Italian manufacturer Rivacold is bringing to the U.S. market transcritical CO2 (R744) medium- and low-temperature condensing units capable of serving cold rooms and up to five display cabinets.
The company is securing UL certification for the condensing unit range, called CN CO2NNEXT, and expects it to be available for sale in “June or July,” said Tommaso Scavone, regional sales manager for Rivacold, in an interview at the Rivacold booth at AHR Expo in Orlando, Florida (U.S.).
Rivacold, which has a U.S. office in Atlanta, Georgia, showcased the CN system, including the condensing unit, cold room evaporator and control system at the AHR Expo, which ran from February 3-5.
Transcritical CO2 condensing units are common in Japan and are gaining traction in Europe, where Rivacold has installed them at more than 500 stores, said Scavone. However, they are rare in the U.S. marketplace, where transcritical rack systems of various sizes are the standard for food retail.
Rivacold also offers a CO2 condensing unit for a “single set” application, called the SN Split CO2NNEXT, as well as UL-approved packaged R290 units for cold rooms.
Scavone highlighted the CN system’s low noise and the speed with which it can be installed. “It’s preset in the factory and is plug and play,” he said. In addition, the “maintenance faucets” make it possible to “isolate the machine and carry out the necessary maintenance operations in safety,” according to Rivacold literature.
The CN system is twice the cost of an HFC condensing unit to compensate for the higher pressures, acknowledged Scavone. However, there is a five-year average payback on the premium paid for the CN system, based on its higher energy efficiency, said Giuseppe Vitri, product manager for Rivacold and the designer of the CO2 range.
The efficiency is driven by the use of a BLDC hermetic compressor with a capacity modulation between 25% an 100%, EC fans and customized electronic control software, according to Rivacold literature, which says the CN is 16% more efficient than an HFC system with a semi-hermetic compressor and AC inverter. The system improves efficiency by 3% via subcooling with a suction/liquid heat exchanger; low-temperature models use an intercooler.
The CN range, which includes four medium-temperature and three low-temperature models, is designed for ambient temperatures up to 43°C (109°F), and is “still very efficient” up to 32°C (89.6°F), said Vitri. The capacities for the medium-temperature models (at 0°C/32°F to -10°C/14°F evaporating temperatures) range from .56kW/.16TR to 9.97kW/2.83TR; the capacities for the low-temperature models (at -25°C/-13°F to -35°C/-31°F evaporating temperatures) range from .98kW/.28TR to 7.9kW/2.24TR.