Companies around the world are accelerating their investments to move toward a carbon-free society. In Korea, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are becoming increasingly important as the country promotes the Renewable Energy 3020 and Green New Deal policies. ESS (Energy Storage System) is becoming more important and is being recognized as a core infrastructure.
ESS are devices that can store energy generated from solar, wind, and other sources and retrieve it when needed, making them an essential part of the future power system. According to Bloomberg, the global industry size of the ESS market is expected to expand to $262 billion by 2030.
However, ESS has a downside: reliability. They are vulnerable to external shocks, temperature, humidity, vibration, and impact, which can lead to catastrophic failures and even major fires. They are particularly vulnerable to high temperatures, so reliable cooling is essential. Recently, a domestic company has succeeded in developing a low-power ESS-specific air conditioner and has attracted a lot of attention. Monthly PowerKorea met Kooltron CEO Kwanghyuk Park and learned the story.
Providing a total cooling package system from cooling product design to after-sales service and on-site installation
Successfully developed the first outdoor air conditioner dedicated to ESS in Korea
Kooltron is a total cooling package system company that provides a complete solution of cooling system from design to after-sales service and installation for cooling products such as industrial air conditioners and chillers. The company was founded in 2012 and developed ‘Water Chiller 5RT’ in 2014, starting with the acquisition of ‘Modular Automatic Filter Replacement Device’ patent technology, and recently launched the first outdoor air conditioner dedicated to ESS facilities in Korea, attracting tremendous attention from the related industry.
Powerful cooling is necessary to ensure the stability of ESS devices. The company started developing an outdoor air conditioner for ESS in 2019 and completed product development in 2020, the first in Korea, and registered a patent for a cooling device for energy storage systems in 2021. The company has been selected as a supplier for LS Electric HVAC, selected as the sole supplier of HVCA for Samsung SDI Battery Box (SBB) project, selected as the sole supplier of SK Innovation HVAC, selected as the sole supplier for Hanwha Defense modular liquid cooling chiller development, and selected as the supplier for SK ON HVAC in Massachusetts, USA
The company’s outdoor ESS-only air conditioner is the first outdoor product dedicated to ESS installations in Korea.
Ultra-low power design with high-efficiency BLDC fan, fully waterproof and dustproof design IP56 certified
Semi-permanent filters keep bugs and dust out, allowing for running and stopping tests
The company’s outdoor air conditioners have various features and advantages. The main advantage is that it uses a high-efficiency BLDC fan to save energy and improve durability. Thanks to the technology of high-efficiency BLDC fans, the product boasts low power consumption that is comparable to inverter air conditioners. Kooltron CEO Kwanghyuk Park says “Our product price is about 40% lower than inverter air conditioners, but the power consumption is not much different. In fact, we installed our product at a domestic auto parts manufacturer alongside another company’s conventional and inverter air conditioner products, and there was almost no difference when the one-year data was compiled. On the other hand, the electricity bill was more than four to five times higher than that of conventional products.”
It is completely waterproof and dustproof, with IP56 certification, and does not require a separate waterproof cover. The chiller is designed for installation in ESS facilities with a fire extinguisher shutdown function to stop the chiller immediately in the event of a fire. The semi-permanent filter is easy to clean and maintain and completely prevents insects and dust from entering. The product also enables start, stop, and operation tests for each major component such as compressors and blower fans, and in the event of an error or malfunction in the product, the abnormal component can be easily identified.
PCT heater to maintain constant temperature, AI-based temperature and humidity maintenance function
Remote operation and monitoring, automatic scanning and transmission of filter contamination levels
Kooltron has equipped its PCT heater to allow users to maintain and control the temperature at all times. The company’s products can be operated reliably in any part of the world as they can operate in temperatures from -40 degrees to +55 degrees without any problems, and they can be operated and monitored remotely by providing RS-485 (Modbus RTU) protocol, dehumidified through artificial intelligence in case of high humidity, and automatically scanned the contamination level of the filter and remotely transmitted to the administrator, so it is also very easy to manage. It also has a large, full-color LCD touchpad screen that allows you to quickly and intuitively see the current temperature and humidity, as well as the current operating status.
The ESS industry is growing rapidly amidst the global trend of carbon reduction and green energy. Securing the stability of ESS devices is a top priority, and due to their heat-intensive nature, a solution that can stably cool them is required. This is why more attention is being paid to Kooltron, which has developed the first outdoor ESS air conditioner in Korea.
Power-saving indoor panel air conditioner with high-efficiency BLDC fan can save 70% on annual electricity bills
The company also produces low-power air conditioners. Indoor air conditioners, also known as panel air conditioners or control panel air conditioners, are designed to cool the heat generated by control panels in factories and can be applied to any industry. It is a power-saving product with a high-efficiency BLDC fan, which can save about 70% of electricity costs per year compared to regular products, and is equipped with smart intense dehumidification, instant stop in case of fire, a large full-color LCD touchpad, remote operation and monitoring, and automatic condensate evaporation, and is also available as a regular product for areas where power consumption is not high.
The product is equipped with technology to remotely monitor and control through IOT functions such as: ﹦Real-time facility status monitoring, ﹦Settings and alarm history inquiry, ﹦Alarm notification and SMS sending, ﹦Daily auto-saving function, ﹦Status value graph trend inquiry, ﹦Animation of operation status.
‘Air conditioner for high temperature’ and ‘LCD (Liquid Cooling Package) for IT/ships
The company also produces high-temperature air conditioners and liquid cooling packages (LCDs) for IT and marine applications. The high-temperature air conditioner is a product that can be used in high-temperature industrial sites such as steel, and can operate at much higher temperatures than general air conditioners, which have a maximum temperature range of about 55°C. Park says “Our high temperature air conditioner is a special air conditioner that can be used in environments with temperatures as high as 70°C. It is mainly used in battery aging rooms, high temperature areas in the Middle East, Africa and South America, and desert areas.”
‘Liquid Cooling Package (LCD) for IT and ships’ is a product with liquid cooling technology, which has been receiving a lot of attention in the IT industry and marine LCD field for its excellent cooling effect. Unlike the air-cooling method, which has a low density of the heat transfer medium, the liquid cooling method, which uses a liquid with a much higher density than air, is applied, resulting in a product with very high cooling efficiency. This product is also energy-saving with a high-efficiency BLDC fan, has a heating function (PCT Heater), supports RS-485 protocol, provides a wide operating temperature range, and has built-in protection devices such as overcurrent and water flow alarms. In April this year, the company developed and delivered chillers and LCPs for ESS cooling for ships of Hanwha Defense.
Explosive growth in renewable energy and ESS market draws attention to Kooltron’s ESS outdoor air conditioners
Contributing to a greener industry, becoming the No. 1 global chiller company
The world is suffering from extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, and heavy rains, and there is a possibility of a serious power shortage after August. Therefore, the renewable energy development and ESS market are growing rapidly, and the carbon reduction movement is becoming more active around the world, and Kooltron’s ESS-only outdoor air conditioner has naturally attracted a lot of attention from the industry. To further support the global carbon reduction movement, Kooltron uses R134a, the most environmentally friendly refrigerant available today, in all of its air conditioners. CEO Park says “Going green is more important than ever. Going green is no longer an option, but a necessity. We aim to contribute to the development of the global green industry and grow to become the No. 1 global chiller company.”
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