Interest grows in GEA’s Transcritical CO2 refrigeration system
German engineering specialist GEA has developed a new, transcritical CO2 technology especially for use on seagoing vessels. Development of the system is due in part to increasingly stringent restrictions on traditional refrigerant gases on environmental grounds.
The use of environmentally friendly, sustainable cooling systems with environmentally friendly CO2 is relatively new in the marine business as it is difficult to develop flexible CO2 cooling systems that can be safely installed in the confined and mobile environments of seagoing vessels. Cooling systems using CO2 as an alternative refrigerant to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are already in use in the retail sector.
The modular transcritical CO2 plants operate with multiple GEA Bock compressors, ideal for the high pressures of CO2 refrigeration plants. Redundancy is built into the system so that the system does not fail in the event of a fault with one or more compressors. GEA's solutions can be tailored to almost any available space on board and are designed to operate safely, robustly and reliably even in difficult weather conditions.
Interest in this technology is growing steadily. GEA signed a contract last year with P&O Cruises for its new transcritical CO2 refrigeration technology. The environmentally friendly refrigeration technology has already been installed on board the Arcadia, a 2,000-passenger ship from P&O Cruises, where it provides energy-efficient refrigeration for all the ship's food and beverage refrigeration systems. Further orders for its transcritical CO2 refrigeration technology have now been received by GEA for two new cruise ships to be built in China and for a Dutch fishing trawler, the second largest in the world.
In May 2019, GEA signed a contract for transcritical CO2 refrigeration technology with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS), China. SWS is a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC). SWS is building the first two cruise ships ever built in China. They will work for the new Chinese brand CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd., which is part of the world's largest commercial cruise company. The agreement between GEA and SWS provides for the supply of energy-efficient refrigeration and freezing for all food and beverage refrigeration equipment on two cruise ships. The first 133,500gt ship will be delivered in 2023.
"The cruise market is booming worldwide. In China alone, growth to 4.5 million Chinese cruise passengers is forecast by 2020. This will be the first newly built cruise ship to be equipped with this type of sustainable technology. This is a really important reference project and we believe it will lead to a major spin-off," said Marc Prinsen, GEA Head of Application Center Utilities Marine.
GEA's transcritical CO2 technology has also made a breakthrough in the fishing sector. Cooling systems are the backbone of every fishing ship, especially when it comes to fishing trawlers. GEA signed a contract with UAB Atlantic High Sea Fishing Company. According to this contract, GEA equipped the FV Margiris with an NH3 / CO2 cascade plant. The trawler is the second largest of its kind in the world.
Prinsen said, "As GEA, we are once again one of the pioneers in this technology. We are convinced that with our transcritical CO2 technology we will win further orders and customers. In recent years, many investments have been made in fishing trawlers, especially in Russia. Companies are building fewer but larger vessels, and many are in a situation where they have to renew their vessels because they are reaching the end of their life cycle. These new trawlers must meet environmental standards. We would like to help with GEA solutions."