U.S. OEM Hillphoenix will “very shortly” reach the point of offering natural refrigerants – CO2 (R744), in particular – in more than half of its refrigeration systems, according to Paul Sindoni, President & CEO of Dover Food Retail Hillphoenix, who spoke with ATMOsphere CEO Marc Chasserot in an onstage interview during ATMO America on June 8.
He added that he could see that percentage climbing to 90% by the end of the decade.
Hillphoenix was the platinum sponsor of the event, which was organized by ATMOsphere (publisher of R744.com) and took place June 7-8 in Alexandria, Virginia.
Together with its Danish subsidiary Advansor, acquired in 2011, Hillphoenix has now installed more than 12,000 CO2 systems around the world and even the COVID-19 pandemic has not dented the company’s resolve or desire to address challenges and protect its customers. “We did not compromise on natural refrigerants; we brought all products and plans out on time, despite COVID,” Sindoni said.
The majority of these systems have been installed in Europe, but “we will see the CO2 adoption rate increase faster and faster,” in the U.S., according to Sindoni. The Hillphoenix brands focus on the U.S. and Canada, while Advansor serves Europe and other parts of the world, such as Latin America.
Hillphoenix recently reported that it has installed more than 875 transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems over the past decade in North America. Sindoni said he could see that number doubling in three years. “It might be faster.” Moreover, he described 10,000 transcritical CO2 installations in North America by 2030 “a realistic goal,” adding, “Our customers are going to see CO2 as a large part of the direction in the U.S.”
In addition to its original engineered-to-order Advansor-brand CO2 rack system, Hillphoenix has expanded its CO2 system portfolio with smaller, pre-engineered models – the AdvansorFlex, AdvansorFlex-Mini and the CO2One single-condensing unit. This portfolio serves both new construction for a wide range of store formats, as well as remodels, he noted.
Sweet spot in industrial
In Sindoni’s opinion, the use of CO2 will also expand beyond its traditional core market of commercial refrigeration. For example, the company has begun installing CO2 systems in industrial refrigeration; he said “there’s a sweet spot in there for CO2,” referring to smaller industrial applications.
The attitude towards natural refrigerants is also changing in general, Sindoni said. “The sales pitch for CO2 has gotten easier.”
In addition to CO2 systems, Hillphoenix offers self-contained, plug-in propane (R290) commercial display cases. R290 is the refrigerant for almost half of its self-contained units, with more continuing to convert to R290, Sindoni said.
During the interview, like several other speakers at ATMO America, Sindoni emphasized the importance of natural refrigerant training. “Training is super important,” he said, revealing that Hillphoenix has trained over 30,000 people since the inception of its learning platform, stressing that this number will soon double.
“We did not compromise on natural refrigerants; we brought all products and plans out on time, despite COVID.”Paul Sindoni, Hillphoenix
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