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Transcritical: greener refrigeration that runs on C02

Transcritical refrigeration runs on C02A natural refrigeration system that uses carbon dioxide to cool food has hit New Zealand and could soon be rolling out to supermarkets around the country.

The system, from Arneg New Zealand (the New Zealand branch of the global manufacturer Arneg) is called the Transcritical and it is the first of its kind in New Zealand, with Devonport New World being the first supermarket to have it installed.

Arneg New Zealand managing director Matthew Darby says the system will have many long-term environmental benefits for supermarkets and other food-industry based consumers.

“We’re contributing towards reducing our impact on the environment,” Darby says.

“The technology that we’ve implemented at New World Devonport is more energy-efficient. We’re using less power, and providing more heating for the store, for hot water and air-conditioning in the winter.”

According to Darby, common synthetic refrigeration systems typically leak around 10–20 percent of their refrigerant charge each year, at a cost to both the supermarket owner and the environment.

The Transcritical works by using what is effectively an industrial byproduct (carbon dioxide) as a refrigerant.

“We’re taking what would otherwise be discharged into the atmosphere, and we’re putting it inside a system that will help cool food. So it’s a win-win for everybody,” says Darby.

The actual design for the technology came from Europe, which Darby then adapted for the New Zealand environment and the New Zealand market. The company has already received a lot of interest in the product, so he’s hoping other supermarkets will soon follow Devonport New World’s lead.

John Ashton, the owner/operator of Devonport New World, said in a statement that being the first supermarket to take up the technology was “gratifying".

“Being energy efficient, environmentally friendly and cost efficient, [this technology] has got to be good for the store and my customers.”