Dynamic and fast growing market for natural refrigerants in commercial refrigeration

By Huiting Jia, Oct 28, 2013, 15:34 3 minute reading

During ATMOsphere Europe 2013 presentations by representatives of shecco, several leading system manufacturers and suppliers, as well as European end users, showed an ever-strengthening increase in the market for natural refrigerants in commercial refrigeration sector. This is particularly true for CO2 refrigeration, whose use has more than doubled in two years, and which has become a cornerstone of many European system suppliers and manufacturers.

Nina Masson, Head of Market Research chaired the ATMOsphere Europe 2013 Market Trends session which gathered perspectives from leading system suppliers Carrier, Meyakawa and Sanden on the latest market trends for natural refrigerants in Europe. 
Natural refrigerants trends in Europe and beyond reveal rapid growth in green technology market
In terms of the market potential of natural refrigerant solutions in Europe, Masson predicts that carbon dioxide will enjoy a stronger increase in use among system suppliers than most other natural refrigerants, especially in the commercial and industrial refrigeration industry. 
In just 2 years the combination of market, policy and technology drivers have led to an impressive increase in the number of European stores using CO2-based commercial refrigeration systems. According to Masson, compared to the end of 2011, the number of CO2 transcritical supermarkets in Europe has more than doubled, reaching a total number of 2,881 stores by September 2013. At least another 1,568 European supermarkets use CO2/HFC cascade refrigeration systems, with some other food retailers having tested and applied CO2/ammonia solutions or hydrocarbon-based commercial refrigeration systems.
Other continents have also started to adopt natural refrigerants. In North America at least 48 stores use CO2 transcritical refrigeration technology, with the majority in Canada, and in Japan there are more than 100 using the climate friendly technology. Added to these are CO2 transcritical stores in New Zealand and South Africa, which bring the estimated global number of CO2 transcritical stores to over 3,050. When it comes to CO2 cascade supermarkets Masson estimates the total global number is over 1,965 stores, with installations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, the USA, Venezuela.
CO2 refrigeration, a cornerstone of many European system manufacturers and suppliers
According to Lothar Serwas, Manager CO2OLtec Sales at Carrier Commercial Refrigeration, CO2 refrigeration for supermarkets has gradually become the market standard in the European food retail sector. Across Europe Carrier has already installed 677 CO2 transcritical systems, and 409 subcritical CO2 /HFC systems. Overall CO2 solutions represent more than  a 30% share of Carrier’s total turnkey in 2013.
For Italian manufacturer SCM Frigo, which has installed over 800 CO2 units,CO2 represents 50% of the company’s production, which includes a range of CO2 subcritical systems, transcritical packs, CO2 pump circulation systems, CO2 condensing units, and CO2 “Plug-‘n Cool” units. 
Leading CO2-only system supplier Advansor says it has supplied close to 1,000 transcritical units, 90% in supermarkets, and spread across 15 countries. Key markets are in Switzerland, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, although Advansor reports growing interest in Central Europe, and emerging interest in Southern Europe. Torben Hansen from Advansor says that more than 50% of the top 20 retailers in Europe are now trialling or going full-scale CO2 in their existing stores or new stores, further evidence that this technology is being taken seriously.
CO2 system supplier Green & Cool has around 500 CO2 systems installed in Europe and in the United States. According to Green & Cool’s Marketing Director Stig-Göran Lind, key market drivers for CO2 solutions are legislation, cost, efficiency, and green policies.
Swiss consultancy Frigo-Consulting has around 330 CO2 systems in operation, in Switzerland and surrounding countries, with around 250 of them transcritical installations.
Japanese manufacturer Sanden has also made a clear commitment to using CO2 technologies, in several applications, most notably for heat pumps. This year the company introduced to the European market the first combi-type CO2 heat pump for residential space heating and domestic hot water production with a COP of 3.64. Olivier Campy from Sanden said that Sanden’s objective for CO2 based products is to reach annual sales of 200 million EUR in 2013, 1,500 million EUR in 2015 and 4,000 million EUR in 2023. 


By Huiting Jia

Oct 28, 2013, 15:34

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