In a sign of the company’s continued commitment to natural refrigerants, Sanden Vendo presented its first ever hydrocarbon-based vending machine at Venditalia in Milan, Italy last week (6-9 June).
The new G-Drink DV9 uses propane (R290) and can contain up to 504 33cl cans, at an internal temperature between +2°C and +10°C.
The key feature of the DV9 is the dual system with a heat exchanger using glycol as the cooling medium. The propane cooling system, at the bottom of the machine, is sealed off from the drinks and snacks compartment. Glycol circulates above to cool the produce. This system design keeps the flammable propane away from the electronic controller unit, reducing the risk of sparks causing an accident.
Christopher Craven (engineer and sales manager for the UK) told shecco that long lab tests were conducted to monitor the leakage of hydrocarbons in terms of flammability and safety: the gas does not accumulate, instead escaping from the machine in the event of leakage.
Sanden Vendo is still producing R404A-based units too, reporting solid market demand despite the increase in HFC prices in the last two years. It also developed recently a model using CO2, the SDX. Nonetheless, Craven’s opinion is that the company will soon focus primarily on hydrocarbons, given the f-gas phasedown, the loud noise produced by CO2 systems, and the declining interest of major end users such as the Coca-Cola Company in adopting CO2.