Superyacht HVAC and Refrigeration

Girschner HVAC

For more than 30 years Girschner Marine has stood best in class for the design and innovation of HVAC+R systems within the
luxury yachting industry.

Girschner Marine is the niche division of Girschner GmbH & Co. KG, located near the Hanseatic city of Bremen in northern Germany. ONBOARD talked to Thomas Girschner about 2021 and the year ahead.


As we approach refit season we asked Thomas Girschner what the usual refit season looks like for his team. Thomas tells us, “Although we are lucky enough to be busy all year innovating and designing new units and working on new build projects, from September through to April, the typical refit season, the team are highly involved in troubleshooting issues found on board and discussing plant updates with the yacht’s engineers, captains and owners.” Thomas continues, “It’s not always plain sailing out there and the typical HVAC or refrigeration systems are working overtime.”

The first step for the technical team is to complete a full survey of existing equipment on board, a systems audit, look for any leaks, measure the performance of the units and perhaps more importantly look at the efficiency of these units within the different levels of usage. Reports are drawn up and recommendations presented.

Girschner Marine are specialised in finding solutions for existing chilled water systems and the provision of cooling plants, and in 2021 at the METSTRADE Show in Amsterdam, introduced the first CO2 refrigeration system for private yachts. CO2 is a natural refrigerant with the lowest GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 1. This system can be built to be very light and small compared to refrigerants such as R404A, R448A, and R134a. This pioneering cooling system is especially engineered to be environmentally friendly and is robust and dependable for use on superyachts using the natural refrigerant CO2 (R744).

Combined with a new innovative Bock HR StarCO2mpressor Girschner’s new Transcritical CO2 system is the lightest and smallest provision cooling system on the market. Higher operating pressure means more capacity in the same space. Like the Girschner standard series of cooling systems, the new CO2 series are equipped with a PLC control system and brand-leading parts for the highest reliability and efficiency,

In recent years Girschner have also been pioneering and implementing PLC programming on the yachts. Thomas explains, “PLC is nothing new, but we are really delivering exciting solutions for our yachting clients. We are able to bring together the control and reporting of plants on board, to give the engineers a global view of machinery performance in real time, and this in turn enables the crew to make informed decisions about necessary maintenance or at least to plan maintenance ahead of a busy cruising season and to get the best out of their existing units on board. This level of predictive maintenance is crucial to deliver the maximum up-time for yachts and their owners. The system is programmed by our technicians and we are able to drive the optimal and most economical performance from the systems. This also reduces the environmental impact of the yacht and extends the life of the on board systems.”

Superyacht HVAC and Refrigeration


As part of Girschner’s drive to develop efficient and easily maintained equipment on board, their innovation in Rack Cooling units is market leading. Thomas explains, “Our remit is to design and develop bespoke units that deliver performance independent of ambient influences. With easy maintenance accessibility, external alarms and the use of renowned components, the unique casings deliver higher energy efficiency, reduce power loss and are developed for use in areas with high ambient temperatures or heavily polluted ambient air. Simple, but highly necessary in today’s modern superyachts.”

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