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USA: A US group promoting natural refrigerants in retail refrigeration has produced an open-source installation specification for transcritical CO2 systems, complete with user guide.

The specification has been produced by the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC), a group formed in September last year with members comprising some of the world’s most influential refrigeration equipment manufacturers and suppliers, contractors and end users. These include Bitzer, Danfoss, Emerson, Carel, Parker, Hill Phoenix and retailers Delhaize, Food Lion, Hannaford and Whole Foods Market.

Describing the specification as a huge step forward for the use of CO2 as a refrigerant, Tristam Coffin, director of sustainability and facilities for the Whole Foods Market Northern California region, said “It’s not meant to replace the rack specification that comes from the OEM, but rather is meant to be a tool to help end-users and contractors alike make smart decisions and have the kinds of conversations that lead to efficient and cost-effective installations. It also is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn about the installation of a transcritical system, especially the aspects that really warrant focused discussions between equipment owner, installing contractor, and OEM.”

It has been produced with support from member company DC Engineering — an engineering and design firm based in Boise, Idaho. NASRC says existing specifications were sourced from its OEM members to create a non-branded installation specification available for any end-user, contractor or other party that wants to use it.

“We’ve designed enough stores with these [transcritical CO2] systems to know that there’s a real need for more guidance within the industry,” said Glenn Barrett of DC Engineering.

The installation specification is said to be similar to what you would get from the rack manufacturer if you purchased a transcritical CO2 system, but it’s not specific to a certain OEM. With the addition of the user guide a customer can identify the aspects of installation that really warrant in-depth conversations with the rack manufacturer.

Bryan Beitler, VP of engineering at Anaheim-based contractor Source Refrigeration and CEO of NASRC, said: “Every project is different, and I think NASRC’s CO2 spec is a much-needed step toward identifying those differences up front, and making sure everyone involved in system start-up is on the same page.”

The specification can be accessed here.

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