The Advantages Of Using CO2 As A Refrigerant In Industrial Projects

  June 24, 2024      Construction

In the world of refrigeration, there are a lot of choices when it comes to keeping things cold. And this goes for both at home and industrial uses. When a client is constructing a new cool room, they often ask for advice on what kind of refrigerant they should use, and more and more we’re finding that we recommend using CO2 for their new system. There are a lot of reasons why this is usually our suggestion, so let’s go through some of the reasons why we think CO2 is a good option for industrial refrigeration.

CO2 Is The Refrigerant Of The Future

One of the biggest reasons to us CO2 in an industrial cool room project is that you’re effectively future proofing your refrigeration.

Although CO2 is probably the best known greenhouse gas, it’s up to 4,000 less harmful as a greenhouse gas than other traditional refrigerants like R404. Although refrigerant leaks should be avoided and repaired quickly if they happen, if one does occur, a leak of CO2 is less harmful than of refrigerants.

Because many refrigerants are harmful to the environment and dangerous, many governments are moving to phase them out over time. However, CO2 isn’t on the list of refrigerants to be phased out. This means that if you’re building a new industrial refrigeration system, you’re not at risk of having to replace it should government regulations change.

CO2 Is Safer Than Many Other Refrigerants

Most materials and chemicals used in refrigeration can be dangerous, and CO2 is no different. However, CO2 is a lot safer than many other refrigerants.

Although a high concentration of CO2 can cause breathing problems simply because of lack of oxygen, unlike many other refrigerants, CO2 is actually non-toxic. Again, while leaks of CO2 should be repaired quickly, in an open air environment, danger is lower than for toxic refrigerants.

Going further, CO2 is also non-flammable and non-explosive, making it very safe in industrial settings, especially if there’s a risk that it could come into contact with flames. While R404 is only flammable under certain conditions, it’s obviously safer to work with something that isn’t flammable under any conditions, and that’s CO2.

CO2 Can Be More Cost Effective As A Refrigerant

A CO2 based refrigeration system can also be a lot less expensive than a traditional system. Although some components to a CO2 refrigeration system can be more expensive, the overall system is less expensive and less expensive to run.

First, it can be noted that CO2 is effectively a waste product of a lot of industrial processes. This means it’s abundant and more importantly inexpensive. This keeps annual costs down. Adding to this, CO2 doesn’t corrode most materials, which can help keep other maintenance costs down.

In relation to installation, CO2 is much more dense than other refrigerants, which allows it to operate effectively with smaller pipe sizes and smaller compressors. This saves on not only material and equipment, but also the footprint of where to house the equipment; warehouse space is expensive, after all. So although certain aspects of CO2 refrigeration equipment can be higher, the savings generally outweigh the extras.

Find Out If CO2 Refrigeration Is Right For Your Business

Although we believe CO2 based refrigeration is great for most modern industrial refrigeration applications, we also don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. Every project needs to consider the size, the overall budget, site specifications, and other constraints. CO2 based refrigeration does have its drawbacks. For example, since it operates at higher pressures, it can be more prone to leakage. There are a number of technical aspects to how CO2 behaves in refrigeration situations that may make it unsuitable for certain applications.

Feel free to get in touch to discuss your needs. We’d be happy to provide advice.