Reversible CO2 heat pumps, combined with CO2 booster refrigeration systems, have found a home in European retail locations according to an article from r774.com.
In a presentation at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) Europe Summit Jonas Schönenberger, Head of R&D at Frigo-Consulting, a refrigeration engineering consulting company, shared several examples of small to mid-size retail locations can benefit from this type of heat pump.
One of them is at the Migros mall in Lucerne, Switzerland, which spans 20,700m2 (222,813ft2). It has had two reversible CO2 heat pumps since 2019 for air-conditioning and heating. The units utilize an air-to-water technology and were used to replace an oil-fired system that supported the mall’s 50 shops.
The heating capacity was enhanced by heat recovery from the retail booster system and reached 1.3MW (369.7TR), while the cooling capacity stood at of 1.1MW (312.8TR).
The analysis stated that “this pilot and demonstration project showed that it is possible to supply [a shopping mall] with the required heat and cooling energy by two reversible air-to-water CO2 heat pumps.”
“CO2 is very good at producing high-temperature tap water, especially in combination with facility heating; it can be a very interesting solution,” said Schönenberger. He also commented that examples such as this show that CO2 can be applied in an efficient way, not only in purely technical parameters, but also because it requires less people to service the systems, reducing repair and wait time.
Commenting on the prospects of CO2 heat pumps Schönenberger said: “End users choose CO2 as a refrigerant because it is future-proof, non-flammable, non-toxic and doesn’t include TFA [trifluoroacetic acid]. It is also very efficient and can compete with all other solutions on a life-cycle basis.”
This is another example of how CO2 utilization has many niches in which to grow in the near future, potentially creating demand for the gas as a commodity and reducing the cost of its capture and removal.