Danish OEM Advansor has recently supplied its 48th industrial transcritical CO2 (R744) system in Latin America (LATAM) at a 11,607m2 (124,936ft2) cold storage facility in Monterrey, Mexico, which opened in early November.

According to Mauricio Baena, Advansor’s Regional Sales Manager, and Julio Viera, Corporate Project Manager at Axionlog – the installation’s contractor – CO2 offers an “efficient and sustainable solution” for the facility’s various refrigeration needs.

Details of the transcritical CO2 installation were shared by Beana and Viera during their presentation in one of the Refrigeration Case Studies sessions at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) LATAM Summit 2023. The conference was held in Mexico City November 8‒9 and was hosted by ATMOsphere, publisher of R744.com.

Julio Viera, Axionlog, discussing transcritical CO2 at ATMO LATAM Summit 2023.
Julio Viera, Axionlog, at ATMO LATAM Summit 2023.

‘Betting on natural refrigerants’

According to Viera, Axionlog has been “betting on natural refrigerants since 2017.” The company has worked on 25 distribution centers across the Americas, with six using transcritical CO2 – two in Mexico and one each in Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay – and three employing ammonia (R717) – one each in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico.

Its latest transcritical CO2 installation at the cold storage facility in Monterrey consists of two low-temperature (-19.5°C/-3.1°F) cold rooms, one medium-temperature (3.5°C/38.3°F) cold room and a 1,493m2 (16,070ft2) refrigerated loading dock area. In total, the facility has nearly 3,900 pallet positions, and Advansor’s transcritical CO2 system provides a combined cooling capacity of 1.36MW (386.7TR).

According to Baena and Viera’s presentation, each room of the facility is served by two SteelX CO2 racks to provide the necessary cooling capacity and redundancy in case of equipment failure.

The two companies explored various technology options to enhance the performance of the CO2 system. Based on the needs of the project and the Monterrey climate, Axionlog opted for parallel compression and permanent magnet motors, the combination of which provided higher energy efficiency compared to a standard CO2 booster system.

As the warehouse is used to store food products, Axionlog decided CO2 was a better option than ammonia, the pair explained.

Reduced energy use, costs and carbon footprint

According to Baena, there are many trends within the industrial refrigeration sector driving the adoption of CO2, including reduced energy consumption, reduced capital and operational costs, and improved sustainability.

There is also a growing focus on integrated systems with heat recovery that can meet the various needs of industrial end users. Integrated industrial climate solutions often include space cooling (for offices), space heating and hot water production for a facility and low-temperature cooling, medium-temperature cooling and heating for production processes.

R744 is non-toxic and non-flammable, which makes it more widely applicable, Baena said, adding that it is also simpler to use, quicker to install and has a smaller footprint than other alternatives.

In addition to being a good fit for industrial applications, CO2 is also well suited for commercial refrigeration, with Advansor having installed 41 transcritical CO2 systems for commercial applications in Latin America to date.

Beyond Latin America, Advansor has produced over 14,000 CO2 systems with installations in over 30 countries, mostly in Europe but also extending to New Zealand.

“Advansor is constantly striving to fulfil our mission of designing and producing the best sustainable climate solutions with CO2,” added Baena.

“Advansor is constantly striving to fulfil our mission of designing and producing the best sustainable climate solutions with CO2.”

Mauricio Baena, Advansor