The Korean branch of Italian OEM Arneg installed this September the “first ever” supermarket transcritical CO2 (R744) refrigeration system in South Korea in a new Nonghyup Hanaro Mart store located in Jangseong-gun.
The supermarket chain is operated by Korea Nonghyup (National Agricultural Cooperative Federation).
“Through this successful project, we believe that the cold chain industry will accelerate the transition to natural refrigerants, bringing us one step closer to carbon neutrality in Korea,” said Junha Hwang, Director of New Business Development at Arneg Korea, in a recent LinkedIn post.
Arneg provided both the CO2 rack and the in-store cabinets, said Hwang in response to an inquiry. The one rack includes 18HP compression for medium-temperature refrigeration and 6HP compression for low-temperature freezer capacity with a 9HP parallel system to support stable operation when ambient temperatures rise.
“One of the key features of this installation is the Arneg CO2 booster compressor pack with inverter technology, equipped with remote access and monitoring for optimal energy efficiency, in an eco-friendly solution,” he noted.
Arneg’s team worked with Nonghyup Hanaro Mart to select the “most suitable” freezer and refrigerated cases to “showcase the store’s fresh produce and ready-to-go meals,” Hwang said. “We are proud to have played a role in bringing their vision to life through the members of Arneg Group.” Doors installed on the showcases improve energy efficiency and ensure fresh food safety.
Given that Korean refrigeration regulations are still weak, most Korean customers prefer freon refrigerants like R404a due to lower initial investments, Hwang indicated.
“We believe that we should activate natural refrigerant systems to achieve carbon neutrality,” Hwang said. “We carried out this project to prove the excellence of natural refrigerant systems versus freon refrigerants in Korea.”
Arneg, as an international leader in the design, manufacture and installation of refrigeration and HVAC equipment for the retail sector, seeks to innovate the application of CO2 refrigerant.
At the ATMOsphere America Summit 2023, Phillip Walker, Director of Refrigeration Solutions at Arneg Canada, presented data from a 13-story mixed-use building in Montreal, Quebec, using two Arneg CO2 systems on one skid to provide supermarket refrigeration, domestic hot water and comfort heating and cooling throughout the structure. “We’ve heard a lot of people in the industry say that HVAC CO2 doesn’t exist, but we are doing it,” he said.
At Euroshop 2023, Arneg was one of two manufacturers to produce a CO2 rack using Copeland scroll compressors, which is the first time Arneg has used the technology for CO2, said Enrico Zambotto, the company’s Technical Engineering Director for Refrigeration Systems.
Arneg’s rack uses an economizer connected to a plate heat exchanger to cool down the gas coming from the gas cooler to increase system efficiency and reduce energy consumption, said Zambotto.
The company has developed an integrated CO2-based HVAC&R system that cuts HVAC energy use by 40%, as seen in a Verona, Italy, supermarket. Throughout the year, heat rejected from the supermarket’s refrigerated cabinets provides hot water for the store, Zambotto explained. During the winter, the reclaimed heat heats the building.
Headquartered in Venice, Italy, Arneg has 21 manufacturing facilities worldwide.
“We carried out this project to prove the excellence of natural refrigerant systems versus freon refrigerants in Korea.”Junha Hwang, Director of New Business Development at Arneg Korea