New European map shows: CO2 transcritical supermarkets more than double in two years 

By Huiting Jia, Jan 27, 2014, 10:57 2 minute reading

New market maps in the 2nd “GUIDE Europe” launched this month reveal that commercial CO2 transcritical (TC) and cascade refrigeration systems have gained further momentum in Europe. The maps visualise an increase of 117% in the number of CO2 TC supermarkets within just two years in Europe. For the first time, the GUIDE also includes figures on cascade and plug-in systems using CO2, NH3 and hydrocarbons in the European food chain.

Data in the newly-launched and freely available “GUIDE 2014: Natural Refrigerants -Continued Growth and Innovation in Europe”, reveals a significant increase of CO2 transcritical (TC) supermarkets in Europe within less than two years. From the end of 2011 up until October 2013 an additional 1,555 food retail stores using CO2 appeared on the market, bringing the total number of CO2 TC stores to 2,885. And the number is constantly growing.
CO2 cascade systems are gaining popularity among food retailers
As a novelty, the natural refrigeration systems and refrigerant types examined were extended from CO2-only systems to include indirect ammonia and hydrocarbon systems, as well as cascade systems using CO2, NH3, hydrocarbons and HFCs, and lastly, hydrocarbon plug-in supermarket cabinets.
Latest figures indicate that a minimum of 1,639 stores in Europe use CO2/HFC cascade systems. In addition, 19 stores use CO2/NH3 cascade systems. The highest number of CO2 cascade stores, 314, was recorded in Germany. In Switzerland, 243 CO2/HFC and 4 CO2/NH3 supermarkets were in operation in 2013. The Netherlands (242 supermarkets) and Italy (199 supermarkets) are also countries with high numbers of CO2/HFC cascade stores.
Growth of transcritical systems exceeds that of cascade solutions
However, when comparing the development of CO2-only transcritical systems and CO2/HFC cascade solutions every year, from before 2006 to end-2013, it needs to be noted that already in 2008 the total number of stores using CO2 transcritical solutions exceeded that of those opting for CO2/HFC systems. This trend became more pronounced in the years after to reach 705 new CO2 TC stores being built in the year 2012. By mid-2013, 514 stores had been equipped with CO2-only solutions, suggesting that the full number by end of 2013 had again exceeded that of the year before. 
One reason for this clear trend is that more European system and component suppliers have already developed viable and very diverse solutions for closing any still existing efficiency gap in warmer ambient temperatures. This suggest an early moving down and ultimately disappearance of the so-called “efficiency equator” for Spain, Italy, Greece and other warmer ambient temperature zones. 
World supermarket map: Europe a clear leader in the CO2 commercial refrigeration uptake
Worldwide, the number of retailers using CO2 refrigeration technology is constantly growing. Europe is still leading in the adoption of CO2 refrigeration technology in supermarkets, but other world regions are expected to catch up. By end-2013, more than 5,000 stores using CO2 transcritical and cascade/secondary refrigeration systems were counted.
Market development company shecco built on research carried out for the first-ever CO2 TC supermarket map published for Europe in early 2012 to determine the updated number of supermarkets using natural refrigerants in their commercial refrigeration systems two years later and hence track the speed of market adoption. The research covered all major European supermarket chains, refrigeration system manufacturers, component suppliers, contractors and associations. Over 100 supermarket chains, more than 30 system suppliers and 4 associations were contacted. 


By Huiting Jia

Jan 27, 2014, 10:57

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