Demonstrating that CO2 technology can function in ambient temperatures of 45°C, researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras last week presented India’s first CO2 transcritical system at the Gustav Lorentzen conference in Valencia.
“It’s a multi-faceted system with all the modes of operation, including supermarket, air conditioning and heat recovery,” Prof. Dr. Prakash Maiya from the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, told R744.com.
“It’s the first of its kind in India, and it’s operating successfully in very high ambient temperatures of up to 45°C,” Maiya said.
It may be able to function at even higher ambient temperatures, the professor explained. The multinational research team – which includes colleagues from SINTEF Energy Research and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) – is yet to try that.
“It’s the first of its kind in India, and it’s operating successfully in very high ambient temperatures of up to 45°C.”Prof. Dr. Prakash Maiya
By flooding the evaporator and adding a liquid ejector, the design offers an improvement in CO2 cooling system stability and a reduction in power consumption for supermarket applications, and promotes the use of liquid ejectors in the high ambient context, the paper concludes.
Asked whether there is potential for CO2 transcritical systems in the Indian market, Maiya replied, “yes, if we find that the system is operating properly, is maintenance-free, and there’s technical backup for such units”.
To get this system up and running, Prakash and his team had to develop these skills themselves, suggesting that the HVAC&R market would require time to adapt to working with CO2 transcritical.
The Indian government is supportive of natural refrigerant technologies. “They’re waking up and saying, ‘instead of synthetics, we want to go for the natural refrigerant carbon dioxide’”.
Asked whether he is confident in the business case for CO2 transcritical systems in Indian food retail, Prof. Maiya replied, “yes,” particularly as the sector continues to grow.
The 13th IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants took place at the Polytechnic University of Valencia on 18-20 June.