Danfoss ICF Valve StationReduces Installation Time

Dec. 22, 2010
Requires less time, space, welding, refrigerant

The ICF valve station allows industrial refrigeration installers to complete projects faster and with less labor, sources report.

The ICF valve station's one-piece body provides ports for up to six function device modules that are configured specifically for a customer’s application and shipped to a jobsite as a complete subassembly, ready for installation into the jobsite piping or into the OEM’s products. The modular function inserts that can be mounted on an ICF body include stop valves, strainers, solenoid valves, check valves, combination stop/check valves and motorized or hand expansion valves. The ICF body also offers side ports for sight glasses, temperature or pressure sensors, pressure gauges and a side exit for a drain or bypass.

Once specified, the ICF valve station is delivered from Danfoss fully assembled and ready to be installed with just two welds.

Once specified, the ICF valve station is delivered from Danfoss fully assembled and ready to be installed with just two welds. The new Danfoss design features socket weld connections up to 1½ in., and components that can be individually removed for service or replacement without dissembling the entire valve station and without any welding.

The ICF valve station features a high-design working pressure of 754 PSI, and a low-minimum working temperature of -76F. The ICF valve station is suitable for use with R-717 and all common HFC refrigerants, plus carbon dioxide (CO2). Standard features include zinc chromate corrosion protection and stainless steel trim.

Refrigeration Contractor,
Customer Appreciate Advantages

According to Jay Kell, vice president for Republic Refrigeration, Inc., a Monroe, N.C.-based specialist in designing, installing and maintaining industrial refrigeration systems for food facilities, the refrigeration industry likes “to stick with what works – that includes valve trains. “Valve trains are an assembly of components that control the flow of refrigerant and ensure safe, reliable operation,” Kell says. “We've installed countless valve trains in refrigeration systems for food distribution and processing facilities. Usually, we fabricate valve trains from manufactured components in our shop, either here in Monroe or in Hammond, LA. But in this case, the owner specified the Danfoss ICF product as an alternative.”

Danfoss valves are the only approved valves identified in the Gordon Food Service standards. “We began using Danfoss valves about eight years ago,” says Jim Tomlinson, a member of the Gordon Food Service engineering group. “Not only were we impressed with the valves, but we were just as impressed with the service Danfoss provided. It was and continues to be exceptional, providing a level of support that very few vendors are able to match. So, when we began work on our Pottsville, PA refrigerated warehouse, we instructed Republic Refrigeration to install the Danfoss ICF valve train,” Tomlinson says.

A typical valve train is assembled from five or six components, each requiring two welds; adding up to 10 welds or more per valve train. A project can average 60 to 80 valve trains, which translates to as many as 800 welds per project. Combined with unboxing, cleaning, assembling and leak checking, at least six hours of work are involved per valve train, consuming many man-weeks of labor just for this aspect of the project. “With traditional valve trains, they not only require more welding,” notes Kell, “but they also involve longer pipe spans. Because you have to support fabricated control stations that are spread out with more welds, a conventional valve train is about four feet long. In contrast, a Danfoss ICF valve train is more compact, saving space in the plant and reducing the amount of refrigerant in the line. And because the ICF valve train components are integrated in a single body, it saves a lot of assembly and weld time.”

Less than a foot long, an ICF valve train’s one-piece body provides ports for up to six function device modules. The modules are configured to meet the customer's application. Once specified, the valve station is delivered jobsite-ready. “With the ICF design, only two welds are required. They are weld-in-line valves,” Kell explains. “This eliminates flanges and gaskets, which have a tendency to leak. When you consider the reduced total welds and less leak potential by eliminating gaskets, ICF valve trains are well worth it.”

Kell says the ICF design offers flexibility. The multi-ported body accepts a combination of function module inserts that are mounted on the ICF body. These modules include: stop valves, strainers, solenoid valves, check valves, combination stop/check valves and hand expansion or motorized valves. Electronic control modules are also available where extremely tight temperature control is required. Due to the modular design, installing an ICF valve train takes about 45 minutes, compared to nearly five hours per conventional valve train. For Kell, the labor savings, fewer leak points and flexible options of the ICF intelligent control station are a smart solution in many situations.

“I’m using them now for a facility in Georgia. The ICF system is a cost-effective solution that works, using advanced technology that ensures reliable performance for our customers, who want startup to go as smoothly and as quickly as possible.” When it comes to suction control valves, the use of the Danfoss ICS platform is equally rewarding. “It’s easy to change the style of valve,” he says. “If you want to go from a traditional back bi-pressure regulator to a dual-set regulation, it’s all part of the same valve body. It's just a matter of changing the internals, which is a nice, time-saving feature.”

“The ICF valve train provides us with a unique solution that cuts down on the number of welds required during installation, reduces opportunities for leaks and enables us to easily change the configuration,” Tomlinson adds. “And as they improve the efficiency of our operations, they help us deliver more cost-effective solutions to our customers.”

One year after the ICF valve trains were installed at the Pottsville facility, Tomlinson reports they are meeting performance expectations for efficiency, flexibility and reliability, concluding, “We'll absolutely specify the ICF for future Gordon Food Service projects.”