R744: How do you see the market for natural refrigerants developing in your region and globally in 2016?
Many systems manufacturers in Europe for commercial refrigeration are focusing on alternative systems with CO2, both in subcritical and transcritical applications. For some of them, CO2 transcritical represents their standard offering – end users can ask for an HFC system if needed, otherwise, a CO2 transcritical pack will be delivered. Furthermore many supermarket chains are searching for a ‘green’ view, and then they are looking at natural refrigerants as alternatives for their existing systems.
An expansion towards southern climates is also clearly visible: many CO2 transcritical supermarkets are now commissioned in Spain where a specific HFC tax is enacted and also in Italy, where no tax is in place. This clearly means that CO2 transcritical is the way to go for this kind of industrial sector: the typical enhancement of the standard booster cycle (parallel compression, liquid ejectors, vapour ejectors) makes it now feasible to have CO2 transcritical units reliable and very efficient in ambient temperatures of up to 45°C. We are offering compressors for the first supermarket in Jordan, so there are no more doubts about this technology being efficient in hot climates.
Globally, I should say that we also see a trend in China and USA towards natural refrigerants – and not only CO2 of course – due to environmental aspects but also because of energy savings and marketing aspects.
R744: Are there any external market trends developing that will affect the natural refrigerant sector?
The gas manufacturers are developing synthetic alternatives in order to meet the requirements of f-gas regulations in terms of global warming potential. And the low cost of oil is supporting them in the industrial process. These new refrigerants would also become alternatives, hence would take part of the market of natural refrigerants.
R744: Are there any expected developments in the training of technicians and experts working with natural refrigerants?
Many local associations are setting up training courses in CO2 applications and alternative systems, and this has to be implemented more and more. Actually the government should support these trends in order to put professionals in the position to handle the new refrigerants safely. At Dorin, we also conduct yearly training for our customers.
R744: Do you plan to develop your natural refrigerant product and/or technology offering in 2016?
We do have in Dorin already a very wide range of compressors for HC and CO2 applications. We are going to enlarge the range of CO2 with CD500 and CD600 for large displacements up to 80 m3/h and with CD100 for small displacements down to 0.1 m3/h in transcritical applications. Soon we are also going to have a completely new range of piston compressors for NH3 applications. We are also developing a specific CO2 compressor for HP applications.
R744: Do you see any threats to your natural refrigerant business emerging?
Not really, we are ready for the challenge of natural refrigerant developments as well as of new synthetic refrigerants.