CO2 Condensing Units

CO2 Condensing Units

Author: Chris Savage

Here at Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration, we are very aware of the of the emphasis on “natural refrigerants”. In fact, a big portion of our business is in the use of Ammonia as a refrigerant. The other side of our business is smaller, what we call “commercial refrigeration” and includes pretty much everything else. Which also makes us aware of the ever increasing pressure from regulators and regulations to reduce things like “Global Warming Potential” (GWP) and “Ozone Depletion Potential” (ODP). Natural refrigerants like ammonia, CO2, and propane are very low in these areas and so we are seeing refrigeration equipment manufacturers innovating ways to use these natural refrigerants.

One of particular interest in the last year or two is the development of small, single condensing units that operate with CO2 refrigerant. The use of CO2 as a refrigerant has been growing pretty dramatically over the last decade but has primarily been in larger rack systems for larger applications such as grocery stores and industrial applications. The single condensing units are aimed at the small footprint applications such as walk-in coolers and freezers and additional store cases.

There are a variety of different refrigeration equipment manufacturers that are developing these new lines of equipment. The range of sizes is still evolving but they are able to fit more and more applications. It probably won’t be long and the range of equipment sizes will be very comparable to the standard HFC equipment that everyone is used to.

The cost of the CO2 single condensing units (and associated evaporators) is still comparably high when comparing to standard HFC equipment, but who knows what will happen as/if they become more widely adopted.

So, if you have a smaller footprint application that might be served by a single condensing unit and if you are interested in a natural refrigerant option, you may want to consider a CO2 single condensing unit. Give Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration a call and we can help evaluate your application and see if it makes sense for you.

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