Advansor, the Danish manufacturer of transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems, has dedicated a team to the industrial sector that is separate from its traditional commercial refrigeration team, said Mark Kristensen, industrial sales manager.

“We’ve realized that the demand for transcritical [in the industrial sector] has grown to the level where we can go in that direction,” he said in an interview with R744.com.

Most of Advansor’s industrial transcritical systems operate in cold storage facilities. But blast freezing for food processers is a growing area “because we run down to -48°C,” said Kristensen. “And you don’t need a more complex cascade system; it’s purely CO2.”

Advansor’s industrial transcritical system, called the compINDUSTRI, offers more capacity and a larger frame than its compSUPER commercial systems. Kristensen said their capacity is large enough to compete with ammonia systems. The company’s industrial equipment was on display at the Chillventa trade show in October along with commercial systems.

In North America, Advansor’s parent company, Hillphoenix, is also installing transcritical CO2 racks in small-to-medium-size industrial facilities such as ice rinks (including three in Anchorage, Alaska), pharmaceutical companies, food processing plants and cold-storage facilities. But most of Hillphoenix’s transcritical sales are for supermarkets.

Advansor’s industrial transcritical racks are typically around 600 kW in capacity, with six to nine compressors per rack. However, Advansor is willing to customize racks with more compressors at a higher cost “if It’s what the customer wants,” said Kim Christensen, managing director, Advansor.

In 2017, Advansor will complete the installation of a transcritical system at a Dutch lettuce processing plant managed by Staay Food Group; the capacity of the system will exceed 3.36 MW, making it the largest CO2 refrigeration project in the world, said Kristensen.

“We’ve realized that the demand for transcritical [in the industrial sector] has grown to the level where we can go in that direction.”

Mark Kristensen, Advansor 

In comparison to ammonia refrigeration systems, transcritical CO2 equipment carries lower capital and installation costs, said Kristensen. Smaller piping and faster welding, for example, contribute to less expensive installation.

Maintenance is also significantly less costly. “We have checks on CO2 systems, with oil and safety devices,” he said. “But you don’t have service calls like you do with ammonia; you just run the components till they wear out.”

Energy efficiency is not always better with transcritical – “it depends on the specific application,” said Kristensen. “But in many applications CO2 is in line or better.”

Moreover, the potential for heat recovery “makes the energy calculation better,” he added. Even facilities with a separate heating system can benefit from a transcritical system’s heat reclaim. For example, a chicken processor can utilize cooling in the processing room and heat for hot water used in cleaning.

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