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Danfoss Poll Reveals Drivers and Barriers of CO2 Refrigeration Systems

Originally published: 11.27.12 by HVACR Business Staff


Contractors find the safety of CO2 highly desirable, however they say say implementation costs and lack of familiarity with the technology are barriers to its use, according to a recent opinion poll.

The poll, conducted by Danfoss, was designed to gauge the industry’s readiness for CO2 in subcritical and transcritical refrigeration systems, according to a recent statement.

The company gathered input from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), consultants, contractors and end users to estimate the level and rate at which CO2 systems are already being deployed in the United States. Participants included contractors (36%), end users (30%), OEMs (21%) and consultants (13%).

The results indicated that the deployment of CO2 systems is motivated by a variety of factors, including the demand for greater energy efficiency (25%) and the potential for HFC phasedown and other regulations (24%), according to the company. 

Consultants and end users also noted the importance of CO2 as a means by which to meet and employ corporate sustainability initiatives, with the improvement of public image a key concern. Contractors, on the other hand, find the safety of CO2 to be highly desirable.

The most frequently cited challenges included initial system costs (32%) and contractors’ lack of familiarity with the technology (40%). Consultants

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and end users also acknowledged a concern about platform stability, including operation at higher ambient temperatures.

Despite these challenges, the study revealed an increasing acceptance of CO2 as an alternative to HFC refrigerants in certain applications, such as supermarkets, industrial refrigeration, transport refrigeration and vending. In fact, among those OEMs polled, 84 percent affirmed CO2 as a viable alternative refrigerant. Overall, the number of projects that incorporate CO2 is increasing, with new construction applications outpacing retrofits. 


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