Spanish OEM AREA Cooling Solutions plans to double the capacity of its iCOOL CO2 (R744) condensing units to offer up to 58.6kW (16.7TR) for medium-temperature (MT) applications at an evaporation temperature of -10°C (14°F) and in an ambient temperature of 32.2°C (90°F).

“We expect to cover up to [58.6kW] per unit – maybe even 73.3kW [20.8TR] – so with a couple of units you can pretty much cover the needs [of] any supermarket or food store,” explained Josep Ventura, AREA’s CEO and Founder, during the company’s presentation in a Refrigeration Case Studies session at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) America Summit 2023 on natural refrigerants. The conference took place June 12–13 in Washington, D.C., and was organized by ATMOsphere, publisher of

The manufacturer is currently conducting field tests for its 22kW (6.3TR) and 30kW (8.5TR) iCOOL CO2 condensing units in the European market and expects to be mass producing these models over the coming year, said Patryk Majerski, AREA’s Project Manager.

The two units were launched at the Chillventa 2022 trade show in Nuremberg, Germany, held October 11–13.

AREA is also exploring options in the U.S. market and working through the certification process with U.S. safety standards body UL for its iCOOL 15 CO2 condensing unit, which offers 15kW (4.3TR) in cooling capacity for MT and 8.8kW (2.5TR) for low-temperature (LT) applications.

According to Ventura, the company hopes to have UL approval by the end of 2023, though this was initially expected in 2022.

With the U.S. market dominated by centralized racks when it comes to CO2 refrigeration systems, he encourages end users to consider AREA’s “tried and tested option” that offers flexibility and efficiency.

Range of ambient temperatures

AREA first began working with CO2 in 2016 and has since installed 500 iCOOL CO2 condensing units across Europe, 70% of which were installed over the last two years.

The range of compact transcritical CO2 inverter condensing units offers cooling capacities from 5kW (1.4TR) to 30kW, with the introduction of its new models.

The plug-and-play units are energy efficient thanks to their hermetic compressor and low-noise due to their insulated housing, explained Majerski. They also come with remote monitoring as standard and optional heat recovery.

With so many units in operation across the European continent and thanks to the remote monitoring, AREA is confident in their performance in ambient temperatures from -20 to 43°C (-4 to 110°F) without the use of an adiabatic gas cooler.

According to Majerski, the southernmost installation of an iCOOL CO2 condensing unit is in Cyprus, where temperatures can reach 47.2°C (117°F) – although AREA does not recommend the unit to be used in temperatures above 43°C. The northernmost installation is in Sweden, and the lowest ambient temperature recorded was -28°C (-18.4°F) in Poland.

Diverse training offerings

“Training is very important and we have many tools to help,” said Ventura during the presentation.

The AREA Academy offers a range of interactive training and support for customers and technicians, explained Majerski. This includes hands-on training, online training, digital materials such as video guides and other technical materials.

The manufacturer also has a virtual reality (VR) showroom that offers an “immersive experience” for users to learn more about AREA and its products.