Mike Baker

Mike Baker, M.AIRAH

AJ Baker Refrigeration
Transcritical CO2 and the Australian climate

The use of CO2 in the Australian commercial supermarket sector dates back to the early to mid-2000s. Since then, this fully natural refrigerant solution has gained increased market penetration and acceptance. The environmental benefits, which are compelling, are now being outweighed by energy reduction and system simplicity. 

However, one barrier to increased uptake has been that the standard designs from Europe are not suited to the different climatic conditions in Australia. High ambient temperatures have been a driver to refine the system design and ensure that the energy savings seen in European can also be enjoyed here. 

Technological advances in these systems have seen measures put in place to reduce gas cooler outlet temperature, as well as deal with flash gas from the main liquid receiver. Basic techniques such as adiabatic high-pressure water atomisation or evaporative cooling have seen some benefits, but have their own pitfalls. Parallel compression has been seen as a simple method of flash gas control, however, more sophisticated solutions, such as ejectors, HVAC coupling and subcooling, provide even better benefits. 

This presentation will outline the different solutions seen in Australia to provide operational success of transcritical CO2 and the operational observations of energy efficiency in supermarkets when these systems are operating at high ambient temperatures.

About Mike Baker:
Mike Baker graduated from Curtin University with an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering. After 15 years in the power generation industry, Mike commenced with AJ Baker & Sons in 2004. He is the Managing Director of the 100-year-old family-owned business and continues his push to implement the change to natural refrigerants throughout the supermarket sector and allied industries in Australia.