Retailers and industry give update on CO2 commercial refrigeration - CCAC Forum, Part 2

By Alexandra Maratou, Dec 19, 2012, 13:16 4 minute reading

Industry players and retailers from Europe, Japan and North America shared their experiences regarding the use of low-GWP technology with natural refrigerants at a recent Technology Forum organised in Montreal, Canada by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). Speakers provided participants from across the world with a latest update on CO2 technology deployment in their respective regions, and discussed the lessons learned that could also be valuable

Update from Japan: new CO2 store in Okinawa where climate is subtropical

Takeshi Ishii, in charge of CO2 commercial refrigeration at Panasonic (and previously at SANYO) noted that the number of CO2 stores is increasing in Japan. The second largest convenience store chain in Japan, Lawson, has equipped 73 of its stores with CO2 transcritical technology. Moreover, there are another 22 CO2 supermarket stores by Aeon, SEIYU (by Walmart) and Co-op. The CO2 stores cover nearly all climatic regions of Japan, while most notably in November 2012 a new Lawson CO2 store opened in Okinawa, where the climate is subtropical. To ensure good efficiency of the technology at such harsh conditions, the store makes use of a two-stage rotary compressor and an economizer cycle using a mechanical sub-cooler.

Delhaize: TC CO2 could become standard in Belgium and N.E. US by 2014

When retailer Delhaize realised that refrigerants represent a quarter to a third of its total carbon footprint, it became evident that action had to be taken in terms of reducing leakage and using low-GWP refrigerants wherever possible. The retailer does not focus solely on natural refrigerants, “but it is becoming clear that a natural refrigerant solution could be the ultimate goal” according to Harrison Horning, Director of Energy and Facility Services, Delhaize America. “Imagine a world without regulations for refrigerant tracking and no more phase-outs to worry about”, he added. With CO2 being one of the most promising refrigerants for cetralised systems, Delhaize has had pilot stores with CO2 cascade technology in Luxemburg, US, Greece and Belgium. Currently, it is trialing transcritical CO2 in Belgium and in 2013 also in North East US. It expects that transcritical CO2 could become standard in Belgium and possibly North East US by 2014.

Tesco: TC CO2 runs efficiently and reliably in UK

Retailer Tesco reported that the 15 transcritical booster systems it installed in the course of 2011 are running very reliably and efficiently in the UK’s northern latitudes. So far the retailer has natural refrigerants in 2% of stores, and therefore needs to move quickly in the next 7-8 years if it is to hit its EU f-gas commitments.

Update from US and Canada: from CO2 secondary to transcritical systems

Manufacturer Heatcraft noted that in centralised systems the use of CO2 as a secondary refrigerant is picking up in US.

Focusing on CO2-only solutions that are increasingly being deployed in Canada, Simon Bérubé, Vice President Marketing et Strategic Development at Carnot Refrigeration and until recently Senior Director Engineering at Canadian retailer Sobeys, described the retailer’s journey with CO2 transcritical technology as replacement solution for R22. Back at the time, Sobeys put on a piece of paper what would be the dream solution, namely a smaller and simpler system, with lower initial and maintenance cost, without HFCs that could be installed across their estate, including in existing stores. Carnot Refrigeration was one of the suppliers on the design table, who after several development steps delivered a transcritical CO2 solution in line with Sobeys expectations. Throughout this journey Sobeys has worked with 4 case manufacturers and 12 installers to deploy CO2 technology in 40 stores that are located across North America sometimes as far as 6,000km apart. Mr Bérubé highlighted the importance of ‘change management’ in transitioning organisations from the status quo to the desired future state, and applauded initiatives such as EIA’s annual Chilling Facts Report as a tool to convince the top management and challenge the suppliers and operators.

Describing CO2 as one of the most promising refrigerants for centralised systems, retailer Delhaize announced that it will be trialing transcritical CO2 in the North East US for the first time in 2013.

Hillphoenix, who has supplied CO2 cascade or pumped solutions to more than 100 stores in North America, announced at the Forum that its Advansor by Hillphoenix CO2 booster refrigeration system had received Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listing in both the United States and Canada, thereby lifting the final impediment to a widespread adoption of the company’s CO2 transcritical solution in the North American market.

Also CO2 compressor manufacturer Dorin announced that in January 2013 it expects to receive UL approval for its CO2 compressors up to 50 horse power.


By Alexandra Maratou

Dec 19, 2012, 13:16

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