Toronto-based contractor CIMCO sees smaller industrial refrigeration plants as a market that is potentially ripe for the deployment of transcritical CO2refrigeration systems.
In an interview with Accelerate America at the IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo in March, Benoit Rodier, director of business development at CIMCO, said the company is seeking to expand its installation of transcritical CO2systems to these smaller end-users, primarily as an alternative to synthetic refrigerants.
“In really big projects, an ammonia-central system still has its place,” said Rodier.
Increasingly, industrial operators are taking a serious look at smaller rooftop installations for transcritical systems, rather than using machine rooms. Several equipment suppliers have begun offering transcritical systems designed for rooftop installations, he said.
For many installations, the goal would be to deploy a series of smaller transcritical CO2 systems that each provide refrigeration for a specific room or temperature zone within a facility, Rodier explained.
“The idea is not to have one rooftop [system] to supply the entire plant,” he said. “You are going to a smaller machine, which will be for a smaller zone. You are going with a multiple-rack system.”
Meanwhile Rodier said cost remains a significant barrier for the adoption of the NewTon ammonia-CO2cascade system, a collaboration formed in 2015 between CIMCO and Japanese equipment manufacturer Mayekawa Manufacturing Co.
“It is a very high-end, quality product, but price-wise, it’s difficult,” said Rodier. “That is really the roadblock right now.”
CIMCO also recently installed its first ammonia/CO2ice rink system in the U.S. The system features CO2that is piped directly under the ice,, running through a continuous loop, much like brine or glycol.
The system, which has been in place for about six months, is located in North Dakota and has been very well-received by the ice rink operator, according to Rodier. The direct-CO2 floor provides strong ice quality and consistent temperatures throughout the ice, he said.
“He has the best ice in the area,” said Rodier.