CO2 (R744) is becoming “a lot more popular” in large industrial applications, said Maurice Robinson, Technical Support Team Leader for German OEM TEKO.

His remarks came during a presentation at the ATMO World Summit on March 31. The online, 24-hour conference was organized by ATMOsphere (formerly shecco), publisher of R744.com.

Robinson cited the growth in TEKO’s inquiries for industrial CO2 systems above 250kW (71.1TR) and 500kW (142.2TR).

For industrial applications above 250kW, TEKO went from seven inquiries in 2017 to 185 in 2021.

For industrial applications above 500kW, the company went from a single inquiry in 2017 to 38 in 2021.

“Here at TEKO, we’ve got a whole team of people who are working on industrial applications and opportunities at the moment,” said Robinson.

He mentioned that several compressor manufacturers have invested in research and development to produce larger-capacity CO2 compressors and that this has been a major driver of CO2’s increasing use in industrial refrigeration.

“With the larger kW systems, instead of having 10 or 15 compressors needed for a rack in an industrial scale, now we can only have six compressors, so that’s really boosting the market from retail into the industrial sector,” he said.

TEKO is already a very strong supplier of CO2 systems in food retail applications, Robinson noted. Its proportion of retail systems produced using f-gases versus CO2 since 2012 has completely flipped, with CO2 becoming the majority in recent years.

“Last year, I think we did around 3% of f-gas systems compared to almost 90% in 2012,” said Robinson. “It is a good indication of what has been happening in the CO2 market.”

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