of late in North America, said Lozano. “So far, this year we’ve added 50 new sites going adiabatic,” said Lozano. “It’s a very big trend,” driven by the efficiency savings offered by the technology. Lozano showed an ROI calculation for the additional cost of an adiabatic condenser over a dry gas cooler. “There is a premium for going adiabatic,” he said. “But because the system itself is so efficient, your simple payback is less than a year,” Ejectors represent a new technology in North America that can also reduce energy consumption in transcritical CO 2 systems. “This year, we’re excited to say that we deployed the first ejector system in [the U.S.],” said Martin of Hillphoenix, referring to a transcritical installation at a new Sprouts store in Georgia. That ejector is Danfoss’s CTM multi-ejector. Danfoss has deployed it around the world and is now working with Hillphoenix to use it in the U.S. “We have over 40 sites globally that are currently testing our ejector technology,” said Dee. “We are willing to share data” on the impact the ejector has on efficiency. Martin told conference attendees that when he began attending ATMOsphere conferences six years he predicted that over time technology enhancements like ejectors and parallel compression would address transcritical systems’ energy challenges in warm climates. He noted the historical progression of the technology in Hillphoenix systems, with subcoolers introduced in 2013, adiabatic condensers in 2014, parallel compression in 2016 and ejectors this year. “We will beat HFC systems’ energy efficiency and we’re at that threshold now,” he said. In an effort to measure the energy savings delivered by different transcrtical systems, Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions has started running a series of tests at its Helix Innovation Center, in Dayton, Ohio. Panelist André Patenaude, the company’s director of CO 2 business development, August 2017
said the data would help drive transcritical sales by boosting confidence in the efficiency of the system. “What Emerson is trying to do this year is to take a CO 2 transcritical booster system and try to understand it better from an energy perspective,” said Patenaude. Emerson is starting with a basic booster system and “energy optimizing it as best as we can, running it at a gamut of temperatures and humidities,” said Patenaude. In phase one of the project, launched in June and running through September, Emerson is comparing the basic system to a system with: parallel compression; an adiabatic condenser; a combination of parallel compression and an adiabatic condenser; mechanical subcooling; and heat reclaim. In phase two, running from October through December, Emerson will compare the basic system to one with: air conditioning and parallel compression, vapor ejectors and parallel compression; vapor ejectors, parallel compression and an adiabatic condenser, and other potential systems.
COST CONSIDERATIONS Though the efficiency of natural refrigerant systems continues to improve, the market is still faced with the challenge of overcoming the barrier of high initial costs. To overcome this barrier, several panelists advocated looking at initial costs through the prism of such financial measures as total cost of ownership (TCO), ROI and total cost of installation. “We spend a lot of time talking about how to overcome that first cost and you do that with the total install price, a total cost of ownership model," said Martin of Hillphoenix. “We have a very robust process for calculating the install price and ROI of CO 2 systems.” Martin pointed out measurable installation savings areas in transcritical systems, such as the start-up refrigerant charge, piping and electrical installation, and other savings from case
Scott Martin, Hillphoenix
Michael Lehtinen, Kysor/Warren
performance with electronic expansion valves and lower refrigerant costs. Intangible benefits include future HFC retrofit cost avoidance, relief from leak and recordkeeping requirements, and a reputation for social responsibility. Lehtinen of Kysor/Warren explained how the rising cost of HFCs is also an important factor when figuring total cost calculations. “We’re seeing HFC costs go up, which factors into the ROI and the TCO analysis,” said Lehtinen. “We also know that refrigerant phase outs are coming and that this is going to create a financial burden for retailers as well.” He also pointed out the reduced product loss as a result of transcritical’s superior cooling effect. “The total cost of ownership calculation is now a much more dynamic model than we’ve had in the past,” said Lehtinen.