A history of technical milestones in refrigeration

Friotherm has its roots in the Sulzer group and offers heat pumps, chillers, components and services of high quality and reliability. The company became legally independent by means of a management buyout in 2005.

Our heritage

In 1878 Sulzer bros. Winterthur started the construction of refrigeration plants as a logic expansion to their activities in the business fields “steam engines” and “compressors”. At that time, refrigeration machines were huge and heavy, but nevertheless, in 1879 export commenced already. Friotherm retains and expands this heritage by developing industrial chillers and heat pumps to serve the ever changing needs of the industries.

Heat Pumps since 1936

In 1936, we installed World’s first heat pump at the Zurich town hall. The plant is still in operating condition. Friotherm today successfully constructs heat pumps of large capacities for district heating-systems.

Todays Heat Pumps have to cool

In many cases, it is expected that a heat pump can simultaneously be used to supply a DH- as well as a DC-system. Friotherm Heat Pumps are designed “taylor made”, in full accordance with client requirements. Thus, they are as flexible in operation a client may desire.

Sales and Service network

Todays sales and service network of Friotherm covers four branch offices in Brasil, Germany, France and Sweden as well as an office in China.

"Rotasco" - Worlds' first heat pump, Zurich town hall, 1936

“Rotasco” – Worlds’ first heat pump, Zurich town hall, 1936


  • 2010 Uniturbo®22S compressor
  • 2008 Uniturbo®43 compressor
  • 2005 DH-Heat Pumps, Helsinki Energia
  • 2005 Management Buy-out, Friotherm-founding
  • 2001 Sold to SUEZ, as “Axima Refrigeration”
  • 2001 DC-liquid chillers for Climespace Paris
  • 1979 Uniturbo®22 to 50 compressors
  • 1973 Uniturbo® compressors Types 216 & 312
  • 1971 “Concorde” – Test facilities – Chillers
  • 1956 Turbo compressors, Types 260, 280 & 350
  • 1956 Oil free piston compressor, Type “K”
  • 1942 5000 kW Heat Pump for the ETH, Zürich
  • 1936 Heat Pump for the Town Hall, Zurich
  • 1928 Development of Turbo compressor for NH3
  • 1927 Worlds’ largest compressor with 9’400 kW
  • 1925 Production of NH3 and CO2 compressors
  • 1922 Compact “Frigocentrale”, 1.16 -11.6 kW
  • 1914 Air conditioning of a Hotel in Buenos Aires
  • 1889 NH3 compr. for ice factory in Mumbay
  • 1878 First NH3 compressor for Nestlé