compressor motors?

 

The soft start allows us to slowly bring the compressor motor up to speed which reduces the high inrush current, reduces initial torque and reduces the possibility of belt slippage at startup.

 

For the full voltage, across the line start, the inrush current at startup is 600% of the motors RLA (Running Load Amps) and the initial torque is 180%-300% peak.

 

For the soft start (solid state) motor start, the inrush current at startup is 300% of the motors RLA and 25% of the full voltage starters initial torque.

 

Better for the motor, better for the machine and in some locations, better for the customers power bill.

Sneak Peak: Video Preview of Vogt’s HFO-Pak Dedicated Ice Making High-Sides

Vogt Ice at the 2018 Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo

Vogt Ice at the IIAR 2018 Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo

The sales and engineering staff are back in the office this week after an exciting time at the annual IIAR
Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. The
Conference is held each year to highlight advances and research in Natural Refrigerants, and Vogt was
proudly showcasing our chilling and ice making solutions for Ammonia installations.

Among our hot topics of discussion with current and future customers was the Vogt AMO Pak – a
skidded compressor system specifically designed for use with Vogt 25-ton and 50-ton ice makers. These
compressor packs feature the industry leading Bitzer OSKA-series of open drive screw compressors
paired with Vogt suction accumulators and receivers to maximize ice production. Intended to be
remote-mounted refrigeration packages, their compact size allows for easy transit and installation, even
for retrofit applications. Contact your Vogt Representative today to discuss this system for your
application.

Flood of 1937

DID YOU KNOW…

 

The devastating flood of 1937 changed Louisville and its residents forever.  The “River City” was engulfed by the Ohio River as a result of 15” of rain in a 12-day period in January of that year.   The river crested 30.44 feet above flood stage, a record that still stands today.  Seventy percent of Louisville was submerged and the Ohio River was 24 miles wide in some places forcing evacuation of over 175,000 people.

During the flood, Vogt had the only electrical generator in the city that was above the flood waters that could operate.  It supplied emergency electrical power to critical operations in the Louisville area.  These included Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, two local bakeries, and the infamous Waverly Hills Sanitarium.  Thanks to Vogt, the crisis was made a little more bearable to those in the Louisville and surrounding areas.

L.D. Schlegel views water surrounding the entrance of the plant.
Photo taken by Henry Vogt Heuser

 

 

How can I help customers make an emotional connection with an ice machine?

How can I help customers make an emotional connection with an ice machine?

 

It occurred to me while working the Boston Seafood show this March, that logic and reason don’t usually overcome the desire to put off till tomorrow what should be done today.  Specifically it is more difficult to convince someone to order an ice machine in the middle of a snowstorm in winter than in the blazing heat of summer.    Still, to be ready for the summer ice season the logical and reasonable time to buy ice machines is now.

 

While sitting idle during a northeaster at the last day of the show I mused:  Why is it so difficult for so many to make the investment on an ice machine that usually has a very high and highly reliable rate of return or significantly helps prevent a catastrophic losses of product?  Perhaps I need to help my customers make the emotional connection to their ice machine too.

 

Before the storm blew in I had the opportunity to take an unscheduled tour of a large fishing vessel. It was revealing to me that an old boat will be continually maintained and updated to catch and bring back hundreds of tons of fresh and frozen highly marketable fish.  Whatever is required, fishermen will find the money to keep their boats operating and up-to-date.  The boats are not only necessary equipment but also are the fishermen’s lifeline and the emotional symbol of their respective chosen profession and livelihood.  So much so that the boats go by their own names.  Yet it’s generally without argument that old boats should be replaced before there is no choice about doing so!  And it seems farmers make similar connections with their tractors.  I’ve spent many hours at the family farm in the seat of “Ol Big Red”, an IH farm tractor. When it’s time to plant or to harvest, it had to run.  It served us well but when it was time, it was replaced by the newer “Big Green Machine.”  Although ice machines are nearly as important to the success of any fish catch or produce harvest, I don’t know of any customer who has named their ice machine. Is a catchy name, born out of day-to-day use and familiarity, all that is missing?  Perhaps for Vogt and Turbo ice machines it’s time to give the “Ol Reliable” a thorough going over.  Get a professional evaluation from your refrigeration contractor and (or) Vogt representative and consider the alternatives. Treat “Ol Reliable” with the respect it’s earned.  While you have a choice and before the peak of ice season is upon you, decide to fix it, or completely overhaul it, or let it retire on top– with dignity intact.

 

Perhaps it’s time to name a new, more efficient Vogt icemaker to take the mantle.

International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration Conference

Want to know about all things refrigeration, particularly for ammonia? Then join us at the annual International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) Conference and Expo on March 18 to 21 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO. Meet your Vogt Ice Sales and Engineering representatives and in Booth 504 near the exhibit hall entrance.

Many of our Distributors and Representatives and Contractors will be attending. We all look forward to
discussing your ice and chilled water applications. See what we can do for you with the new
refrigeration packages, Vogt HFOpak and Vogt AMOpak featuring Bitzer high efficiency screw
compressors. These are designed to optimize capacity with new HFO and ammonia refrigerants. And
please look at entire wide product lineup at our website, Vogtice.com.

Please stop by. I look forward to meeting with you.
Mike

 

World’s Largest Ice Machine

DID YOU KNOW…

Weighing in at 83,000, the world’s largest ice machine was shipped from Vogt Ice to a power generation facility in North Carolina in 1994.  Imagine the immense size of such a machine traveling down the highway to its new home in North Carolina.  To clear the front gates of the Vogt Factory, the team had to let the air out of the truck tires.

This mammoth machine, was capable of producing as much as 700 tons of ice in a 24-hour period.  In contrast, the single largest Tube-Ice machine built today, the P42AXL (“The Ice King”), will produce 125 tons of ice per day.

Engineers at the power generating facility found that by cooling the air that feeds the gas turbine generators improved the operating efficiency during peak demand periods.  Engineers had used other air-cooling devices to feed turbines but determined ice was an efficient alternative.  The ice makers work at night when power demand is lower, and recycle the water from melted ice to make new ice.

 

Alternative Refrigerant for R22 Ice Makers and Chillers

Vogt and Turbo Ice machines have been manufactured for decades, and as such we have a large install base of machines that utilize refrigerants that are coming under increasing pressure from the phase outs of the original Montreal Protocol, like R22.   In response to these global regulatory changes, Vogt/Turbo has spent a significant amount of time and effort researching and testing alternatives to R22, seeking a solution that could be a “drop in”, or at least a safe and effective replacement.  This has proven to be a significant challenge.

 

The challenge of replacing R22 with one of the new pure HFC refrigerants or azeotropic refrigerant blends (the R1XX or R5XX families of refrigerants), or non-azeotropic HFC blends (the R4XX family refrigerants), lies in four main areas: the working pressure of the refrigerant, which must be below the safe operating levels of the current system; the glide of the refrigerant, which must be near zero to work effectively in large industrial ice machines and falling film chillers; and the volumetric efficiency, which needs to be close to that of R22 so that the sizing of the vessels, piping, and TXV(s) in the system remains viable for service without an unacceptable reduction in capacity.

 

The working pressure of the refrigerant is the first issue to consider, as a safe system is of the utmost importance.  Low-side refrigeration components of R22 Turbo Ice Makers and Falling Film Chillers were rated for between 150 and 200 PSI Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP), depending on the system and the era.  The most common HFC alternatives to R22 in industrial systems today are R404a and R507, but unfortunately both of these working fluids require a low-side MAWP of 250psi for most applications.

 

Second, we considered the glide of the refrigerants available for substitution for R22.  While R404a and R507 have acceptably low glides, they have already been discounted from serviceability due to their MAWP requirements.  The other common R4XX family of refrigerants, including R407C, R407F, and R410, also have glides well above that of R22.  These high glide refrigerants pose long term operational issues caused by fractionalization in any application, but are particularly problematic for industrial ice makers and falling film chillers.  Because these refrigerants have significant temperature glides, they also segregate and fractionize in service, as both ice makes and falling film chillers have very low temperature gradients across the evaporators.  This causes the higher vapor pressure constituent of the refrigerant blend to volatize preferentially and reduces the lower vapor pressure component to the role of a heat transfer fluid, rather than a working (volatile) fluid.  As a result, the evaporator fluid chemistry changes over the course of time and causes both erratic operation and a reduction in capacity.

 

The last factor reviewed in detail was the volumetric efficiency of the alterative refrigerants.  As we have already discussed, the R4XX and R5XX families of refrigerants pose challenges for use in existing R22 systems, and their generally lower volumetric efficiency adds to the challenge of using them for a replacement.  Unmentioned, as yet, is R134a, a common replacement for both R22 and R12 in many air conditioning and centrifugal chiller applications.  R134a has a lower working pressure than R22 and, as it is not a blend, has zero glide.  The challenge R134a faces as a retrofit for Turbo Plate Ice Makers and Falling Film Chiller Systems is that it has a dramatically lower volumetric efficiency than R22.  The R22 Turbo Ice Machines and Falling Film Chillers were not designed to account for this, and, while the plates themselves can function on R134a, the balance of the system (TXVs, the evaporator piping, and the plate to piping connections) will be severely undersized and reduce capacity dramatically.

 

Also worthy of note is that there are innumerable additional working fluids being marketed by both large and small entities specifically as “R22 Replacement Solutions”.  Vogt/Turbo has reviewed several of these and has not found any to be suitable for retrofit of our R22 Ice Machines or Falling Film Chillers.  These fluids were all found to have excessively high glides; further, and not mentioned above, some of these alternative refrigerants are either mildly or severely flammable, while R22 and the alternatives mentioned above are non-flammable.  Vogt Turbo strongly advises against the use of any flammable refrigerants in our equipment and recommends discussing this hazard with the manufacturer and distributor of the refrigerant specifically before considering it for use.

 

Lastly, in all of the research that Vogt/Turbo has done, we have found that virtually all of the alterative refrigerants available have significant high-side component impacts that must also be taken into consideration when evaluating potential alternative solutions to replace R22.  Most, if not all, of the potential alternatives will require the system to be fully flushed of the mineral oil used in R22 compressors and the oil type changed after this flushing.  Failure to fully remove the old oil can result in significant costs related to failures of components.  Some elastomeric seals may also require replacement.

 

In summary, while the market has a large number of solutions for R22 alterative refrigerants that are suitable for some equipment and applications, Vogt/Turbo has not found any alternative that maintains an acceptable level of safety, capacity, and reliability in the R22 Turbo Plate Ice Makers and Falling Film Chillers built in the past.  Vogt/Turbo has invested significant effort into this investigation over the past 10 years, and we remain convinced that the best solution for most customers in the face of the impending R22 phase down, not to mention the rising cost of R22, will be to look at replacing their existing equipment with new systems designed to use the low GWP-HFC, HFO, or natural refrigerants that are favored by the newest amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

 

Vogt Ice Focuses on Future HFO10

HFC refrigerants are experiencing a phase-out in a variety of markets across the globe due to their high global warming potential (GWP). This forces OEMs to build forward thinking business strategies when selecting a replacement refrigerant for use in their equipment.

 

The catch with synthetic refrigerants in ice machines is to find the perfect balance between something that will work well in the application and be available for purchase for the foreseeable future. Finding this balance has been Vogt’s focus.

 

Vogt’s long-term refrigerant solution is to use HFO blends that are similar in properties to R134a. These hydroflouroolefin-based refrigerants have very low GWPs that are in line with the EU F-Gas Regulation phase-down and with projected refrigerant regulations in the United States.

 

In November 2017 at the IPIA, Vogt introduced the HFO10. This is the first Tube-Ice machine designed to run on an HFO blend (R513A). This blend, along with other R134a-like HFO blends, are expected to be long term synthetic refrigerant solutions, but are likely to evolve to find themselves replaced by pure HFO refrigerants of the R1234 family. This family of pure HFOs will be retrofittable to the HFO10, giving it a secure and well-defined future as the market evolves.

 

In addition to environmental benefits, the HFO10 operates at lower head pressures (approx. 130 psi), putting less overall stress on the system. Vogt utilizes Bitzer’s innovative CSH semi-hermetic compact screw compressor – a robust design that is more reliable than a reciprocating compressor. A further benefit of the CSH is that it is quieter when operating than the equivalent reciprocating design. Energy efficiency remains excellent with the machine consuming as little as 2.68 KWH per 100 lbs of ice produced.

 

The HFO10 is just the beginning of Vogt’s new focus to innovate and to introduce superior products to the marketplace.