Energy Recovery's PX G1300 Pressure Exchanger
Energy Recovery's PX G1300 Pressure Exchanger

Energy Recovery’s Pressure Exchanger Boosts Epta CO2 Refrigeration Efficiency by Over 30% at Ambient Temperatures Above 40°C

An Italian supermarket has achieved high-temperature rack stability using the device.

When operating in ambient temperatures above 40°C (104°F), an Italian supermarket using Energy Recovery’s PX G1300 pressure exchanger realized more than 30% efficiency improvements in its Epta CO2 (R744) refrigeration system compared to a standard CO2 booster system.

OEM Epta Group integrated the device in its recently released next-generation of commercial CO2 refrigeration technology, the XTE (Extra Transcritical Efficiency). This is the first XTE installation in Europe, which was announced in March at EuroShop in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Energy Recovery reported last November at the ATMOsphere Europe conference that its PX G1300 device could increase the energy efficiency of a CO2-based commercial refrigeration system at an Italian supermarket by up to 25% at an ambient temperature of around 37°C (98.6°F); at that time it did not disclose its partnership with Epta.

The PX G1300 device “provides free compression power to increase efficiency levels,” Energy Recovery said, allowing the system to operate longer at lower costs.

The device “enabled performance improvements at temperatures between 20 and 40°C [68–104°F],” Energy Recovery added, with over 25% energy efficiency seen at ambient temperatures between 35–40°C (95–104°F).

“By integrating the PX G1300 into the CO2 refrigeration system, high-temperature rack stability was also achieved,” the company said, adding that the device allowed the store’s refrigeration system to handle summer heat waves with “smooth” operation beyond its original design.

PX G1300 offers a “reliable way” to solve the issue of using climate-friendly CO2 refrigeration when it is hot outside, said KC Chen, Vice President of CO2 at Energy Recovery.

Located in northern Italy, the newly constructed 1,500m2 (16,146ft2) supermarket’s refrigeration system provides refrigeration capacities of 135kW (38.4TR) at medium temperature and 30kW(8.5TR) at low temperature. The PX G1300 improves the system’s energy efficiency with no additional capital costs and little to no maintenance, Energy Recovery said.

Proof of concept U.S. Department of Energy project

Work on a pressure exchanger for commercial CO2 refrigeration systems started in 2017 as part of a U.S. Department of Energy project in collaboration with Energy Recovery, Hillphoenix, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

study presented at the 2022 Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants held in Trondheim, Norway, discussed the design and testing of Energy Recovery’s Trans-critical Rotary Pressure Exchanger (TCPX). The TCPX is placed between the gas cooler and the receiver of a CO2 refrigeration system, serving as an expansion device and a parallel compressor without additional energy requirements.

In a 100kW (28.4TR)- scale standard booster refrigeration system experiment, the study found TCPX gave a COP improvement of up to 20%. “Furthermore, it is shown that significantly higher efficiency gains (greater than 40% COP improvement) and associated energy savings can be obtained,” the study noted.

Headquartered in San Leandro, California, Energy Recovery started its business with pressure exchangers for desalination operations, which today save approximately US$3.9 billion (€3.5 billion) annually in energy costs, the company says on its website. The company seeks to accelerate environmental sustainability for multiple industries.

“By integrating the PX G1300 into the CO2 refrigeration system, high-temperature rack stability was also achieved.”

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