Discussions at the International Symposium on Natural Working Fluid CO 2 Refrigeration and Heat Pump Technology in Tianjin, China on 17-18 September indicated that several factors are currently contributing to growing interest in CO2 technology in China – especially in commercial retail and heat pump applications.

Representatives from UN agencies, the Chinese government, and leading industry associations discussed the impact of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on China’s HCFC phase-out plan.

Additionally, technology manufacturers joined academic and business experts to discuss the very latest global trends with CO2 technology.

Italy-based CO2 compressor manufacturer Dorin was one of the sponsors of the event.

“Nowadays, approximately there are about 800 to 1,000 CO2 heat pumps running [in China] and the future is definitely bright for this refrigerant,” Giacomo Pisano, sales manager at Dorin, told R744.com.

“We foresee at least double next year and the following year as well. So definitely, CO2 is coming to China as well. I hope this will also awaken other sleeping countries worldwide.”

“Commercial retail and heat pump applications in China will see the largest uptake of CO2 in the future.”

Professor Shengchen Liu, Tianjin University of Commerce

Large potential for CO2 in commercial retail, heat pumps in China

R744.com spoke to event co-organiser Professor Shengchen Liu from the School of Mechanical Engineering, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning at the Tianjin University of Commerce.

Asked to cite the sectors and applications in which CO2 is most popular right now in China, Professor Liu answered: “CO2 use in China is currently most popular in industrial cold storage and food processing applications.”

Liu explained that CO2 use in low-temperature-cycle applications in cascade systems has increased rapidly in recent years. And although transcritical CO2 is not yet widely used, he expects it to increase in the future as the cost of high-pressure compressors decreases.

“The cost of systems and [lack of] government funding are the biggest barriers to CO2 use in China right now,” he said.

However, asked which sectors will see the biggest uptake going forward, Professor Liu responded, “commercial retail and heat pump applications in China will see the largest uptake of CO2 in the future.”

Now is the time for COin China

Professor Liu was very enthusiastic and positive about the symposium this year and confirmed that it will be held again next year.

“I appreciate that so many people took part in this year’s event,” Liu said. “It means this work is meaningful for research institutes and companies. They want to know the newest research work about CO2 from around world.”

Professor Liu outlined the importance of holding these discussions about natural refrigerants now.

“Recently, the second [HCFC] phase-out stage began in China. Natural refrigerants just like CO2 are being paid more attention by the government, companies and research institutes. So it is now an important time for discussing CO2 refrigeration and heat pump technology in China.”

Regarding the future of the symposium, Professor Liu concluded, “I have talked about this event with the UNDP, UNEP and the China Foreign Economic Cooperation Office and Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP-FECO). It will be held the next two years. In 2019, we will organise the second international conference of natural refrigerant CO2 refrigeration and heat pump technology.”

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