H) NATURAL REFRIGERANTS: CO2
Epta’s product range also includes solutions that differ according to the environment in which the refrigeration unit is to be placed in terms of energy efficiency and refrigerant capacity. CO2 technology is widely used in different types of system. The most common are called transcritical and cascade. In addition to these solutions, Epta also supplies products with industry-derived pumped CO2 technology.
- Transcritical CO2 systems
Epta has closely followed the development of transcritical CO2 technology, a fully eco-compatible refrigerant, believed by many to be the refrigerant of the future.
The company has also designed specific components, such as pipes, coolers, external condensers and valves, to guarantee reliable, efficient and safe equipment. The use of this new transcritical technology enables improvements in efficiency to be achieved, as well as a significant reduction of the greenhouse effect, drastically cutting the emission of greenhouses gases into the atmosphere.
The distinguishing feature of transcritical solutions is that they are able to work beyond the critical point, i.e. when the pressure of the refrigerant increases up to 80-100 bar, exceeding the threshold above which the classic condensation of gaseous refrigeration doesn’t occur. This type of system releases its heat directly into the environment.
At least extreme ambient temperatures, the new transcritical systems have already been successfully introduced in sales outlets in North European markets.
With over 30 installations, Epta is the world leader in this technology.
- Cascade CO2 systems
This type of system uses an auxiliary cycle run on a traditional refrigerant that operates at low pressures.
This type of solution is more commonly found in sales outlets situated in Southern Europe where ambient temperatures do not enable transcritical CO2 technology to be used efficiently. The technology in question is used in low temperature systems and has beneficial effects on the energy efficiency of the sales outlet, and around a 30% reduction in the overall greenhouse effect of the refrigeration systems.
Epta boasts a large number of cascade CO2 installations, particularly in Southern Europe and increasingly this very economic option is used in Northern Europe too.
Pumped Co2 systems
Pumped Co2 systems
Pumped CO2 technology is traditionally used in the field of industrial refrigeration. Following some adaptation work, it is now also available in the commercial refrigeration sector.
Compared to transcritical technology, pumped CO2 can serve large stores (even with distances of hundreds of metres between the refrigeration units and the compressor packs) and with a high ambient temperature; it is more difficult to use in smaller systems, also due to its cost.
Pumped CO2 technology is also particularly suitable in remodelling because it enables existing compressor packs to be reused. (note for all languages, the small pipes are also a feature of transcritical, so this is NOT the distinguishing feature)
In 2007, Epta installed numerous pumped CO2 systems, and many more are envisaged in 2008.