UPDATE: Chillventa: CO2 gains ground in Commercial Refrigeration

By R744.com team, Oct 22, 2010, 12:54 3 minute reading

During “Chillventa Congressing”, and before the official kick off of the trade fair for the HVAC&R industry, proponents of chemical and natural refrigerants discussed the market potential for refrigerant alternatives. Two studies independently confirmed the very promising market outlook for and the efficiency of CO2 even at high ambient temperatures in supermarket refrigeration. The presentations are available now.

The natural refrigerant CO2 is being put more and more in the spotlight of attention for the commercial refrigeration sector, presentations and debates during the pre-trade fair conference programme on 12 October confirmed. Even proponents of synthetic refrigerant solutions are warming up to the idea to combine their latest refrigerant inventions in CO2 hybrid systems for supermarket refrigeration systems. Chemical maker DuPont hence stated that “there would be no ideal refrigerant for all applications” and interest for CO2 hybrid systems would be increasing.

In the meantime, a study done by Enviros confirms the high technology and market potential of R744 commercial refrigeration systems. The study commissioned by the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) put an emphasis on the growing opportunities for efficient CO2 in different European climates. The most efficient refrigerant choice at Strasbourg ambient temperatures for example is CO2 which saves up to 10% of energy. CO2 would also already today have the best life cycle emissions of all compared R404a and cascade systems – up to 44% better than alternatives. Enviros concluded that over the next 5 years the current cost disadvantage of CO2 systems would be significantly reduced and combined with the “maturing” of the technology, increasing economy of scale and an increase in value engineering would make it a very competitive choice.

The presentation by Enviros can be downloaded from our papers section here

CO2 more efficient up to 26°C

Another presentation put away with the threshold of 15°C ambient temperatures above which CO2 systems are supposed to be less efficient than comparable HFC systems. Manuel Wozny from Carrier Refrigeration presented latest findings from a study comparing real-life data of R404a and CO2 transcritical systems. Up to 19°C R744 would outperform even optimised R404a systems and between 20-26°C still perform better than conventional R404a systems. As a result, during 81% of the year, CO2 would outperform the HFC alternative, data from Frankfurt, Germany showed. Carrier has also taken into account observed performance from the Barcelona area, and is now working on compiling more data to solidify the real-life comparison. R744.com will publish the presentation and more detailed findings next week.

Chinese Industry “puzzled” about future refrigerant choices

Gaoding Fan, representing the China Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry Association, confirmed that China needs to speed up its efforts to replace ozone-depleting HCFCs – currently 66% of the world’s HCFC production is located in China, with a still growing trend – with more sustainable solutions. Fan presented an overview of three projects supported by the Multilaterial Fund involving natural refrigerants in different sectors, including the conversion of A/C systems to R290 by Gree, the conversion of R22 systems for two-stage refrigeration systems in cold storage applications to NH3/CO2 systems by Yantai Moon, and the use of R290 compressors by Guangdong Meizhi. However, Fan expressed his concern that the Chinese industry would struggle to make informed decisions as regards the future refrigerants of choice:

“We are puzzled as different experts have different opinions – one is promoting synthetic, one natural refrigerants”. More information based on facts would be urgently needed to compare the cost efficiency and environmental benefits of different alternatives.

The presentation by Gaoding Fan can be downloaded from our papers section here


By R744.com team (@r744)

Oct 22, 2010, 12:54

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