Carrier: Natural refrigerants viable for all transport refrigeration applications by 2025
24 October 2011
In 2010, they presented a case study based on Carrier’s installment of approximately 150 stores with CO2OLtec TM transcritical systems in operation. These stores accumulated 18.5 MW of medium temperature refrigeration capacity. It was stated that the energy performance of these systems was mainly attractive at average annual temperatures of up to +15 °C. One month later, Carrier presented a study during the Chillventa 2010 Congress, maintaining that up to 19°C, CO2 refrigeration systems would outperform other refrigerants. The same study concluded that CO2 systems would perform slightly better than other refrigerants between 20°C and 26°C.
In October 2011, Carrier installed more than 300 stores with CO2OLtec TM direct expansion (DX) systems with 33 MW medium temperature refrigeration capacity and with estimated emissions savings of 77,600 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions or 49 percent as compared to conventional systems. Carrier is now working on overcoming the commonly referred to “CO2 equator,” which goes through Southern Europe along the northern shore of the Mediterranean, defining the efficiency limit CO2 systems compared to traditional HFC systems when assessed on a yearly average ambient temperature basis of maximum 15°C.
“We have today more than 500 installations running in Europe using Carrier CO2 transcritical mechanical systems, which is the only refrigerant for food retail refrigeration that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent. In 2012, close to 20 percent of our European Commercial Refrigeration sales will be based on transcritical CO2 systems,” said Philippe Delpech, president, UTC Climate, Controls & Security Systems - Europe, Middle East and Africa. He also underlined that this was achieved “without any major regulatory support [but] thanks to best-in-class technology available and retail customers concerned about their environmental impact.”
Next Generation Transcritical Systems to Move CO2 Equator South
With the next generation of transcritical CO2OLtec TM DX systems, Carrier wants to prove that CO2 systems have at least the same energy efficiency than highly efficient HFC systems under every European climate condition - in warm and hot climates - and will start the field testing of these systems next year.
At ATMOsphere 2010, Christoph Brouwers answered to the question “Why to move to CO2 as refrigerant?” saying, “Carbon dioxide as a refrigerant has the most attractive minimal global warming potential and a better - or at least equal - energy efficiency in cold and mild climates up to average annual ambient temperatures of 15°C, which leads to the best total equivalent warming impact (TEWI) compared to any other alternative available today.”
Carrier will have the right refrigerant solution for every application, while not every application may have the same refrigerant solution.
One year later he confirms: “The industry is ready to move. We are really looking for some supporting regulations from the policy makers to gear up this CO2 initiative.”
At the European level, climate regulations with increasing refrigerant prices, energy costs and disposal expenses will increase the cost of ownership of traditional HFC refrigeration systems. This in turn makes the return on investment for CO2 systems more attractive. Also, sustainability has become a business objective of leading European retail chains, which has led some to revise their investment strategy in regards to natural refrigerants and to introduce CO2 refrigeration systems as their new standard refrigeration technology.