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Copeland, Hillphoenix and AAA Refrigeration demonstrate the power of collaboration in advancing CO2 adoption

July 06, 2023

Copeland, Hillphoenix and AAA Refrigeration demonstrate the power of collaboration in advancing CO2 adoption

Copeland, Hillphoenix and AAA Refrigeration highlighted the necessity of a collaborative approach – including robust training programs, industry partnerships and continued research – to facilitate the adoption of CO2 (R744) systems in the refrigeration industry in a presentation at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) America conference.

ATMO America, organized by ATMOsphere, publisher of, was held in Washington D.C., June 12–13.

The presentation – “Industry Training and CO2 Adoption Acceleration Through Industry Collaboration” – was given jointly by Andre Patenaude, Director of Solutions Strategy – Cold Chain, Copeland; Derek Gosselin, Director of Technical Product Support, Dover Food Retail/Hillphoenix; and Pete Savage, Director of Operations EMS Controls Divisions, AAA Refrigeration.

Components provider Copeland (formerly Emerson Climate Technologies) has collaborated with OEM Hillphoenix and contractor AAA Refrigeration in what Patenaude called the “largest transcritical CO2 supermarket lab in North America” in Sidney, Ohio.

The CO2 supermarket lab is a state-of-the-art training center, equipped with a 175.8kW 600,000BTU/hr (175.8/50TR) CO2 system, 18 display cases and multiple refrigeration racks and walk-in boxes, including high-ambient solutions. The lab offers a unique learning experience for industry professionals, end users and upcoming stakeholders, said Patenaude, adding, “The facility is a hub of collaboration, experiential learning and testing, where ideas can be explored and refined for perfection.”

Patenaude also described Copeland’s many other educational efforts. “We put together design layouts, schematics, climate actions [and] infographics and publish a technical white paper to demystify the barriers to CO2 systems,” he said. “Copeland has also invested in creating articles, videos, webinars and e-books and will continue to enhance the knowledge base within the industry.”

From 2022 to 2023, Copeland has offered the following educational services, said Patenaude:

  • 118 instructor-led courses in the U.S. and Canada for 2,832 participants
  • 2,711 online course completions in the Copeland Learning Portal
  • 11 industry training events in the U.S. and Canada for 1,375 participants
  • 9 solution-focused subject matter experts with 220 years of industry experience engaged in 1,045 collaborations per year
  • 10 U.S. technical colleges with faculty trained to offer Copeland HVAC&R student certifications

“The interactions and collaborative meetings we’ve had over the last year have been extremely high quality, and it needs to continue to go in an upward scale if we’re all to advance in the same direction as quickly as possible,” said Patenaude.

Hillphoenix’s contribution

Gosselin underscored the core message that the key to advancement in CO2 adoption lies in collective effort and industry-wide education. He highlighted Hillphoenix’s contribution to industry training through its Hillphoenix Learning Center, established in 2006; it includes classroom and on-site training and instructor-led and online curriculum. The center accommodates not only contractors, but the whole spectrum of industry stakeholders, including installation crews, maintenance groups and end users. This commitment to this initiative culminated in the company’s Center of eCO2 Excellence, a project designed to deliver “a world-class customer experience via a dedicated CO2 team,” Gosselin said.

“The power of innovation lies in our hands,” added Gosselin. “But it’s not just about creating advanced solutions; it’s also about nurturing a workforce capable of understanding, installing and maintaining these systems. This coupled with collaboration across all industry stakeholders will set us on the path to a more sustainable future.”

Savage of AAA Refrigeration shared its journey in implementing transcritical CO2 at stores since 2005. To date, the contractor has served 36 stores with this technology and is in the process of designing a further 11. This commitment to educating employees and customers has been central to AAA’s strategy, he said. This has included the AAA/Hillphoenix customer education symposium, an apprentice training program and the AAA mobile university.

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