But the walk-in evaporator maker sees lack of CO2 interest in the U.S.
Most new supermarkets in Canada opt for transcritical CO2 refrigeration, according to KeepRite, a major supplier of CO2 evaporators for walk-in coolers and freezers headquartered in Brantford, Ontario.
“The focus is on transcritical where it makes sense,” said Georg Tusiuk, Canadian sales manager for KeepRite, in an interview at the AHR Expo in Atlanta, Ga., last month.
KeepRite’s retail customers for CO2 evaporators include Loblaw, Sobeys, Longo’s, Metro and others; for new stores it partners with OEMs Carnot Refrigeration, Systemes LMP and Hillphoenix and contractor Neelands Group; for existing stores it uses wholesalers.
“We sell [walk-in] evaporators every day for CO2, transcritical and secondary hybrid” said John Murray, executive vice president, national sales manager for KeepRite.
However, the U.S. market for transcritical CO2 walk-in evaporators has been “the opposite” of Canada for KeepRite, said Murray. “We’ve probably had one U.S. customer in 11 years ask us to go down that path.”
But KeepRite is “keenly interested” in HFC regulatory steps being taken by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which could lead to more CO2 installations, said Murray. “And more states may end up following this.”
If the market expands in the U.S., “we’re ready to go,” he added.
According to sheccoBase, as of October 2018, there were 245+ transcritical CO2 systems in Canada and 370+ in the U.S., the latter driven by ALDI US. Unlike Canada, the U.S. has not ratified the Kigali Amendment's global HFC phase-down plan and has rolled back federal HFC regulations.
KeepRite’s CO2 evaporators come with built-in electronic expansion valves. Its low-profile evaporators, with up to six fans, produces room temperatures down to -40°F, with capacities ranging from 4,300 BTU to 39,000 BTU at 10°F temperature differential.
At the AHR Expo, the company introduced an evaporator that also comprises a built-in controller to control super heat, though it is not yet available for CO2.
“We sell [walk-in] evaporators every day for CO2, transcritical and secondary hybrid."
– John Murray, KeepRite