Transcritical Refrigeration Cycle Utilizing CO2
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring substance. CO2 is termed a “Natural Refrigerant” because it exists in the natural environment. It is produced during respiration by most living organisms and is absorbed by plants. It has no ozone depletion potential and insignificant global warming potential. The refrigerant itself is a fraction of the cost of some of the specialty hydro fluorocarbon (HFCs).
Over the last few decades, synthetic refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are being phased out by regulation. Increasing concern and regulatory actions related to the environmental impact of hydro fluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants has prompted a re-emergence of carbon dioxide-based refrigeration systems around the world due to low global warming potential, low price, potential for energy reduction, non-toxicity and a positive safety rating.
Strong interest has recently been shown in CO2 as a refrigerant by vending machine manufacturers and supermarkets around the world. Now that there are functional designs for compressors, heat exchangers, and high pressure expansion devices, the transcritical cycle with CO2 becomes a viable alternative for users seeking a natural refrigerant solution that will allow them to be environmentally proactive.
Benefits of Using a CO2 Refrigeration System:
- High Volumetric capacity—reduced compressor and pipe size Low HFC Refrigerant Charge—HFCs are eliminated or restricted to a machine room
- Lower HFC Refrigerant Costs— CO2 costs are currently 90% less than traditional refrigerants
- Reduced Carbon Footprint – CO2 has GWP (global warming potential) of 1 vs. HFC GWP of 3300
- Reduced Carbon Emissions— because refrigerant is confined to a machine room, there are fewer braze joints and a significant reduction in potential for leaks in the system
- Additionally, various studies cite benefits of better temperature control due to smaller and warmer pipe temperatures, reduced installation cost and space savings
Did you Know? In the northern US and Canada, transcritical CO2 systems have become a cost-effective choice in many food processing, cold storage and commercial facilities.
Interested in Transcritical CO2 Refrigeration?
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