Seeking to meet European market demand for plug ‘n’ play natural refrigerant-based cooling systems as HFCs are phased down under the EU F-Gas Regulation, Panasonic is pushing its new VF Series of CO2 condensing units for refrigerated and frozen goods at Chillventa, an the HVAC&R tradeshow, being held this week in Nuremberg, Germany (16-18 October).
The Japanese multinational launched a 15 kW model on the European market this summer. A 4 kW unit has been available in Europe since last year.
The new product line-up offers customers a combination of 4 kW and 15 kW units for small to medium-capacity cooling and freezing applications, Shigeru Dohno, managing officer (food retail and commercial equipment business) at the Panasonic Corporation’s appliance company branch, said at Chillventa.
The VF Series targets the retail and food service sectors, such as small supermarkets, convenience stores and garage forecourts. It also serves the restaurant and hotel sectors.
“We have strong confidence that CO2 compact outdoor units are good environmentally friendly solutions, particularly in city centre locations with limited space,” Dohno said.
“Our units can be installed on the wall, on the roof, or behind the stores,” he added.
Since its European launch in 2017, Panasonic has installed the 4 KW units in 250 stores in Europe, from Iceland in the north to Italy and Spain in the south.
“We have strong confidence that CO2 compact outdoor units are good environmentally friendly solutions, particularly in city centre locations with limited space.”Shigeru Dohno, Panasonic
Low cost of ownership vs. R404A
Panasonic tests have found that the CO2 units’ cost of ownership is low in comparison to previous models using R404A. The VF Series condensing unit boasts a 25% reduction in freezer costs, and 16% reduction in refrigeration costs, the company found (Source: Panasonic research comparing six average-sized shops fitted with R404A inverter multi-condensing units).
The VF Series includes the condensing unit, plus a Plug & Play Kit comprising of a pre-programmed panel controller, expansion valve and sensors. Only the evaporator, safety valve and pipes need to be added.
Panasonic has been installing commercial CO2 systems in Japan since 2010. The company is now present in approximately 3,100 stores in Japan, with 8,500 units.