UPDATE: Delhaize opens first 100% CO2 transcritical store in the US

By Janet Thompson, Sep 02, 2013, 09:48 4 minute reading

Delhaize America opened its first 100% CO2 transcritical store in the US in July 2013. In the Hannaford supermarket in Turner, Maine, a CO2 transcritical booster system for low and medium temperatures was installed and supplemented with a glycol heat reclaim system and a warm gas defrost system. The Hannaford store is the first supermarket in the US to employ an environmentally friendly transcritical refrigeration system using only CO2 to chill and freeze foods.

Delhaize America invested significant time and resources in 2012 to build its first store to use a 100% CO2 transcritical booster system. The development process for the groundbreaking project began in 2011, when Delhaize decided to test CO2 as refrigerant in a new Hannaford supermarket to open in July 2013.

CO2 transcritical system supplied by Carnot Refrigeration

According to Delhaize, transcritical systems have different building and design requirements than other systems, which affect everything from equipment decisions to construction considerations. For instance, because the natural refrigerant CO2 creates higher pressure, the system requires the use of steel or high-grade copper piping and specialised valves as safety measures.

Furthermore Hannaford faced the challenge of finding the right equipment supplier for the new store in the US. Carnot refrigeration appeared to be the supplier of choice due to its track record with a number of Sobeys stores in Canada in a climate similar to Hannaford’s new store. Hannaford ordered the system by Carnot in October 2012.

Carnot is proud of this ambitious project with Hannaford. Being the first mover is not always easy and Hannaford managed to raise this very exciting challenge. To work with Hannaford was a great pleasure and we now hope that this success will inspire all those wanting to cross over into natural refrigerants,” says Simon Bérubé, Vice-President of Strategic Development at Carnot.

CO2 transcritical booster system is thought to operate 5% to 10% more efficiently

The new Hannaford supermarket was constructed with a gross floor area of approx. 3.335 m2 (35.913 gsf). The store is running on a CO2 transcritical booster system, with UL-approved compressors and controller, for low and medium temperature:

  • LT capacity of 259,800 Btu/hr, generated by 3 Bitzer 2DSL-5K compressors
  • MT capacity of 898,200 Btu/hr, generated by 6 x Bitzer 4 FTC-20K compressors

The rack for the new booster system is manufactured by Carnot Refrigeration and equipped with Micro-Thermo control systems by Parker. The construction of the plant has been carried out by the Hannaford refrigeration installer in-house team. Beside the advantage of generating zero HFC, CO2 transcritical booster technology is said to offer 5% to 10% better efficiency in cooler climates than conventional DX systems using HFC refrigerant. Furthermore the transcritical system suppresses the need for a heat transfer operation between low and medium temperature. The new system at the Hannaford store also includes a glycol heat reclaim system, with glycol coils installed in various HVAC air handlers for further improved energy efficiency. Furthermore an innovative warm gas defrost system for energy efficiency and improved product integrity was installed.

Leveraging knowledge with CO2 system

The experience of designing and building a store with CO2 refrigerants has given Hannaford knowledge to share with its peers. Harrison Horning, Hannaford’s Director of Energy and Facilities says: “We spent a lot of 2012 telling our story to industry organizations. We realised we had a lot of information that we hadn’t shared with our colleagues before. We are excited to continue the natural refrigerant discussion across the Group.”

Greenchill platinum certification

At the official store opening on 29 August 2013, Tom Land who manages the GreenChill Partnership at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, presented platinum-level GreenChill certification to Ms Kim Kuusela, manager of the Hannaford store.

“GreenChill likes to recognise voluntary efforts by companies for being innovators. In this case efforts really, really show a lot of leadership in the United States since this is the first CO2 transcritical store”, said Mr Land when presenting the certification.


In 2013, Delhaize America as well as Delhaize Belgium will each open a store using a 100% CO2 transcritical system. Transcritical CO2 systems are essential for Delhaize in achieving the goal of reducing greenhouse emissions by 20% and to begin phasing out HFCs. Furthermore Delhaize Group is member of the Consumer Goods Forum, which in 2010 agreed to begin phasing out HFC refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with non-HFC refrigerants.

About Carnot Refrigeration

Established in 2008 with the goal of addressing the industry’s need to provide industrial and commercial clients with a thermodynamic option that would diminish environmental impact, Carnot Refrigeration makes a conscious effort to design refrigeration systems and heat pumps that use environmentally friendly natural refrigerants such as CO2. The company is experienced in meeting the needs of sports facilities (arenas), large and small supermarkets, distribution centres and the agri-food industry.


By Janet Thompson

Sep 02, 2013, 09:48

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