Panasonic Says Its Condensing Units Eliminate the ‘CO2 Equator’
Panasonic CO2 condensing units (Source: Panasonic)

Panasonic to Acquire CO2 Condensing Unit OEM Area Cooling

With this transaction Panasonic aims to strengthen its condensing unit business in the European market.

Japanese OEM Panasonic on July 9 announced that its Cold Chain Solutions Company has entered into an agreement with Cooling Solutions to purchase all the shares of Cooling Solutions’ subsidiary Area Cooling Solutions, a Polish CO2 (R744) condensing unit manufacturer with additional offices in Spain.

The agreement will be formally entered into after its general terms and conditions, including the approval of the relevant authorities, have been fulfilled, Panasonic said. The acquisition does not include the distribution business of compressors and other HVAC&R components that Area Cooling is currently operating.

This transaction is “a strategic step for Panasonic to strengthen its condensing unit business in the European market and to accelerate its ongoing global expansion,” Panasonic said in the announcement, adding, “Panasonic, which has established itself as the leading manufacturer of CO2 condensing units in the Japanese market, sees Europe as its most important market for the future.”

Panasonic has installed more than 16,000 outdoor condensing units (OCUs) for medium- and low-temperature applications in Japan as of September 2023, according to ATMOsphere research. Most of the installations are in convenience stores, especially the Lawson chain.

The market for CO2 condensing units in Europe has been growing. In December 2023, there were 8,500 stores in Europe using CO2 condensing units, compared to 60,000 using centralized CO2 racks, according to ATMOsphere research.

In February, Panasonic Europe announced the launch of a new 20HP CO2 outdoor condensing unit to the European market with applications for supermarkets and industrial process cooling. The 20HP unit extends the company’s existing range of 2HP, 4HP and 10HP CO2 outdoor systems and offers support for food retail and process cooling applications, including chilled and low-temperature display cases, walk-in cold rooms, freezers and blast chillers.

In 2015, Panasonic acquired U.S. OEM Hussmann.

Founded in 1995, Area Cooling has invested in inverter-controlled condensing units and CO2 condensing units. Its products have technological affinities with Panasonic’s condensing units as they have long used Panasonic-designed compressors.

Last year, Area Cooling announced plans to double the capacity of its iCOOL CO2 condensing units to offer up to 58.6kW (16.7TR) for medium-temperature (MT) applications at an evaporation temperature of −10°C (14°F) and in an ambient temperature of 32.2°C (90°F).

Panasonic, which has established itself as the leading manufacturer of CO2 condensing units in the Japanese market, sees Europe as its most important market for the future.”

Panasonic

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