Copper as the metal of the future in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry

In spite of the fact that copper has been used for thousands of years, it is increasingly being called as the ‘metal of the future’, especially in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. The climate change caused that the demand for the air conditioning and refrigeration systems is increasing and, in addition to efficiency, ecological aspects are also taken into consideration. Therefore, copper components play a key role here! 

 

Why is copper used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry?

Nowadays, efficient ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems are required. As a result, this demand continues to grow and this tendency will continue as the temperature amplitude increases. It turns out that more and more privately-owned homes and apartments, as well as commercial and public buildings have these systems installed as a standard.

This growing demand results in searching for solutions that ensure high energy efficiency and are eco-friendly at the same time. One of the solutions is copper.

This metal is characterised by its durability, but also its high ductility. Thanks to these properties, it is very easy to manufacture even the most complex components. It is reliable, resistant to high and low temperatures and corrosion. Copper has also antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and is 100% recyclable without loss of quality!

 

Smaller and lighter copper tubing in HVAC systems

Copper tubes manufactured in accordance with EN 12735-1 are usually used for the construction of refrigeration and air conditioning systems. In terms of the air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, the diameter of copper tubes is 4-7 mm, so the size is smaller than the diameter of tubes in commonly used steel installations. These round tubes are also threaded or grooved. As a result, this is a huge advantage as the diameter is significantly reduced, but without affecting the inner surface of the tube.

Thanks to the use of copper tubes with smaller diameter, it is also possible to install lighter and smaller heat exchangers, while maintaining efficient heat transfer, or to achieve greater heat transfer and better efficiency with the heat exchanger having the same size. With regard to the functionally equivalent heat exchangers, the weight of the tubes can be reduced by up to several dozen percent, at the same time reducing installation costs.

 

Use of eco-friendly and efficient refrigerants

Copper alloy tubes used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems are characterised by high resistance to chemical substances and can transport various refrigerants. It is also important to add that the volume of the refrigerant can be significantly reduced, and as a result, this lowers the operating costs of the system. In addition, smaller-diameter tubes (than those commonly used for plumbing) bring cost savings in materials, as well as make HVAC systems more practical. The size of the components is reduced, like the equipment itself.

Such installations may continue to operate without any difficulties at higher pressures. This makes it possible to use new and eco-friendly refrigerants such as R410A and R7441 that are cheaper, more efficient and non-toxic.

 

Easy to replace and install, fully recyclable!

Copper is a very durable and corrosion-resistant metal. This can be evidenced by the recent use of copper in the construction of radioactive waste storage tanks (in Sweden) that are supposed to last at least a hundred thousand years!

Replaced or used copper components are recycled. This is an efficient way to return the material to the industry, especially as it uses up to 85% less energy in comparison with the original production!

 

Antibacterial properties of copper

In addition, copper has natural antibacterial and bacteriostatic properties, which is important in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. This is especially important as these are bacteria breeding grounds. On the copper surfaces, multiple strains of dangerous bacteria and fungi are inactivated within a few hours. This fact may have a considerable impact on reducing the number of cases of diseases!

We specialise in the production of copper components. Therefore, if you are looking for a supplier of advanced copper components for refrigeration and air conditioning systems, you will find everything you need in Electris.

 

Summary:

How is copper used in the air conditioning and refrigeration systems?

In the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, modern small-diameter copper tubes with threaded or grooved inner surfaces are used. Owing to this fact, it is possible to reduce the size and weight of the entire system. The aforesaid properties also increase the efficiency of the installation and make it possible to adapt the system to the use of eco-friendly refrigerants.

Why is it worth using copper in refrigeration systems?

Copper and its alloys are durable and corrosion-resistant and therefore, the life cycle of the system is longer. Additionally, the use of copper tubes also increases the efficiency of the entire installation, i.e., saves energy. It is also worth noticing that copper has strong antibacterial properties (inactivates pathogens) and is 100% recyclable.

What is the average diameter of copper tubes for refrigeration systems?

The diameter of a modern copper plumbing tube may be 4-7 mm and thanks to internal grooves or threads, its inner surface remains large. As a consequence, it is possible to use smaller heat exchangers and ensure high energy efficiency at the same time.

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