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Ripe returns for CO2 heat pumps

GERMANY: High-temperature CO2 heat pumps from Engie Refrigeration have replaced gas-fired burners to heat greenhouses for a major Croatian food producer.

Five HHR 1000 type Thermeco2 high-temperature heat pumps, totalling 5MW, are being installed for the Osatina Group, to heat five of its 10,000m2 greenhouses – growing mainly tomatoes, cucumbers and mushrooms – in the area around Osijek. 

Upon delivery of the machines, Jochen Hornung, CEO of Engie Refrigeration, said: “We are happy to assist the Osatina Group, our new customer, on its path to climate neutrality. As an ecologically sustainable alternative to fossil-fuelled burners, our Thermeco2 high-temperature heat pumps will promote decarbonisation and advance sustainable food production at the Osatina Group.” 

The project was completed by the Engie team from Lindau in collaboration with the Zenteh consultancy from Slovenia.

Greenhouse heaters have to meet especially challenging requirements. At the Osatina Group, the flow temperature is set at 85ºC and the return temperature at 40ºC. Engie says that from a technical perspective, this wide spread between chilled water and hot water can only be achieved in one stage by using CO2 as the refrigerant. It argues that, in comparison, two-stage solutions, using NH3 as the refrigerant, are considerably less efficient 

The Thermeco2 will also utilise ambient heat from the ground, which makes the project even more sustainable. 

The decarbonisation and sustainability aspects of the project have made it eligible for European subsidies covering more than 40% of the total investment. 

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