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SMTS 2013: Line up of commercial CO2 units by Panasonic on display (Part 2)

27 February 2013

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More than 84,000 visitors came to Tokyo Big Sight for the annual leading international trade show targeting supermarket buyers. In this second article, R744.com presents the details about exhibited CO2 transcritical units for commercial use by Panasonic, which are up to 30% more efficient than a R404A system. + PHOTOS + VIDEO
From the 13 – 15 February, the East Hall of Tokyo Big Sight hosted the 47th Supermarket Trade Show 2013 (SMTS 2013), organised by the New Supermarket Association of Japan (NSAJ). R744.com talked to several manufacturers and end users to get a feel for what changes are coming to the market in near future. This year SMTS’s highlight was clearly Panasonic and its R744 line up for retail stores.

Panasonic leader in commercial CO2 refrigeration in Japan

In one of the largest booth at SMTS 2013, Panasonic as the only exhibitor presented complete line up of its commercial CO2 outdoor condensing unit (OCU). The line up consists of low temperature OCUs with a nominal output up to 14.6 kW. Newly introduced at the SMTS 2013 was a 10 kW (15Hp) unit. All four OCUs use two-stage rotary CO2 compressors and split cycle technology with split internal heat exchanger and intercooler.

Small 2Hp outdoor unit is suitable particularly for convenience stores but can also be used with walk-in coolers and other products. The larger units are suitable for centralized freezing/refrigeration systems at small to large-scale supermarkets.

Energy efficiency and consumption of natural resources are hot topic in Japan. The exhibited units reach top efficiency on Japanese market. According to Panasonic up to 30% energy efficiency gains can be achieved with CO2 in comparison to a conventional R404A system. In addition, using CO2 refrigerant leads to 37% reduction in piping material.



Technical specifications:


  • Nominal output: 1.5 – 14.6 kW (2 – 20Hp)
  • Electricity: 3Ph 200V 50/60Hz
  • Ambient temperature: -15°C ~ +43°C
  • Evaporating temperature: -45°C ~ 5°C (-20°C for 1.5kW OCU)
  • Refrigeration tons: 0.52 – 3.9
  • Design pressure: HP 12MPa / LP 8MPa
  • Compressor: two stage rotary, DC inverter motor

History and a new trend towards R744

Panasonic (previously under Sanyo brand) has been selling the R744 condensing units since 2008. At present approximately 100 stores through out Japan has been equipped with Panasonic’s R744 low temperature OCUs. According to Takeshi Ishii, General Manager at Panasonic, the latest trend towards more energy efficient and environment friendly refrigeration equipment will result in many more of their CO2 OCUs being installed in 2013. The strong partnership with Japanese retailers Lawson, AEON, Seiyu and others was build to optimise the R744 systems at different climatic conditions. Once such partnership based business model is successfully applied in Japan, first flag ship stores operated by the same retailers in South East Asia and China will follow.

Other technologies at Panasonic booth

At the SMTS, Panasonic displayed other energy saving and environmental technologies for retails stores. Energy management system monitors and optimises operation of all energy related elements such as showcases, freezers, solar panels, high capacity energy storage or LED lighting and decreases peak electricity demand or provides electricity during power outage. Integrated control of showcases, freezers, lighting and other equipment ensures energy savings for the entire store.


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