Briefs: US supermarkets: CO2 gains ground

Being already largely used in Europe, CO2 refrigeration systems might see important development in North American supermarkets. The medium-size retail chain Price Chopper Supermarkets has installed a cascade system using CO2 in the low-temperature stage in its frozen food and ice cream department in the state of New York. The system, using smaller line sizes, allows significant reduction in the weight of copper used: 39% as compared with a comparable direct-expansion unit according to Hill Phoenix, the US manufacturer. Besides its negligible GWP, CO2 is far less expensive than HFC refrigerant alternatives: USD 1.1 versus US 16-17 per kg. Already in April 2008, the leading supermarket retail chain Food Lion unveiled the first US grocery store using CO2 as a secondary refrigerant with a medium-temperature stage using water-glycol while the first CO2 cascade system has been operating successfully in a store in Montpellier, USA, since 2006.