“In Quebec, every renovation and new store for IGA is all CO2,” Jeff Gingras, president of Systemes LMP, the system manufacturer and installer for IGA’s new integrated store, told R744.com.
The solution, located in a 48,000 sq. ft. store in Montreal, is a retrofit of the previous R22-based system that has been changed in favour of transcritical CO2 racks.
Systemes LMP has extensive experience of adapting HFC systems to CO2. This is its 10th retrofit.
Gingras argues that it does not make sense to use temporary drop-in solutions in order to comply with the f-gas phase-down. Using R410A “is just putting a bandaid on the problem – all these other gases will have to be phased out eventually as well. You might as well just go straight to using natural refrigerants”.
During the retrofit process, the store remained open, alternating between the HFC and the CO2 system before the CO2 one was completely up and running.
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The air conditioning, based on a transcritical CO2 system, is capable of cooling down the store in summer and – thanks to heat reclaim – warming it up in winter.
“The whole store is running on CO2 for the freezers and coolers with the LMP rack,” said Gingras.
The system uses an adiabatic gas cooler to “condense the water from the air-conditioners. So we actually reuse the water” to cool and heat other parts of the store, he explained.
To boost efficiency, the compressors do not run at transcritical all the time. Sometimes they operate at subcritical level. Electric defrosting offers further efficiency gains, “getting more bang for you buck,” said Gingras.