Biaggini Frigoriferi, the Swiss-Italian manufacturer of CO2 racks, will now focus on integrating HVAC into its CO2 transcritical refrigeration systems in 2019. 

“Now the customer […] wants to use [CO2 as a] refrigerant not just for commercial refrigeration but also for HVAC uses,” Luca Rossi, project manager at Biaggini Frigoriferi, told 

In the coming months, the company is planning to install integrated systems at two Swiss retailers, one at a Migros store in Riazzino (near Lugano, southern Switzerland, close to northern Italy), and another at a Coop in Bioggio (also near Lugano).

The new Migros store, set to open on 28 February, will use a CO2 transcritical booster system with integrated heating, air conditioning and mechanical subcooling, according to Rossi. 

“We are assembling the machine [at the Biaggini office in Cadenazzo, north of Lugano]. We will provide the machine in two weeks. [Then] we will switch on the plant around 15 February, and the new store will open on 28 February,” he said. 

Rossi is confident the store will cope with the high-ambient temperatures of southern Switzerland. “This region has a climate very similar to that of north Italy. In July, for example, we can reach temperatures of about 37-38°C, so here in Riazzino its very warm in summer,” he noted.

“The mechanical subcooling [will] cool the outlet temperature from the gas cooler from about 35-37 degrees to about 28-29, I believe,” he predicted, thus maintaining the efficiency of CO2 in the warm ambient climate. “This new store will be 100% HFC free!” he added.

Future plans: A CO2 chiller for HVAC, going to Japan

Construction at Coop Bioggio starts in February and will be completed by April. The store will use a CO2 transcritical booster with parallel compression and heat recovery.

Biaggini will follow up with a few more similarly integrated HVAC and CO2 transcritical stores in the Swiss-Italian region over the next few months.  “I think that the core [of CO2 use as a refrigerant] is the commercial refrigeration [market], but all the developments made in this field can be converted in every field like HVAC, CO2 chiller [applications] and also in the industrial field,” he added.

Biaggini, which previously worked on a CO2 transcritical industrial plant, is now looking at developing a CO2 chiller for HVAC applications during 2019. “In our company, we never make one machine the same as another, because we can make a custom machine depending on the customers [needs],” he said.

The firm recently teamed up with its partner in China to develop CO2 transcritical there. It is also thinking of expanding to Japan. “We’ve been talking about it since the end of last year. So at the moment I have no information. I think we can install also in Japan, such as we did last year in China,” Biaggini said.

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