Vallarta Supermarkets, a California (U.S.) chain with more than 50 locations, will be the first food retailer to install a PX G1300 pressure-exchanger device from Energy Recovery to improve the efficiency of a transcritical CO2 (R744) refrigeration system.

Vallarta plans to install the PX G1300 device at a store in Indio, in southern California, Energy Recovery said in a statement.

Energy Recovery, a San Leandro, California (U.S.)-based manufacturer of pressure-exchanger devices for various industries, announced in June that was close to marketing a pressure exchanger designed to significantly improve the efficiency of transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems, especially in high-ambient-temperature locations.

The PX G1300 works by using high-pressure gas from the gas cooler to boost the pressure of low-pressure flash bypass gas. The now higher-pressure bypass gas can then be channeled back to the gas cooler rather than to the medium-temperature compressor, thereby saving energy.

“As we’ve committed to doing all we can to reduce our impact on the environment, we have been hunting for new technology and solutions that will enable us to operate our current CO2 refrigeration unit more efficiently and use less energy,” said Miguel Gonzalez, CEO of Vallarta. “We are thrilled to find a solution with Energy Recovery, and the efficiencies made possible by the PX G will ultimately help us meet our sustainability goals.”

The installation of the PX G1300 is not Vallarta’s first attempt to save energy. Over the last few years, the chain has implemented several efficiency measures, leading to 15% savings in electricity  in the majority of its stores, according to Energy Recovery’s statement. The company has also been named Clean Energy Champion by the Southern California Edison utility company.

Real-world test

For Energy Recovery, the Vallarta installation will be a way to demonstrate “the PX G’s performance in a real-world commercial environment,” said Robert Mao, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Energy Recovery.

“Our confidence in our technology’s ability to reduce energy consumption is high and we are putting our money where our mouth is,” he added. “Under this initial deployment, we will only receive payments based off of the amount of energy we save.”

Energy Recovery’s ultimate goal, said Mao, “is to pave the way for the next-generation CO2 refrigeration system that allows retailers to save on energy costs while complying with regulations phasing out HFCs.”

“Under this initial deployment, we will only receive payments based off of the amount of energy we save.”

Robert Mao, Energy Recovery

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