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CO2 Refrigeration

Refrigerate naturally with CO2

The core activity of IVL is the delivery and maintenance of refrigeration equipment for the agricultural sector. By investing in new technologies IVL has the chance to increase market share in the Netherlands and to strengthen its export position.

Within the fruit sector prolonging the preservation of fruits is crucial. Fruit storage must have a finely regulated temperature and humidity control, which is produce specific, and precise temperature distribution and moisture levels must be achieved. The operation of the refrigeration system, which is to large extent determined by the choice of refrigerants, is extremely critical. How long or short the fruit can be stored has major economic consequences for the company.

Innovation Advantage

IVL Commercial Refrigeration remains innovative by developing more cooling technology expertise in relation to product quality. New resources such as CO2 offer the opportunity for improved heat transfer thus providing a more even dehumidification. This makes the cell more controllable.

Objective

"Better quality with a longer storage time and sales period with HFC-free refrigeration." Better quality with a longer storage time has positive effects on economic outcomes for growers. With this advantage IVL distinguishes itself in the market.

What has been developed?

Within the framework of HFC-free refrigeration systems an installation has been designed for the preservation of fruit, in a one-to-one arrangement (for example, a cooling installation for one cold room). For this application, the choice was made for a trans-critical CO2 DX refrigeration installation.

Practice

The installation was developed in cooperation with and installed by Peters Brothers in The Netherlands. Peters Brothers replaced an existing R22 refrigeration installation in 2014 with an installation based on the R134A. One cold storage room is kept free to experiment with the new CO2 refrigeration installation.

When storing fruit it is important that they can be chilled rapidly therefore a relatively high cooling capacity is required. Due to moisture loss of the produce in the storage period, quick cooling methods are necessary, wherein a time delay (a constant cooling effect after switching off (closing the liquid supply)) is undesirable. A uniform temperature distribution in the cell is of great importance.

Impact

IVL has extensive experience working with the natural refrigerant NH3. Through the work on this project much knowledge and experience has been gained about the natural refrigerant CO2. An additional advantage gained through the utilization of the ejector is the collaboration with Count Bort Cooling and Climate Control. This is a technique that could not have been achieved without this cooperation. This is an ongoing association for the use of an ejector in future projects.

From the first tests with this ejector it appears that:

  • CO2 trans-critical systems can be significantly simplified
  • The efficiency (COP) can be improved significantly, + 30% for systems with 1 gear
  • Freezing systems are possible in 1 gear; so there are no expensive booster systems needed

For further information contact IVL: +31 343 561 595 or email info@ivl.nl.

With this value-added knowledge and experience, an informed assessment of future applications regarding the use of natural refrigerants can be made. The use of natural refrigerants with respect to HFCs provides an environmental benefit in the form of a reduction in emissions.