The installations of the air-cooled units took place over the summer at mostly new stores operated by a handful of U.S. chains.
From left, Mark Westphal of Modine Manufacturing and Lou Moffa of ebm-papst, Sunday at the FMI Energy & Store Development Conference in Atlanta.
In a sign of the growth of transcritical CO2 installations in the U.S., Modine Manufacturing, Racine, Wis., has installed its CO2 air-cooled gas coolers at about 185 stores this year, said an executive of the company.
Most of the installations were in news store and took place “this summer,” said the executive, Mark Westphal, director of sales and marketing, commercial and industrial solutions, during an interview at the Manufacturer/Retailer Exchange on the first day of the Food Marketing Institute’s Energy & Store Development Conference.
The conference is taking place in Atlanta, Ga., at the Sheraton Atlanta, from September 23-26.
“For larger stores, CO2 makes all the sense in the world.”
– Mark Westphal, Modine Manufacturing
The installations were done for a handful of supermarket chains (one chain got the lion’s share), with one or two gas coolers per store, depending on the size of the location. The stores were generally in Northern climates, he noted, where high ambient temperatures are less common.
In warmer climates, U.S. stores with transcritical systems typically employ an adiabatic condenser rather than an air-cooled unit.
Westphal observed that larger supermarkets are still favoring transcritical CO2 systems as their natural refrigerant technology, while smaller stores are beginning to opt for self-contained propane units. “For larger stores, CO2 makes all the sense in the world,” said Westphal.
He said he expects more transcritical systems to be installed in remodeled stores next year.
Modine Manufacturing got into the commercial and industrial coils and coolers business with the acquisition in 2016 of Memphis, Tennessee-based Luvata Heat Transfer Solutions.
The Modine CO2 gas coolers use EC fans from ebm-papst, Farmington, Conn. Lou Moffa, market manager, ebm-papst, said the fans were 800-mm, 3 kW EC units; the latest model of those fans is the AxiBlade axial.
The EC fans “save energy, reduce noise and move more air,” said Moffa.