160 supermarkets in Australia using CO2 - Cold Hard Facts Report 2 

By Simon Burkel, Jul 30, 2013, 12:19 2 minute reading

The second Cold Hard Facts report, “A study of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia,” commissioned by the Australian Government and released in July 2013, reveals strong growth for natural refrigerants over past three years. According to the report, CO2 refrigeration technologies have a huge potential in various applications.

CO2 refrigeration in Australian supermarkets gaining market share
There are an estimated 160 supermarket refrigeration systems using CO2 in Australia. More than 90 percent of these systems are cascade systems with charges of around 200 kilograms. 
The expansion of CO2 refrigeration in commercial refrigeration is being made possible by innovations such as the development of micro cascade air cooled condensing units available in capacities from 2.5 kWr upwards. These units provide hybrid refrigeration (HFC-134a/CO2) for smaller sites and could  potentially be used across a broad range of commercial refrigeration applications. 
CO2 refrigeration rapidly emerging into wide range of applications 
Outside commercial refrigeration the potential application possibilities for CO2 refrigeration are numerous. Even if supermarkets still account for the majority of CO2 refrigeration systems employed, other CO2 systems can be found in small numbers in large licensed clubs and food processing applications. CO2 refrigerant technology applications, include:
  • Food processing
  • Truck and automotive air conditioning
  • Refrigerated vending machines
  • Hot water heat pumps
  • Fishing vessels 
  • Refrigerated containers (reefers)
Natural refrigerants gain market share in Australia
The total bank of natural refrigerants (ammonia, hydrocarbons, CO2) used for refrigeration and air conditioning services in Australia in 2012 accounted for approximately 4,800 tons, equivalent to as much as 11.5 per cent of all refrigerants used in Australia. Ammonia accounted for more than 90 per cent of all natural refrigerants used in 2012. But according to the Cold Hard Facts 2 study, CO2 and hydrocarbons are expected to grow to an equivalent tonnage of approximately 2,797 tonnes in 2017, or 6 per cent of the total refrigerant bank. The growing share of natural refrigerants is driven by new technologies and has coincided with the introduction of the equivalent carbon price on the import and manufacture of synthetic greenhouse gases.
Economic importance of the ACR industry for the Australian Economy
The authors of the study point out that the refrigeration and air conditioning industry is an essential part of the Australian economy, accounting for more than 20,000 businesses employing more than 173,000 people. In 2012, approximately AUS $ 5,9 billion (€4,1 billion) was spent purchasing and installing new refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. The overall expenditures spent on RAC equipment and services in 2012 was AUS $ 26,2 billion (€18,25 billion), including cost of hardware purchases, gas purchases, cost of energy consumed and the discounted wages cost.
About Cold Hard Facts 2
The report “Cold Hard Facts 2: A study of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia” is commissioned by the Australian Government can be downloaded from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website. 


By Simon Burkel

Jul 30, 2013, 12:19

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