Briefs: Magnetic-levitation bearing system

The world's first large tonnage magnetic-levitation bearing air-cooled chiller for air conditioning is being installed in the American Embassy in Tokyo. The 2520-kW chiller plant consists of 12 MagLev Chiller modules. OBO, which installed it, expects savings for this 2.8 million USD project to pay the difference in cost compared with a conventional chiller system in less than 10 years. According to OBO, the main advantages of the MagLev technology are electrical power savings - 40-50% over reciprocating compressor technology and 30% below more recent screw compressor technology - oil-free design - which eliminates all oil maintenance requirements - and low noise and vibration (more on this technology in Newsletters of the IIR No. 19 and 21).