Italian OEM enex has joined some of the world’s leading CO2 (R744) refrigeration manufacturers and service providers as a gold partner on the marketplace.

Founded in 2004, enex designs and develops high-efficiency refrigeration systems using natural refrigerants, particularly CO2. By 2022, enex had installed more than 1,500 transcritical CO2 systems in all climates. The systems are used in both refrigeration and air-conditioning applications. 

In 2020, enex was acquired by CCC Holdings Europe, an Italian holding company, through its subsidiary Roen Est. The deal offered enex the support it “needs to grow both organically and through acquisitions,” enex Founder and President Sergio Girotto said at the time.

Girotto is known for many CO2 achievements. In 1996, he asked Italian manufacturer Dorin to produce a CO2 compressor, which led to his installing the first-ever transcritical CO2 system in a Bingo supermarket (now owned by Coop Group), in Cornuda, Italy, in 2001. He has patented a number of CO2 refrigeration products and system designs, including a liquid ejector for overfeeding evaporators in 2012. enex developed its first systems with parallel compressors in 2008, and its first gas ejectors in 2013.

Variety of CO2 offerings

enex offers a variety of products suitable for CO2 applications, including commercial and industrial refrigeration systems, chillers, heat pumps for hot water production and low-temperature systems for freezing tunnels. The company also organizes training in CO2 refrigeration.

One of enex’s popular offerings is the Yukon Gravity CO2 chiller for HVAC and process cooling, which can be used as a reversible heat pump and air conditioner in commercial buildings. The Yukon Gravity was launched in November 2019 and is billed as a very energy-efficient unit. “Using CO2 refrigerant allows the chiller to work with extremely low temperature differences between evaporation and fluid, optimizing efficiency,” Girotto said at the time.

The “Gravity” part of the name is meant to highlight the innovative gravity method of operation for the evaporator. With this method, the evaporator is completely fed with liquid until saturated so the heat transfer is very high, and consequently the temperature delta is very low. The chiller comes complete with special built-in functions to exploit these possibilities.

The Yukon Gravity range of CO2 chillers offers capacities ranging between 50kW and 600kW (14.2TR and 170.6TR) for cooling water from 12°C to 7°C (53.6°F to 44.6°F). However, different capacity units can cool water or brine down to as low as -15°C (5°F).

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