Danfoss survey shows market acceptance of CO2 in commercial refrigeration

by Brianna Crandall — February 15, 2017 — Danfoss, a manufacturer of high-efficiency electronic and mechanical components and controls for air-conditioning, heating, refrigeration, industrial, and water systems, recently conducted an online survey to gauge industry acceptance of carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigeration systems in North America.

Intended to serve as an industry indicator, the survey collected input from commercial and industrial refrigeration original equipment manufacturers (OEMs, consultants, contractors, and end users.

CO2 in commercial refrigeration

According to the survey, the commercial refrigeration industry continues to see CO2 as a viable mainstream technology for refrigeration (82% of OEMs; 91% of consultants and end-users), and about half of OEMs responding see CO2 refrigeration as being at least 16% of their business within the next five years. In a similar study conducted in 2012, less than 20% of OEMs saw CO2 comprising at least 16% of their business.

The majority of commercial refrigeration consultants and end-users are today engaged in CO2 projects, citing pending legislation/regulations and corporate sustainability goals as key drivers in the decision to use CO2. However, at the same time, they identified the high initial system cost as a primary barrier to deployment.

Commercial drivers graph

Drivers of CO2 in commercial refrigeration

Commercial barriers graph

Barriers to CO2 in commercial refrigeration

Peter Dee, sales and services director – Food Retail, Danfoss, stated:

The results of this survey validate the ongoing growth we are seeing in CO2 projects across North America. Globally, Danfoss has been involved in more than 10,000 CO2 refrigeration projects, and we are using this experience to continue investing in technologies like our new CTM Multi-Ejectors that help to minimize the challenges and application barriers to CO2. We have also recently launched our CO2 Mobile Training Unit to address the critical need for training.

CO2 in industrial refrigeration

The survey also identified similar acceptance in the industrial refrigeration market. A full 57% of responding OEMs and contractors and 43% of consultants and end-users indicated they have already either been involved in a CO2 refrigeration project or have plans to be. However, OEMs and contractors do not see CO2 becoming a significant part of their business in the near future.

OEMs and contractors identified the removal of ammonia, in terms of improved safety and reduced ammonia charge, as key drivers in using CO2. Consultants and end-users agreed, but also cited pending legislation/regulation as important factors. In contrast to the commercial refrigeration industry, industrial refrigeration respondents said the primary barrier to further CO2 use is the result of end-user and contractor familiarity and training.

Industrial drivers graph

Drivers of CO2 in industrial refrigeration


Industrial barriers graph

Barriers to CO2 in industrial refrigeration

This industry indicator on CO2 was conducted as a follow-up to a similar survey conducted by Danfoss in 2012 to gauge the market acceptance of CO2 refrigeration. The survey was distributed via e-ail to approximately 1,100 people who do business in commercial or industrial refrigeration applications.

 For more information visit the Danfoss Web site.