“Let’s not waste time on systems with different functionalities, but direct all our attention on an air conditioner that meets the most important market demands.” That was the development assignment that Artidor gave itself. The end result is the explosion-safe AR-050 air conditioner: corrosion resistant, suitable for high ambient temperatures, ATEX zone 1 certified with both cooling and heating modes.
With the introduction of the AR-050, Artidor provides an answer to a wide range of demands in the market for explosion-safe products. “Converting air conditioners for use in ATEX zone 2 had already been familiar territory for us for years,” explains director Marc Moolenaar. “After an increasing number of requests from clients for air conditioners and cooling systems for zone 1, we decided to develop and produce them ourselves. To meet another common request, it would have to be a unit that can function at very high ambient temperatures. Last but not least, many customers repeatedly expressed the wish that the unit would have to be able to provide both cooling and heating. We carefully searched the market, but we couldn’t find a system like that. That was reason enough to do it ourselves.
Better discussion partner
With the decision to develop and produce a reliable, high-quality air conditioner completely under its own management, Artidor did not set itself an easy task. “Explosion safety is something we know everything about. We knew a lot less about heating and cooling technology,” admits Marc. “Although I did graduate in power systems engineering in the dim and distant past, I was happy that we were able to make contact with a highly experienced advisor who could walk us through the steps. A lot is involved, but it was more than worthwhile to take on this adventure. Aside from having developed a great product, we also learnt a lot from it. Since then, we have become a better discussion partner for the many installers who buy and use our products.”
Best conceivable product
The fact that the new air conditioner would have to meet the highest demands was fixed from the beginning. “We’re not talking about use in average offices, but in environments where the conditions are highly demanding. The markets are the petrochemical, offshore and shipping industries, pharmaceuticals and the food sector. Places where gases and volatile substances can be released. The requirements are not soft. Everything you want to install on board an offshore platform has to be flown in by helicopter. That means you can’t let an air conditioner be delivered that gives up the ghost after a couple of years, or starts rusting because of a few drops of seawater. It demands the best conceivable product for many trouble-free years at sea. In sectors like the offshore industry, operators want to do as little maintenance as possible for understandable reasons. That is why our unit is available in AISI 316 stainless steel or painted steel.”
Virtually ‘plug and play’
In countries with a climate like the Netherlands, an air conditioner for use at temperatures up to 48 °C is more than enough. Not so in parts of Asia, the Middle East and some countries around the Mediterranean Sea. “In the desert, it can be extremely hot by day and quite cold at night. A system that cools and heats is not an unnecessary luxury there. The AR-050 air conditioner cools and heats and functions at temperatures up to 55 °C, or even up to 60 °C with some modification.”
The AR-050 is not only suitable for climate control, but can also be used for other purposes such as process cooling. The unit is easy to install, Moolenaar promises. The coolant circuit is limited to the outdoor unit, meaning that soldering is no longer necessary. The AR-050 is available in capacity levels from 5 kW in steps up to 15 kW. Units can easily be combined and the series can easily be expanded upon request.