‘Integrated’ the CO2 buzzword in 2018
This will be a year of integrating air conditioning and heating technologies in commercial refrigeration systems, while ejectors will continue to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of CO2 transcritical systems, manufacturers said.
“2018 will be a fantastic year for the introduction of CO2 in commercial refrigeration,” said Enrico Zambotto, responsible for customer and product support at Italian OEM Arneg. “We’re going to see different solutions like parallel compression, [standard] ejectors, heat recovery systems, integrated HVAC, pumped CO2 and CO2 condensing units.”
Danish rack manufacturer Advansor also notes the trend. “We’ll see the newest technologies such as integrated systems, ejectors and rotary compressors become standard in the market,” said Advansor Managing Director Kim G. Christensen.
North American manufacturers and end users think the energy savings brought out by integration will be the main driver behind increased adoption of this technology.
“For 2018, the energy savings aspect should be more apparent as we are starting to see [CO2 transcritical] installations using ejectors, sub-cooling, parallel compression and simplified control strategies,” Jeff Gingras, president of Canadian firm Systèmes LMP, said.
“The Canadian market has adapted natural refrigerant technology as all initial quotes for commercial and industrial are based on CO2. This is the future. We foresee an increase in demand once again in 2018,” Gingras said.
André Patenaude, director (food retail growth strategy, cold chain) at Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions, agrees that, “Canadian supermarkets will move ahead with CO2 transcritical”.
American contractor Climate Pros see some end users moving more slowly than others in the United States. “A few of our customers who were using some CO2 are making indications that they may be moving into CO2 across the board very soon, so we shall soon see,” CEO Todd Ernest said.
Whole Foods Market’s director of sustainability and facilities, Tristam Coffin, believes, “the needle has already begun to move on ejector technologies and advanced control strategies for CO2 transcritical systems”.
“With the right design strategy, my hope is we can keep these systems from ever going transcritical as the ambient temperature rises. It will be nice to see ejectors make more of a splash here in the U.S. in the next year,” Coffin said.
What else is there?
Outside the integration of CO2 systems, this natural refrigerant may enter new applications in new parts of the world.
“CO2 heat pump discussions in North America will begin, and demonstration projects will start gaining popularity,” predicted Emerson’s Patenaude.
He also sees the industrial market gaining ground. “Larger-capacity CO2 compressors for medium-temperature and low-temperature applications” will develop, he said.
Compressor manufacturer Dorin is confident it has the largest compressor for CO2 available on the market at 80 horsepower.
CO2 will be “booming, especially for large applications, such as warehouse, process cooling and the like,” said Giacomo Pisano, Dorin’s sales manager.
This year may not just be about how big CO2 can go. “We will see CO2 refrigeration systems with wider capacities ranging from only a few kW to MW, and systems being even more compact and even more simple and service friendly,” noted Advansor’s Christensen.
“We strongly believe that this refrigerant will get the highest market share both in commercial and industrial refrigeration,” he said.
Overall, Arneg’s Zambotto thinks HFC use will be strongly reduced. “CO2 will be more popularity, and the ‘friendship’ of people with CO2 will increase.”
Zambotto predicts that the EU’s F-Gas Regulation will make it the standard solution on the market.