Marc Chasserot, ATMOsphere (left), and Dimitrios Dalavouras, General Refrigeration, discussing CO2 refrigeration in Greece at Climatherm Energy 2024.
Marc Chasserot, ATMOsphere (left), and Dimitrios Dalavouras, General Refrigeration, at Climatherm Energy 2024.

CO2 in Greece: Insights From Greek Contractor General Refrigeration

Technical Manager Dimitrios Dalavouras spoke with NaturalRefrigerants.com about Greece’s booming R744 market at Climatherm Energy.

Reversible propane (R290) heat pumps filled the show floor at the 2024 Climatherm Energy HVAC&R trade show in Athens, Greece. So local contractor General Refrigeration looked a bit out of place as one of the few exhibitors showcasing CO2 (R744)-based refrigeration technologies.

Of course, General Refrigeration didn’t see it that way. While there have been some CO2 installations in Greece to date, the technology has not been widely adopted across the southern Mediterranean region due to its reputation for being inefficient at higher ambient temperatures. However, according to Dimitrios Dalavouras, Technical Manager at General Refrigeration, this is no longer the case.

“There was a reputation that CO2 can’t work in warm climates, but the technology is there, [and] CO2 can work everywhere,” he told Marc Chasserot, CEO and Co-Founder of ATMOsphere, publisher of NaturalRefrigerants.com, during an interview at Climatherm.

In addition to the majority of new and retrofitted supermarkets now opting for centralized CO2 systems, R744 is also becoming more commonplace in smaller industrial applications in Greece, he explained.

“It’s taking market share,” he added.

To support the adoption of CO2 and other natural refrigerants in the Greek HVAC&R market, General Refrigeration is partnering with the Hellenic Federation of Refrigeration, the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants and the National Technical University of Athens to develop a standardized training program for technicians.

In recognition of General Refrigeration’s ongoing commitment to natural refrigerants, it became the second contractor to receive the ATMO Approved Natural Refrigerants Label in January 2024.

You can learn more about General Refrigeration, its training program and the current natural refrigerant trends in Greece in this exclusive interview from Climatherm.

Update, 4/30/2024

NaturalRefrigerants.com received addition information on CO2 refrigeration in Greece from Dimitrios Dalavouras after publishing this article, which we’ve included below.

“Out of the approximately 3,000 stores operated by major chains in Greece, around 1,000 are smaller convenience stores. The penetration of CO2 systems remains relatively low in these smaller outlets, even in newer constructions. However, in larger super markets, there’s a clear preference for CO2 systems in new builds and in cases of significant renovations. I would estimate that roughly 150 stores currently utilize transcritical CO2 systems, accounting for approximately 7-8% of the total. Additionally, approximately 250 stores utilize cascade CO2 systems.

In the realm of industrial refrigeration, there are an estimated 10 units utilizing transcritical CO2 systems and around 30 utilizing CO2 as a secondary refrigerant. However, it’s noteworthy that the majority of industrial projects still opt for ammonia (R717) systems.

Overall, while the adoption of CO2-based refrigeration systems in Greece is steadily increasing, there’s still ample room for growth, particularly in smaller retail establishments and industrial settings.”

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