The new product designs and associated manufacturing processes are a culmination of years of research, officials say.

The International Copper Association announced a new heat exchanger coil technology that benefits from smaller diameter copper tubes.

The new product designs and associated manufacturing processes are a culmination of years of research, the association said.

Heat transfer from the refrigerant to the tube wall is more effective inside copper tubes with diameters smaller than the conventional diameter. Consequently, coils can be made less bulky and air conditioners with higher energy efficiency can be made smaller and lighter, said Nigel Cotton, global leader of OEM initiative for the association.

“It is true that highly efficient air conditioners currently are being made with conventional copper tubes,”  Cotton said. "But smaller diameter tubes offer inherent advantages, including lower overall costs, less weight and reduced refrigerant charge.” 

According to Cotton, heat exchanger coils have been designed, developed and manufactured using copper tubes of various small diameters.

“The trend toward smaller diameter copper tubes is inevitable. The technology is proven. The manufacturing is based on familiar fabrication processes and assembly techniques," he said. "Although various amounts of minor retooling may be required before tube suppliers can make small diameter tubes, the manufacture methods for making coils from fins and tubes are simple, practical and economical.”

Coils made of conventional copper tubes are a proven technology with a long, successful, field-tested history. The new coils provide the high durability and performance that is expected from copper tubes but they use less raw material, the ICA said.

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