AHR Expo 2013: The year of CO2 in the USA is yet to come - Part 2

By Silvia Scaldaferri, Feb 06, 2013, 12:30 4 minute reading

While system manufacturers and component suppliers of R744-based technology ready themselves to be in the best possible starting position for when growing interest, generated by trade show visitors and ongoing field trials, translates into real market demand, most of them confirm that a generally difficult economic climate in combination with some pending regulatory issues have so far sent unclear market signals for some applications. + VIDEO (+ PHOTOS see

From 28-30 January, more than 51,000 attendees filled the aisles of the Dallas Convention Center to see all the latest products and technologies displayed 1,900 companies. Among these a range of system manufacturers and component suppliers offered CO2 (R744) solutions for various applications from commercial refrigeration to hot water heating and air-conditioning. The vast majority confirmed that interest in the products displayed was rising, with visitors becoming more informed about the properties and application potential of CO2 as a refrigerant. However, not all were equally confident that the market would grow rapidly over the coming months.

MYCOM Mayekawa: The Japanese all-natural refrigerant system supplier put a strong focus on its CO2 range of products. Besides the transcritical compressor model 2HT on display, MYCOM informed visitors about its CO2 hot water heat pump for chilled and hot water up to 194ºF with a COP of up to 8.0; as well as its UNIMO air heat source hot water heat pump with a COP of up to 4.2; and the ECO Sirocco for cold water and hot air up to 248ºF. All models can be used in food processing, hotels, hospitals or SPAs. MYCOM Mayekawa is highly satisfied with market demand for its products in the US market, with the Eco Cute model selling the best.

Carel: The supplier of valves and controls for CO2 and ammonia solutions confirmed very positive feedback from the technicians visiting their booth, who state that the valves are working reliably in the field. Carel also sees a positive trend among large food retailers where some of them would be moving away from prescribing a certain refrigeration technology to more openly engaging with HVAC&R suppliers for advice on the best-available technological solutions. So far the market for CO2 commercial refrigeration has been rather slow but with several food retailers currently testing R744 solutions, a stronger market movement by next year can be expected.

Alfa Laval: The heat exchanger expert displayed its fusion-bonded model for high pressure performance of up to 580 psi (40 bar) design pressure. The product has a higher temperature performance of up to 1020ºF/550ºC, high pressure fatigue resistance and a better thermal fatigue performance than nickel-brazed heat exchangers. The model range is suitable for absorption chillers, clean water chillers, district heating or tap water heating. It was coded by the American Society of Mechanical Engineering ASME.

Panasonic: In 2010, the global technology supplier acquired Sanyo’s expertise in CO2 refrigeration and heat pump technology. After a transition and re-positioning phase, Panasonic now seems to be ready to more actively address the US market where it has put a focus on single-speed 60 Hertz compressors for light-commercial applications. User traffic to the CO2 section of the Panasonic booth has considerably increased from the year before. Although the compressor manufacturer does see markets moving, it estimates that it is in 2014 that we will really see a difference. The role of large end-user brands like The Coca-Cola Company will be crucial to driving the market, while inappropriate pressure test requirements for CO2 compressors would be counterproductive to a faster market uptake.

Danfoss: With over 10 years of experience with CO2, Danfoss offers a very broad portfolio of UL-approved, tried and tested CO2 products that were also showcased at the AHR Expo. Under the tagline “your complete source for CO2 solutions” they displayed, for example, transcritical valves and dedicated controllers including the AHR Expo Innovation Awards winning ADAP-KOOL® AK-PC 781. The advanced algorithms of the controller can optimise four control systems, namely the compressor, oil management, high-pressure and heat recovery to save energy and harvest refrigeration heat. During a press meeting at the AHR, Danfoss’ president for North America, John Galyen, noted that North America has been the largest market for the Danish-based company in 2012 and that they see natural refrigerants, including CO2 at the forefront for the coming years.

AGRAMKOW: Known for its high precision and quality charging technology, Agramkow showcased its new EMAC CO2 charging station for small to medium sized productions. Using the company’s well-proven Massflow technology, the EMAC has a charging capacity of 50-1000g and a charging speed of 10g/sec. It charges the CO2 in a gaseous phase removing the need for external cooling and insulated supply line functioning from 12°C to 50°C without any special requirements. Sales Director for Agramkow North America, Eric Liljenberg, explains the features of the new product in a video interview with R744.com:

Read Part 1 of this article

For event photos, see Part 1 of this article

Read Part 3 of this article


By Silvia Scaldaferri

Feb 06, 2013, 12:30

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