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    2017 - Communication on Progress

In Focus
20 years of energy efficiency advancements

Fullmotion Technology, developed by Embraco two decades ago, revolutionized the refrigeration industry with greater energy savings

There is a general consensus that the higher the energy savings, the lower the price we pay for it, as well as the negative environmental impact generated. Additionally, there is a growing global demand to reduce energy consumption and refrigeration accounts for about 15% of this share. As a result, small improvements are no longer enough to save this resource, significant changes are needed in how refrigeration equipment, that integrate households and commercial environments, are designed.

Based on the worldwide need to reduce energy consumption Embraco developed Variable Speed technology 20 years ago, a clear example of how the company uses research to make its solutions more efficient. Developed initially for the household refrigeration market, more recently the technology has become part of the company's portfolio for the commercial segment.

"We look at refrigeration from the perspective of the consumers who want well-preserve food and lower energy bill at the end of the month. This is what we intend to deliver: a cooling experience with high technology that helps save money", exemplifies Dietmar Lilie, a master researcher in Embraco and one of the leading names behind Fullmotion technology.

The solution was the first in the refrigeration industry to present Inverter technology that allows the compressor to adapt its capacity according to the cooling needs of the freezer or refrigerator. The electronic inverter interprets temperature fluctuations inside the equipment and sends signals to the compressor to adjust its speed and reach the desired temperature more quickly and efficiently.

According to Dietmar, this technology has revolutionized the market because it optimizes cooling capacity according to the refrigerator’s need, which reduces energy consumption by up to 40%, depending on the refrigeration system in which it’s applied. In addition, the solution greatly improves food preservation, which is better conserved due to lower temperature oscillation. “This provides a better quality of life to people”, summarizes the researcher.

Another advantage is low noise, almost imperceptible, that reaches levels similar to those of a library. This is because compressors with this technology work most of the time at low speed.

Energy saving

Fullmotion is the result of 10 years of research in Embraco, from filing the first patent in 1989 until its launch. It’s the solution that raised the parameters of the global refrigeration industry in pursuing more energy efficiency, comfort and better food conservation – demands of the household and commercial segments in Brazil and the world.

Embraco has been increasing its energy efficiency gains by close to 5% between each generation launched: the first model – the VEM – to one of the most recent – the VESF,– there has been a 32% energy consumption improvement of the compressor.

To better illustrate the energy savings generated, Embraco did the math: it added all Fullmotion compressors sold in the last 10 years and calculated an energy saving equivalent to 9 billion KWh when compared to conventional compressors. This amount of energy could supply, for example, all Croatia for six months.

The technology was also the first to enable the use of natural refrigerants, revealing Embraco’s pioneering in adopting these fluids, which contribute to increasing energy efficiency in the refrigeration system and generating less harmful impacts to the environment.

In the commercial segment, the most recent launch is FMFT, the first commercial refrigeration bivolt compressor and one of the world’s most efficient in its capacity range. Aimed at the retail, medical and restaurant segments, it reduces energy consumption by up to 30% and because it’s bivolt, it serves different regions of Brazil and the world, even in situations of electric grid instability.

Global Research and Development

The research in developing the Fullmotion technology is Brazilian, conducted in Embraco’s laboratories in Joinville (SC) – the company’s headquarters; however the compressors with Fullmotion Inverter technology illustrate well the participation of Embraco's global laboratory and engineering network to develop innovative solutions: the FMX, for example, is manufactured at Embraco's China plant in Beijing, the technology’s distribution hub for the Asian market.

Embraco will continue launching Fullmotion inverter compressors in 2018 and 2019, as the company continually invests 3% to 4% of its annual revenue in R&D, maintaining in its portfolio innovative solutions that respond to global market needs. According to the company, 59% of the revenues in the last five years came from products launched during that same period. “We practice innovation focused on customer needs, which explains the flow and the good reception of our products in different countries”, reinforces the Sales director, Ricardo Bristotti.

Market demands met

Today, Fullmotion technology is present in markets all over the world: mainly Europe, Japan, China, and USA. The newest economy to absorb Fullmotion technology is India, a country that illustrates Embraco's efforts towards FMX compressor massification in the household segment.

But the first customer to attest to the benefits of the Fullmotion compressor was Liebherr, German home appliance manufacturer, in the 1990s. The company could easily convey the added value to their end customers. “Embraco understood that the technology would bring benefits to the customer's business and, therefore, the product in the market met their expectations and the strict global energy regulations”, adds Bristotti.

Fullmotion technology has earned the company several awards such as the Stars of Energy Efficiency in 2008; and third place at the Stemmer Innovation Award in Santa Catarina, with the VESF Fullmotion case, in 2017.

About Embraco

Embraco is a global company that promotes quality of life through innovative cooling solutions. With eight plants, two commercial offices and one global business shared services, the company has approximately 1,200 patents granted and is that advance high performance and energy efficiency. Embraco provides cooling solutions for household, commercial, such as medical and retail applications, and aftermarket segments. Through partnerships with startups and digital services, it also delivers value and intelligence to its customers. Additional information is available at: