Natural refrigerant solutions are booming in Japan
(Zondits, 16 Feb 2017) Natural refrigerant solutions are booming in Japan. The number of transcritical CO2 systems installed in convenience stores and supermarkets has grown to over 2,400 installations – up from 190 in 2014. Japanese companies such as Panasonic, Sanden, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have developed and installed CO2 systems with outdoor condensing units (typically 2–20 hp), in contrast to the CO2 installations in Europe that typically consist of transcritical CO2 racks. This familiar outdoor configuration seems to perfectly lend itself to small format stores, such as convenient stores.
Japan boasts 2,400 transcritical CO2 retail installations
R744, February 14, 2017
Japanese convenience store and supermarket retailers are continuing to drive the adoption of CO2. As of February 2017, there are over 2,400 CO2 retail store installations in Japan (more than 2,300 convenience stores and 140 supermarkets). This represents a twelve-fold increase in just three years, with Japan having only 190 CO2 stores in March 2014.
Japanese convenience store (CVS) chain Lawson is leading the charge, choosing to continue their impressive rollout of CO2 stores despite the discontinuation of the government subsidy in the fiscal year 2017.
Lawson to hit 2,000 CO2 store mark by end February
Beginning in August 2014, Lawson made CO2 refrigeration the standard for the majority of its new stores. By the end of February 2017, Lawson will have 2,000 CO2 installations. It has taken a bold leadership stance, committing to a total of 2,700 CO2 stores before the end of February 2018 – despite the discontinuation of Japanese Ministry of Environment subsidies aimed at encouraging the use of natural refrigerants in the commercial sector.