Frigo-Consulting raises US interest in CO2 technology

By team, Oct 06, 2009, 17:57 3 minute reading

A recent conference organised by the Food Marketing Institute provided the US industry with the opportunity to get a better understanding on how CO2 systems can be used in the US. The ‘CO2 Trend in Europe’ was presented by Raphael Gerber from Frigo-Consulting, who discussed challenges and provided recommendations. 

An estimated 450 participants gathered last month in California, US for the 2009 Energy & Technical Services Conference organised by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The event covered energy-related topics such as financial planning, equipment and energy purchasing/strategies, code compliance, energy conservation, maintenance, HVAC/R design, and lighting system productivity and efficiency.

Raphael Gerber from Frigo-Consulting AG gave a presentation on the ‘CO2 Trend in Europe’ that provided a better understanding on how CO2 systems can be used in the US. The presentation explored the reasons why European retailers have embraced CO2 in traditional DX systems, the design of both subcritical and transcritical systems using CO2 and the reasons why transcritical systems are becoming more prevalent. He further reviewed CO2/HFC system comparisons, environmental impacts and current status of European refrigeration legislation.

The presentation by Frigo-Consulting AG

Gerber started his presentation by explaining the drivers in the EU for moving away from HFCs, such as the F-Gas regulation in the EU, HFC taxes (Denmark, Sweden), charge limitations (Denmark), system layouts (Switzerland), incentive schemes (Germany), marketing drivers (green solutions), labeling energy efficiency (Switzerland) and ban for CFCs and HCFCs.

He highlighted that he challenge for CO2 technology in the US consists of the lagging standards by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) resulting in most approved components not being available.

After providing an overview of different system concepts, namely HFC DX DC, glycol - CO2 DX (sc), CO2 flooded – DX (sc), CO2 DX cascade (tc/sc), CO2 DX separated (tc) and CO2 DX booster (tc/sc), he demonstrated the environmental advantages of CO2 technology through providing a CO2 emissions (direct and indirect) comparison between the different system concepts. Before moving on to explain what makes CO2 technology energy efficient and present measured energy consumption for a transcritical CO2 cascade system installed in a 45,000 ft2 Swiss supermarket, he suggested:
  • cascade systems for hot climates (glycol - CO2 DX or CO2 flooded – DX) with NH3 refrigerant for medium temperature whenever safe and CO2 refrigerant for low temperature (pumped or direct expansion)
  • transcritical booster systems for cold (e.g. Swiss) climates (CO2 DX booster (tc/sc))
He finally discussed the following options to improve efficiency:
  • multiple expansion (parallel compression)
  • adiabatic or wet heat rejection (e.g. water spray)
  • work extracting expansion (ejector, expander)
  • subcooling (ground, water)
  • integrated systems (AC absorber)
The presentation received positive feedback and raised the interest of several participants, who exhausted the time available for questions.

Other presentations regarding natural refrigerants in food retail refrigeration

In addition to the presentation provided by Frigo Consulting, several other presentations examined the use of natural refrigerants in food retails applications, including:
  • Refrigerants – Trends and Opportunities, Verisae, Inc., National refrigeration & Air Conditioning Canada Corp., EURAMMON: As the industry is preparing for the phase-out of R22, this presentation provided an overview of the alternative options currently available including natural refrigerants and examined the benefits, relative cost, applications and retrofit options of each. It discussed how new legislation and tax/incentive programmes will impact refrigerant option in the future.
  • Refrigeration Innovation: CO2 Case Study, Food Lion LLC: The presentation discussed the use of CO2 in low temperature refrigeration systems by retailer Food Lion. It reviewed the lessons learned and provided suggestions on how the retailer would manage the next installation differently. It further explored comparisons with traditional DX system regarding energy cost, service history, operating costs, maintenance, preventive maintenance and technician training.
About the Food Marketing Institute

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies - food retailers and wholesalers - in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies. 


By team (@r744)

Oct 06, 2009, 17:57

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