RD&T responds to the growing demand for CO2 retail display cabinet testing


17 February 2022

In response to the increased use of COcabinets in the retail sector,  Commercial testing and development company Refrigeration Developments & Testing Ltd (RD&T) have acquired a new CO2 refrigeration system to supplement its remote testing services.


RD&T have extensive experience in the design and testing of retail refrigeration systems. Historically, the company used HFCs and low carbon refrigerants such as hydrocarbons. Still, with the number of commercial CO2 installations surging in Europe by 81% since 2018, RD&T decided to upgrade its CO2 laboratory test facility in Langford, near Bristol to keep up with growing demand.


Star Refrigeration developed the new CO2 refrigeration system to comply with the EN23953 test standard, which is used in Europe for assessing the energy and temperature performance of display cabinets and for mandatory energy labelling of cabinets. The specialised CO2 refrigeration plant was designed to be controlled remotely with great accuracy and to ensure a consistent supply of sub-cooled liquid to the cabinet with well-controlled evaporating temperature. The plant operates when the cabinet is on defrost and can supply liquid at the right conditions to the cabinet immediately after the defrost terminates.


Prof. Judith Evans, director at RD&T, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer CO2 as a new testing service in addition to being able to test using other low GWP refrigerants and obviously refrigerants such as hydrocarbons in smaller integral systems.”


Following the phase-down of harmful f-gases, the use of CO2 as a refrigerant has increased rapidly. This is mainly due to CO2 being a non-flammable, organic refrigerant with a global warming potential (GWP) of 1. This makes it suitable for industry sectors where users are unable or do not wish, to use other natural refrigerants such as ammonia or hydrocarbons.

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One such sector is retail, which has driven the demand for CO2 display cabinets and, therefore, CO2 system testing. Europe is leading the way, with 90% of the CO2installation reported to be in supermarkets and 5% in convenience stores. It is mandatory for all display cabinets to be energy labelled.


Dr Andy Pearson, Group MD at Star Refrigeration, said, “RD&T are well renowned in the industry for their high standards. We are delighted to have been able to support RD&T with developing a bespoke refrigeration system to accommodate the demand for CO2 testing. As the refrigeration sector adapts to the need for natural refrigerants, it is essential that compliance keeps up with commercial demand”.


The collaboration between RD&T and Star Refrigeration’s Bristol branch has been highly successful, with the rapid development of the CO2 test system exceeding expectations. In operation for over six months, the system has proven extremely controlled and reliable, allowing RD&T to extend its services to the growing number of retail customers opting for CO2 cabinets.


To find out more about RD&T’s new CO2 refrigeration testing system, go to: https://www.rdandt.co.uk/news/CO2_testing

For more information about Star Refrigeration, visit www.star-ref.co.uk