Zero Zone, a U.S. OEM of transcritical and subcritical CO2 (R744) refrigeration systems for industrial and commercial applications, has joined the world’s leading R744 HVAC&R stakeholders as a bronze partner of the marketplace.

Headquartered in North Prairie, Wisconsin, the company’s Genesys CO2 systems offer capacity sizes ranging from 1 to 500TR (3.5 to 1758.4kW), providing operating temperatures from -50 to 40°F (-45.6 to 4.4°) in ambient temperature conditions ranging from -25 to 110°F (-31.7 to 43.3°C). Applications include cold warehouse storage, food processing, blast freezing, chillers, food and beverage production, large and small supermarkets, convenience stores, and pharmaceutical and medical operations.

Based on installation conditions, Zero Zone offers single-stage, booster, and cascade systems. Parallel compression and adiabatic, air-cooled or water-cooled gas coolers support system functioning and efficiency, along with microprocessor control systems. The equipment can be installed indoors, outdoors or inside factory-made custom electrical mechanical centers.

“CO2 is a smart choice environmentally and economically,” the company says on its website.

To support users transitioning to CO2 systems, the company provides system training for partners at its Ramsey, Minnesota, facility. “Trainees learn about subcritical CO2, transcritical CO2, service, safety, and gain a half day of hands-on lab training taught by our leading industry experts,” the company said in its “Natural Refrigeration Solutions” brochure.

Some recent installations

Working with Zero Zone, Wisconsin-based retailer Kwik Trip became one of the first convenience store (c-store) chains in the U.S. to install a transcritical CO2 refrigeration system. A case study of the October 2022 installation found the heat reclaim from the system reduced energy consumption, helping the company commit to using transcritical CO2 refrigeration in all its new and remodeled stores starting in July 2024.

In 2021, the company partnered with U.S. manufacturer Emerson (now Copeland) to install a transcritical CO2 booster system in a food retail application in Joplin, Missouri, to address the issues associated with such systems in warm climates. The system “is operating efficiently and effectively,” said Andre Patenaude, Director of Solution Strategy, Cold Chain, for Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions.

U.S. refrigeration contractor Rufus Brubaker Refrigeration installed a 200TR (703.4kW) system for process refrigeration manufactured by Zero Zone in Pennsylvania in 2021. “Our team worked closely with Rufus Brubaker all the way through design concept, fabrication, installation, and start-up to assure a smooth project delivery and satisfied end user,” said John Collins, Industrial Sales Manager – East for Zero Zone.

In 2018, the company installed its first transcritical CO2 system for an ice rink, with a 170TR (597.9kW) chiller using glycol as a secondary fluid in a Minnesota facility.

Founded in 1961 by George Johnson, Duke Wegner, and K. Hirata, the company “emerged as a pioneer in the industry with the application of energy-efficient glass doors on refrigerated and frozen food display cases,” Zero Zone says on its website.

In addition to CO2 systems, Zero Zone also manufactures low-charge ammonia refrigeration systems. A recent installation in Illinois for a U.S. food manufacturer used a 150TR (527.5kW) capacity ammonia chiller for process chilling. Ammonia is a “future-proof and environmentally friendly solution,” said Collins.

“CO2 is a smart choice environmentally and economically.”

Zero Zone