Energy Recovery, a U.S. manufacturer of pressure exchangers, has found that its PX G1300 device, which has been previously used to boost the efficiency of transcritical CO2 (R744) refrigeration systems, can improve the energy efficiency of CO2 heat pumps by up to 30%.
According to the company’s modeled analysis, the device can reduce the energy consumption of a 10MW (2,843TR) CO2-based district heating system by roughly 35%, resulting in annual electricity savings of 6,000MWh and greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 2,800 metric tons of CO2e per year. These savings are in addition to the “baseline benefits” realized by transitioning from fossil fuel-based heating to a heat pump, explained Azam Thatte, Chief Scientist at Energy Recovery.
Thatte shared details of the analysis during a presentation of heat pump case studies at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) Europe Summit 2023. The conference took place September 19–20 in Brussels and was organized by ATMOsphere, publisher of R744.com.
Based on preliminary estimates, Energy Recovery expects to see its PX G1300 device reduce the net payback period of an overall district heat pump due to operational costs savings, he said. To bring these benefits to end users, Energy Recovery is working with two unnamed OEMs in Europe to integrate the PX G1300 into CO2 heat pumps, he added.
According to Thatte, in the U.S., roughly 34% of total energy input is lost as waste heat across the industrial sector. This presents a significant opportunity for CO2 heat pumps, he said.
To support decarbonization efforts within industrial process heat applications, Energy Recovery is planning to collaborate with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“We want to show that we can completely decarbonize the dairy process with a PX-based heat pump,” he explained during his presentation.
“We want to show that we can completely decarbonize the dairy process with a PX-based heat pump.”Azam Thatte, Energy Recovery
Success in commercial refrigeration
The technology has already been proven within the commercial refrigeration sector. A Carrefour supermarket in Belgium has seen energy savings of 15% with the use of a PX G1300-integrated CO2 refrigeration system, while in California, a Vallarta Supermarkets store reduced its refrigeration-related energy consumption by 30%.
On average, Thatte said the company expects to see a 20% improvement in system efficiency with 20–25% compression energy savings.
With decades of experience producing pressure exchanger technology for the desalination industry, Energy Recovery expanded into transcritical CO2 refrigeration about three years ago.
By providing additional compression capacity, the manufacturer’s pressure exchanger improves the efficiency of CO2 HVAC&R systems.
“This is a fairly radical evolution compared to the last three or four decades in the refrigeration industry,” he said.
“This is a fairly radical evolution compared to the last three or four decades in the refrigeration industry.”Azam Thatte, Energy Recovery