U.S. controls manufacturer Logix Controls will launch a refrigeration system controller specifically designed for industrial CO2 systems in March.

The Logix controller has been developed in partnership with South African CO2 refrigeration consultancy Future Green Now (FGN), the companies told R744.com in a joint communication.

The two companies felt there was a gap in the controller market due to the growing use of CO2 refrigeration in industrial applications. The new “robust” CO2 system controller is designed to “maximize the energy efficiency of large industrial CO2 system operation throughout the entire year, and ensure the safest operation at the same time,” Logix and FGN said.

“There is a lack of control logic focused on industrial applications making use of CO2, as well as control logic that [not only] utilizes the benefits of CO2 as a refrigerant, but encompasses other facility requirements from a holistic approach,” said Antonio De Lourdes, Director of Business Development at Logix.

“Dealing with large projects, a small gain in efficiency can lead to a big benefit to the client, and having a system that not only monitors the various requirements, but enables a user to control and gain optimum efficiency off all requirements within an industrial application, will be of great value,” De Lourdes noted.

Logix’s new Refrigeration Control System (RCS) utilizes a recently upgraded Axiom III processor to ensure sustainability and flexibility, the company said. It controls not only the CO2 compressor, but all the equipment within the system, including condensers, evaporators, accumulators and valves. The RCS is equipped with “intuitive” Clarity Software to manage industrial refrigeration systems of any complexity, De Lourdes stressed.

Among other things, the control strategy  for the RCS looks at optimal discharge temperatures, oil management, the correlation between the high pressure valves and the flash gas valves, the transition from subcritical to transcritical operation, and parallel compression and how to utilize it most efficiently when needed. The system is also able to control optional features like heat reclaim, hot-gas defrost, and adiabatic gas cooler controls.

The controller can also integrate facility management requirements like lighting controls, alarm systems, water reclaim and utilization, power monitoring and peak demand management.

A gap in the market

About the controls currently used in the industrial CO2 refrigeration market, De Lourdes said “currently, the industrial CO2 market is predominately being served with commercial grade controllers that are utilized in supermarket applications.”

However, “industrial applications like cold storage warehouses and food processing plants require more robust controllers to manage though the harsh conditions of engine rooms, manage all the industrial grade equipment in the refrigeration system, and provide the user with all the tools needed to effectively manage an entire industrial refrigeration system.”

Using commercial grade CO2 refrigeration system controllers comes with certain inefficiencies. These inefficiencies might be “considered ok” for smaller systems, De Lourdes explained, but in larger industrial systems they result in a “much larger energy burden” for the end user. Logix Controls has more than 30 years of experience developing turnkey industrial refrigeration compressor controllers and system controllers. All Logix products are designed to focus on energy efficiency, and are aimed at applications like cold storage warehouses, distribution centers, and processing plants. FGN, which specializes in CO2 as a refrigerant, has contributed its expertise in CO2 refrigeration to develop the specific control strategies needed.

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