FMI Connect 2014: when will CO2 refrigeration become a standard in the US?

By Janaina Topley Lira, Jun 14, 2014, 02:09 4 minute reading

For a couple of years now there has been a growing sense of anticipation from exhibitors and attendees at US trade fairs, regarding the future of CO2 in the commercial refrigeration sector. At FMI Connect 2014, US companies Hillphoenix, Parker Sporlan, BAC, and Howe Corporation showcased a range of CO2 technologies. Whilst CO2 has yet to become a standard solution in the US retail sector, as it has in Canada and Europe, the growing product offering and investment

Organised in Chicago from 10 -14 June, FMI Connect 2014 gathered retailers, wholesalers, their trading partners and equipment manufacturers, including those offering refrigeration technologies. reporters spoke to many leading system suppliers, either already offering or planning to offer natural refrigerant solutions, and found evidence of the steadily expanding market for CO2 and R290. 
Hillphoenix: Since its acquisition of Danish CO2 leader Advansor in 2012, Gold partner on, Hillphoenix, has brought to the US market a CO2 a transcritical system that is totally HFC-free and able to provide both low and medium temperature refrigeration to display cases. With one of the largest booths at FMI Connect 2014, the Hillphoenix Marketplace had on show the newest generation of CO2 transcritical technology called the Value Pack. A more compact and lower cost alternative to the traditional booster system, the Value Pack features two low temperature and two medium temperature compressors, as well as K65 copper by Wieland, which can be brazed, facilitating the manufacturing process. The system is suitable for small supermarkets or convenience stores. Also displayed, and providing refrigeration for the onsite juice bar and cabinets keeping the fresh fruit, was a compact and quiet CO2 condensing unit.
This [the Value Pack] is a lower cost alternative to conventional booster system technology,” said Scott Martin, Director Sustainable Technologies for Hillphoenix. “There has been a lot of positive feedback about lowering the overall installation price and the total cost of ownership of CO2 vs DX technologies. We’re really excited about the future of CO2 and continue to develop products that bring down that cost differential compared to traditional HFC technologies.”
Parker Sporlan: Promoting its CO2 control solutions for subcritical cascade systems, liquid CO2 systems and transcritical booster systems, the Gold partner, Parker Sporlan, displayed its CO2 Series Filter Drier, the flash gas bypass valve for regulating pressure on the low side, as well as the gas cooler valve, designed to regulate pressure in the condenser/gas cooler, and the EEV, which allows for precise superheat control. Sporlan’s Micro Thermo Technologies boasts one of the highest numbers of CO2 transcritical CO2 system installations in North America, including the first ever CO2 transcritical supermarket in the US. The latter installation included Micro Thermo Technologies rack controls, case controllers, condenser controls, temperature monitoring and the Alliance software management suite that brings all the systems together. 
BAC: Showcasing its CO2 capability, Silver partner BAC showcased the TrilliumSeries Condenser for transcritical CO2 applications. Unlike traditional air-cooled condensers, the TrilliumSeries adiabatic design expands the climatic range of CO2 systems across the US by lowering the refrigerant temperature from 105°C (221°F) to 87°C (188.6°F). This also provides additional energy savings in cooler regions. Other benefits of the Trillium condenser for CO2 include:
  • Lower peak energy usage by up to 50%
  • Lower total cost of ownership by 30%
  • Reduced compressor HP
  • No regulatory liability or restrictions
Howe Corporation: For subcritical and transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems, Bronze partner Howe had on show its new 2000-RLE-CO2 ice flake machine, generating 100% dry, sub-cooled flake ice. Howe’s ice flake machines are some of the most efficient on the market. The product’s innovative evaporator design relies on gravity for a 50% lighter bearing load, and features a pre-wired integrated control panel, and photo eye ice level control system.
We see great potential because more and more stores and supermarkets are testing CO2 systems in the US and worldwide,” Andrew Ortman, VP Sales and Marketing, Howe Corporation.

ES System K:
the Polish display cabinet, freezer and mutlideck manufacturer had on show a number of products compatible with natural refrigerant centralised refrigeration systems, including those using CO2. The company’s products are suited to a wide range of retail outlets, from hypermarkets to ice cream parlours. On show was the Catania, optimised to achieve 25% energy savings compared to standard equipment, and the Lenari, with LED lighting and lift up front glass.
Southern CaseArts: specialising in tailor made solutions. Southern CaseArts utilises an in-house design team to create innovative cases to meet specific customer needs. Speaking to, Massoud Neshan, Vice President of Refrigeration, explained that the company has in the past supplied cases for retailers investing in centralised CO2 refrigeration systems.


By Janaina Topley Lira

Jun 14, 2014, 02:09

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