Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. has developed an industrial refrigerator using carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigerant, which is more environmentally friendly than alternatives for chlorofluorocarbon such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
The company applied the technologies used for its "EcoCute" heat pump-based hot water system to the refrigerator. For example, it employed a two-stage compression rotary CO2 compressor equipped with two rotors and the "split cycle" method, which improves refrigeration capacity and efficiency by adding a medium-pressure stage to the refrigerating cycle. Also, the company downsized the compressor for use in industrial refrigerators.
HFCs, which are used for refrigerated showcases and so forth, came into wide use due to their low ozone depletion potentials (ODP), but they have high global warming potentials (GWP). Some claim that they do not do any harm if recovered and decomposed, but others warn that a considerable amount of HFC leaks when it is being used.
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