Pro Refrigeration to Factory Test First CO2 Chiller Manufactured in the US

By Jeanna Baxter White
Published August 13, 2021

Jeff Thomson and Damon Reed measure and install piping.

Pro Refrigeration is taking the next step toward becoming the first US-based manufacturer to add a carbon dioxide ( CO2) chiller system to its standard product offering.

The leading cooling technology and equipment company for fermented craft beverages, dairy, and food processing announced today that it will begin factory testing its CO2-based Dual 50 HP PROChiller System at its manufacturing facility in Mocksville, NC on August 17.

Damon Reed, chief revenue officer who also leads the tech team, was in Mocksville last week helping to install the piping and put the finishing touches on the new system. He explained that production began in May but slowed because of a lack of domestically available transcritical CO2 components, freight/custom delays, and the differences in building a brand new system that requires much heavier components to accommodate CO2’s higher pressure.

The heavier alloy piping material presented another set of challenges. The team fought some issues with tooling used on the piping materials. Determined to finish installing the piping and refusing to accept further delays, Reed jumped into the car Wednesday night and drove 4 hours to Atlanta to be at the tool supplier’s facility at 7 a.m. after they offered to use their heavier equipment to complete the tooling which would also allow them to capture some of their own R&D documentation with the material and get him back to Mocksville in time to install them Thursday evening.

“Our suppliers have all been very supportive of our efforts to overcome obstacles. This was one example of many where our suppliers have worked to help us stay on schedule. In this particular instance, the team in Atlanta coordinated with a team from Finland to help us keep moving forward.”

The system will go through a rigorous testing process before being shipped to California including:

  • Simulating a loss of power of the system to certify control scheme
  • Certifying that all CO2 controls strategies are in perfect operation
  • Certifying operation in transcritical modes and subcritical modes
  • Certifying operation of the hot water recovery strategy

The team will test the hot water recovery by utilizing domestic water to simulate the end user’s hot water system. “The scale will be different than the final installation, but the certification of capacity will use the same engineering metrics regardless of scale. The information from the system will be logged within our PROElliot Industrial IOT platform allowing us to monitor, verify and certify all operating parameters,” said Reed.

Reed anticipates that the field start-up of the equipment will occur the second week of September. This chiller is the first step in the company’s plan to reduce refrigeration global warming potential (GWP) by phasing out its use of refrigerants with high GWP.