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The need to address climate change and regulatory initiatives such as the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol are driving a transition toward CO2 in commercial refrigeration. Just this year, the US. Environmental Protection Agency proposed an 85% reduction in HFC production between 2022 and 2037.

While the industry is turning to CO2 as the preferred natural refrigerant, CO2 systems are not without their challenges, particularly in regions with high ambient temperature (the so-called “CO2 equator”- a geographical limit for the cost-effectiveness of CO2). Energy recovery devices, such as ejector technology, have been incorporated into some CO2 systems to address this challenge, however, significant performance limitations remain in these hot environments. How can the commercial refrigeration industry meet this challenge without breaking the bank?

Energy Recovery’s PX G1300 (PX G) energy recovery device is designed to break through this barrier and make CO2 refrigeration an economical option everywhere, especially in high-temperature environments. Currently in late-stage development, rigorous testing in our lab indicates that the PX G can potentially increase standard CO2 system efficiency by up to 50% at an ambient temperature of approximately 90 degrees F (32 degrees C), as an example. With the PX G, an economically efficient, next generation CO2 system is possible - even in hotter climates.

As anyone in the industry knows, when temperatures rise, the pressure differentials needed to create the refrigeration cycle also increase. Ejector technology is limited to an approximate pressure differential boost of 200 PSI/14 bar, thus limiting its capability at higher temperature. Energy Recovery’s PX G performance is not limited by high temperatures or pressures.  Because of this, systems utilizing the PX G can be expected to exceed the performance of ejector-equipped CO2 systems. 

PX G1300 Efficiency Improvement Graphic.

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So, how does it work? Instead of simply throttling pressure at a high-pressure valve, the PX G harvests and recycles the pressure energy to reduce compressor work and thus, power consumption as well. By diminishing the work of the compressor, the PX G has the potential to extend equipment life while reducing energy needs and the overall environmental impact of the system. 

PX G Before and After

PX G Before and After Graphic.

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Energy Recovery’s trusted pressure exchanger (PX) technology is the result of three decades of engineering and product development expertise, focused exclusively on driving efficiencies in high-pressure fluid-flow systems. Through our proprietary design, material science, and precision manufacturing expertise, Energy Recovery became a leader in the desalination industry, enabling a major technological shift from thermal desalination to seawater reverse osmosis desalination – through increased efficiency, reliability, and reduced operating costs and environmental impact. With the PX G, we aim to bring this same revolution to refrigeration and cooling, enabling a green solution for CO2 refrigeration that is more reliable and efficient than the previous best-in-class options.

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*Energy Recovery estimate