In supermarket refrigeration, much of the refrigerant talk is on the so-called ‘naturals.’ And among the naturals, one of the most talked about is R-744 (CO2). And when talking about ways to use it, the most often discussed approach is in transcritical applications.
That thought process formed the basis for a supermarket end-user panel discussion this summer in Washington, D.C., at the second Atmosphere America Natural Refrigerants Conference. Participants came from Dehaize America (which owns the Food Lion chain), Sobeys, Sprouts, SuperValu, and Whole Foods, amongst others.
While transcritical CO2 was most discussed, other applications gaining attention were systems running on CO2 subcritical, CO2/cascade, and ammonia/hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The panelists talked not only about the practical aspects of getting these new systems up and running, but at what cost, how to justify those costs, and how the approach meshes with corporate statements concerning environmental stewardship.