A novel dew-point CO2 refrigeration system has been deployed at a Coles supermarket in Norwood, South Australia.
The project is the culmination of seven years of research activities, trials and product development, including partnerships between the University of South Australia, the RACE for 2030 Cooperative Research Centre, Coles, and Adelaide-based Glaciem Cooling Technologies.
According to Chief Investigator and UniSA lecturer Dr Tim Lau, the system installed at Coles Norwood is particularly novel as it fully integrates an indirect evaporative cooling system, made locally by Seeley International, together with a traditional CO2 refrigeration system to reduce energy consumption and peak demand.
Dr Lau says lab testing of the integrated dew point CO2 refrigeration system has shown that annual energy consumption can be reduced by up to 16 per cent, and peak demand reduced by up to 24 per cent.
“The current system is also unique in that it is heavily monitored, with over 100 sensors installed and logged across the entire refrigeration system,” says Dr Lau. “Researchers at UniSA, in collaboration with Glaciem, will be spending the next 12-18 months analysing the data to see if more smart controls can be applied to further optimise the system.
“It is envisaged that we will be able to use this information to better understand how this system will perform, and the value it may deliver, under a broad range of operating conditions and climates. This information will be shared more broadly through the RACE for 2030 – and I would hope that once the value of such a system is demonstrated, many more such installations will occur in the near future.”
Glaciem Chief CEO Andrew Weller has echoed Dr Lau’s comments.
“This Coles Norwood Project highlights the commercial readiness and suitability for mission-critical refrigeration of Glaciem’s product,” says Weller. “It will provide an excellent case study for the performance of the system under real-world conditions.
“It’s exciting to see the last four years of collaboration with Coles come to life and this product adopted by one of Australia’s largest retailers.”
Weller says there may also be opportunities to export the product, with potential for sales in the US, Canada, Europe, China, and the Middle East.
Image courtesy of Glaciem.