Step change in Japanese CO2 commercial refrigeration market – HVAC&R Japan 2014 points towards a bright future for R744

By Silvia Scaldaferri, Jan 31, 2014, 14:56 2 minute reading

2014 looks set to be the year that Japanese commercial refrigeration takes off, judging by the number of CO2 solutions and new players entering the market. The HVAC&R Japan trade fair floor was buzzing with news of new CO2 solutions, with a booster system showcased by SWC/Carel, and light commercial refrigeration solutions on displayed by Toshiba Carrier and Mitsubishi Electric. reports live from the show, organised from the 28-31 January at Tokyo Big Sight.

With leading end users such a Lawson, AEON and The Coca-Cola Company all making commitments to phase-out climate warming HFCs and switch to natural refrigerant CO2, and with a wider offering than ever before of CO2 technologies displayed at the HVAC&R Japan trade fair, 2014 could very likely be the start of a Japanese boom in R744 technology uptake.

Toshiba Carrier and Mitsubishi Electric launch CO2 drinks showcase

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments on show at Japan HVAC&R this year were small plug-in CO2 cabinets for drinks display suitable for convenience stores and supermarkets. Both systems are air-cooled and thanks to their small footprint complement larger, centralised CO2 systems.

Newly launched by leading industry players such as Toshiba Carrier and Mitsubishi, these small R744 cabinets have the potential to dramatically change the Japanese commercial refrigeration sector by facilitating the adoption of CO2 technology in convenience stores.

The larger Mitsubishi CO2 cabinet design follows the more traditional three sided and open front approach. The smaller 3-face Toshiba Carrier CO2 showcase has open sides, LED lighting, and is available with different temperature shelves, allowing for the display of both hot and cold items in one single unit.

SWC/CAREL CO2 booster system opens up the market for R744

Competing with Panasonic’s CO2 offering in the commercial refrigeration sector, 2014 is also the year that CAREL and SWC entered the Japanese market with a CO2 booster rack system.
This unit is the first CO2 compressor rack developed in Japan, for supermarkets and convenience stores,” said Katsunori Shinbata, CEO of Carel Japan and president of Shibata Welding Construction. “Last year, this year, next year, there is a big change towards natural refrigerants in Japan. Many supermarkets and convenience stores want CO2 products.”

On display at the booth, the CO2 booster rack system, features two Bitzer compressors and CAREL controllers. A real-time display showed the system’s performance at SWC’s R&D testing centre, with up-to-the-minute data. On the 28 January at 16:00 the system was performing as follows:

  • Suction pressure: compressor 1 – 25.8 bar; compressor 2 – 11.4 bar
  • Gas cooler pressure: 57.5 bar
  • Receiver pressure: 35 bar
  • Condensing pressure: 25.6 bar
  • Superheat: compressor 1 - 18.6°C
  • Saturated condensing temperature: compressor 1 - 20.8°C
  • Discharge temperature: compressor 1 – 61.7°C; compressor 2 - 39.2°C



By Silvia Scaldaferri

Jan 31, 2014, 14:56

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