Emerson CO2 Scroll Unit
Emerson’s new CO2 scroll unit at Chillventa.

Emerson to Launch New CO2 Scroll Refrigeration Units in Europe

Ideally suited for small- and medium-sized shops, the modular units can be installed packed or split, indoor or outdoor.

U.S. manufacturer Emerson will introduce a modular refrigeration unit with CO2 (R744) scroll compressors for small and medium retail stores in Europe by early 2023, said Markus Lenz, Director of Marketing Refrigeration and Integrated Products, at last week’s Chillventa trade show in Nuremberg, Germany.

The small modular Copeland-branded units can be installed packed or split, indoor or outdoor, according to Emerson; the gas cooler can be placed horizontally or vertically or be self-standing. The units are also Ecodesign compliant.

In 2021, Emerson introduced a CO2 scroll compressor for commercial refrigeration applications. The Copeland-branded compressors are available in low-temperature and medium-temperature options and were a highlight at Emerson’s 2022 Chillventa exhibit.

The new scroll refrigeration units are being rolled out as a global solution but will debut in Europe, where they will be launched by the end of this year or the start of next year, said Lenz in an interview at Chillventa. The units, with capacities up to 46kW (13TR), are ideally suited for small- and medium-sized shops and promise “efficient and reliable operation in all climates,” said Emerson. They have also been optimized for silent operation.

The Emerson stand also featured a number of new propane (R290) products.

Increase in COdemand

“We are absolutely noticing an increase in demand for CO2,” said Lenz. “Mainly for food retail applications.”

Major food retail chains in Europe are all specifying natural refrigerants in new-build projects – generally CO2, explained Lenz. The exception are small-format retailers like Lidl in Germany, where propane is also specified.

However, refurbished projects in Europe are still in the majority, and these do not always choose a natural refrigerant. This is changing, though. Lenz explained that more companies are considering natural refrigerants to lower their carbon footprint, especially because of the direction of the proposed EU F-gas Regulation. The F-gas Regulation is “absolutely” impacting what people are demanding, according to Lenz.

“For the future, they [the customers] consider CO2 and propane as future-proof,” said Lenz. By contrast, “A2L refrigerants are very uncertain because of the PFAS discussion and F-gas [Regulation], so they are very hesitant to enter anything with A2L.”

(For more on the European natural refrigerants landscape, see “Natural Refrigerants: State of the Industry” for commercial and industrial sectors in Europe, by ATMOsphere, the publisher of this website.)

In addition, Emerson showcased smaller components, like electronics, valves and controllers that are modified specifically for CO2 and propane, to optimize the system and increase efficiency.

“We are not just focusing on compressors anymore, but the complete solution, including the electronic controls and software development,” said Lenz. “Even a simple component like a valve can make a big difference in efficiency.”

Watch this YouTube video tour of the Emerson booth at Chillventa 2022 where Vice-President Thomas Tomski shows off the new CO2 technologies.

“We are absolutely noticing an increase in demand for CO2.”

Markus Lenz, Emerson

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