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Green Technology

Norlock Refrigeration provides the following Green Technology Solutions and Services:

  • Energy efficiency and energy management

  • Renewable, green and alternative energy

  • The impact of climate change

  • Cogeneration and distributed generation

  • Smart grid and electric metering innovations

  • Integrated building automation & energy management

  • Lighting efficiency

  • HVAC systems and controls

  • Thermal storage and load management

  • Boilers and combustion controls

  • Solar and fuel cell technologies

  • Applications specific to federal energy management programs

  • Energy project financing success strategies and incentives

  • Innovative Ways to Increase Renewable Energy & Meet Energy Intensity Goals

  • Metering

  • Energy Security Impacting National Security

Waste heat recovery

The Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is named for its use of an organic, high molecular mass fluid with a liquid-vapor phase change, or boiling point, occurring at a lower temperature than the water-steam phase change. The fluid allows Rankine cycle heat recovery from lower temperature sources such as biomass combustion, industrial waste heat, geothermal heat, solar ponds etc. The low-temperature heat is converted into useful work, that can itself be converted into electricity.

This ORC module will generate 125 kw of clean, utility grade power from waste heat recovery or from solar thermally heated water.

Broad Absorption Chiller

Broad absorption cooling offers important advantages
  • Possibility and effectiveness for heat recovery applications

  • Lower operating costs

  • Reliable and low maintenance cost, longer lifespan

  • Environmentally friendly

  • More functions (and smaller footprint than an electric chiller with boiler)

  • Sound primary energy efficiency

  • Energy safety

  • Safe, quite operation

  • Initial costs quickly offset by energy savings

  • National energy structure

When used to recover waste heat energy Leads Credits is  obtainable.

More info on Broad Absorption Coolers at  and Energy Concepts 

Energy from the sun

The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year.  This is more energy gained in one hour than the world would use in one year. The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth’s non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.

Evacuated solar tube system
Flat plate
Benefits at a glance
  • High performance and quality construction at an attractive price

  • These tubes are hail resistent and have been tested against golf ball size hail stone.

  • As they can be laid flat, they can withstand hurricane winds.

  • Available in two sizes: 9 tubes (17.6 ft.2 / 1.63 m2) and 18 tubes (35.1 ft.2 / 3.26 m2)*

  • Up to 215 ft.2 / 20 m2 (108 tubes) can be connected in single array*

  • Highly efficient heat pipe vacuum tube collector for high operational reliability; optimized for installation on fl at roofs

  • Optimized tube spacing prevents shading; tubes can be rotated up to 45° for optimum alignment with the sun to maximize energy utilization

  • Can be installed either vertically or horizontally, on roofs or as freestanding installation

  • Highly selective coating on absorber surfaces; with vacuum tubes, absorbers are not susceptible to contamination over time

  • Efficient heat transfer through fully encapsulated condensers

  • Dry connection allows tube fitting and replacement while system is fully charged and operational

  • Highly effective thermal insulation minimizes heat loss through header casing

  • Easy installation using quick assembly and connection systems

Combination solar electric (PV) and thermal hot water

Thermal Cold or Hot Water Storage Tanks

Thermal energy storage (TES) is achieved with greatly differing technologies that collectively accommodate a wide range of needs. It allows excess thermal energy to be collected for later use, hours, days or many months later, at individual building, multiuser building, district, town or even regional scale depending on the specific technology. As examples: energy demand can be balanced between day time and night time; summer heat from solar collectors can be stored interseasonally for use in winter; and cold obtained from winter air can be provided for summer air conditioning. Storage mediums include: water or ice-slush tanks ranging from small to massive, masses of native earth or bedrock accessed with heat exchangers in clusters of small-diameter boreholes (sometimes quite deep); deep aquifers contained between impermeable strata; shallow, lined pits filled with gravel and water and top-insulated; and eutectic, phase-change materials.

Other sources of thermal energy for storage include heat or cold produced with heat pumps from off-peak, lower cost electric power, a practice called peak shaving; heat from combined heat and power (CHP) power plants; heat produced by renewable electrical energy that exceeds grid demand and waste heat from industrial processes.

Solar energy storage

Main articles: Solar hot water storage tank and Seasonal thermal energy storage

Most practical active solar heating systems provide storage for from a few hours to a day’s worth of energy collected. There are a growing number of facilities that use seasonal thermal energy storage (STES), enabling solar energy to be stored in summer (primarily) for space heating use during winter. The Drake Landing Solar Community in Alberta, Canada has now achieved a year-round 97% solar heating fraction, a world record and possible only by incorporating STES.

Molten salt is a means of storing heat at a high temperature. This is a current commercial technology used in conjunction with concentrated solar power for later use in electricity generation, to allow solar power to provide electricity on a more continuous basis. These molten salts (Potassium nitrate, Calcium nitrate, Sodium nitrate, Lithium nitrate, etc.) have the property to absorb and store the heat energy that is released to the water, to transfer energy when needed. To improve the salt properties it must be mixed in a eutectic mixture.

Save $2,100 per season with a two pump installation

Norlock implements a two pump system designed to maximize efficiency while managing secondary refrigerant circulation.

The demands on the brine circulation system are not constant. Less than 50% of the time an arena ice plant is operating at its maximum capacity, even during start up or under heavy loads. At capacity an ice plant requires a 25-hp pump to circulate the chilled brine. Typical in most arena installs, one big brine pump runs continuously costing approximately $6000 per season.

The fact is, proper ice management only requires that much force less than 50% of the time.

Significant energy savings can be achieved by running with a smaller pump during times of lighter loads.


For example, running with a 7.5-hp @ 50% of the time saves 42,298 kW.h or more importantly $2100 per season. Besides saving energy, the standby capability of an extra pump could be a real ice saver in the event of a pump failure.

A little forethought can result in an extra $500 a year in pocket

Condenser Fans

A typical arena evaporative condenser fan has a 10 hp fan motor, but 95% of the time the load can be handled by a smaller hp motor. Norlock uses a second, smaller fan motor to run during that low demand period, saving an additional $500.00 year in electrical bills. Norlock takes further control with the use of a variable speed drive on the motor, fine tuning the head pressure, maintaining a balance within a few pounds of set point. Again, the standby capability of any extra fan motor could be a real ice saver.

Lower head pressure

By lowering the head pressure a number of positive effects take place.

1. As the compression ratio falls, so will the amperage draw to the drive motors which will result in electrical savings.

2. The compressors becomes more efficient with the lower head pressure. 3. As the heat of compression becomes less the condenser load is further reduced. 4. With the lower temperature refrigerant entering the chiller, there will be less energy wasted to cool the refrigerant from the condensing temperature to 10 degrees F which is approximately the desired refrigerant temperature for a normal secondary refrigerant.

Solar PV

Solar photovoltaics are arrays of cells containing a material that converts solar  radiation into direct current electricity.

This is a project to design and build a system that uses a combination of direct and indirect solar collection to generate electricity and store thermal energy in an economical, environmentally friendly, scalable, reliable, efficient and location independent manner using common construction materials. The project is being managed with a similar methodology to Open Source Software Development and the ideas and contributions are being published openly on the Internet without an attempt to secure patents. The hope is that with an open philosophy that the project shows similar Rapid Application Development and success as Linux and other Open Source Software projects and provides a system that can meet future energy requirements in a sustainable manner.

Solar heat pump electrical generation system

Diagram of solar air conditioning/solar heating system

By properly applying solar thermal energy to the absorption chiller units, the need for gas firing or other heat source is avoided; the result is a solar powered air conditioning system with truly extraordinary energy savings.

Solar absorption chiller

Absorption chiller air conditioners are not new.  They have been used in commercial applications in the U.S. since the early 20th century and are a very widely deployed technology.  Absorption chiller AC units are also very popular in Asian countries such as Japan, where the high cost of electricity makes  them very popular. In Japan, these absorption chiller Air Conditioning units constitute up to 40% of all installed commercial air conditioning tonnage. They are simple and dependable, use no harmful CFC (Freon, etc.) and some units actually operate without any moving parts.

When engineered to run on solar energy, the absorption chiller AC unit provides the lowest cost to operate and the best return on investment of any air conditioning system in the world.

Our solar heating and air conditioning units can be used anywhere that the sun shines



    They are low in operating and maintenance costs.



    They consume little or no electrical energy – essentially the only parts that use electricity are low amp fan motors and small pumps that move the thermal transfer fluid (Glycol, a food-grade antifreeze) from the collectors to the chiller and then back up to the collectors – all of these small electrical loads can run from solar PV panels if desired. Inside the unit is another small pump that circulates the refrigerant.



    There is no “compressor” to consume power.

Power Transmission – Power Distribution Systems

Latento hot water storage system

When the fluid in the evacuated tube system has reached the desired temperature, it’s automatically pumped into a Latento storage tank. Heat exchange mechanisms then heat water within the tank ready for use. The revolutionary Latento storage system is an unpressurised unit designed so that hot water can be stored for several days. Thanks to the coupling and position of the exchanger, residual energy that is usually not available for heating or hot water can be utilised. In addition to multiple heat exchange coils, the Latento unit contains special food grade latent material that “melts” at a temperature of approx. 65 °C. In the process, the latent material absorbs thermal energy without changing the temperature in the storage tank. This material creates a highly efficient insulating layer. The efficiency of the Latento system means less solar collector surface is required to achieve the same results of other systems.

M-Series Compressor

Norlock maintains control with infrared ice temperature sensors

Constantly monitoring the surface temperature of the ice ensures less demand on the refrigeration plant. By constantly monitoring the surface temperature of the ice your refrigeration plant does not run unless required. Norlock Maintains precise ice temperature with an Infrared Temperature Sensor. By constantly monitoring the ice surface temperature the refrigeration computer system can adjust the refrigeration system to meet your specific programming schedule. One of the largest problems with a conventional floor or brine thermostat is the lag time before the refrigeration system is turned on or off. In most cases by the time the brine thermostat has activated the refrigeration system, the activity on the ice has already started or has finished and the plant is still running. With the use of a floor thermostat and an infra red sensor you have double the protection to ensure a precise ice temperature at all times.

Humidity Control

The most reliable and economical way of dealing with the humidity is through the use of a desiccant dehumidifier. This will provide you with an excellent ice surface during all weather conditions at a fraction of the operating cost of the old style mechanical dehumidifiers.

One of the largest contributing factors of having a great ice surface is proper humidity control in the building envelope. Excess humidity also increases the refrigeration load on the ice plant. The NHL has gone as far to set a humidity control standard for all their arenas. The NHL standard is 60 deg F and 40% RH or a dew point of 35 deg F. This level of control has been determined to maintain the best possible ice conditions and spectator comfort.

DryCool with Chilled beams

Optically enhanced solar window

Test chamber

Test chamber for heating and cooling. This computerized test chamber will run between -30’C and +40’C. It was developed for the NRC to test computer components at extreme conditions.

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