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UK:  Sainsbury’s has pioneered a new technology to power its fridges in its Portishead store with a new natural refrigerant eCO2, produced from sugar beet waste.

The new refrigerant from A-Gas is the first high specification Carbon Dioxide refrigerant to be produced sustainably in the UK and is a product that can make a significant difference in cutting a store’s carbon footprint.

Typically, more than 40 per cent of a supermarket’s energy consumption is directly linked to its refrigeration systems. Natural refrigerants, like CO2, are becoming a popular option as stores look to reduce their carbon footprint.

Sainsbury’s is looking to reduce operational Carbon emissions by 30% absolute and 65% relative compared to 2005; and at Portishead the supermarket group believes eCO2 is a refrigerant which can make an important contribution to this.

A-Gas Operations Manager Rob Parker said: “The X Factor for eCO2 is the sustainable way it’s produced. 

“Most CO2 refrigerants are recovered from dirty industrial processes which are far from green in their methods. eCO2 is a by-product of bioethanol production from waste sugar beet – using crops not destined for sugar production. 

“This is a first for A-Gas and the UK market, as a CO2 refrigerant produced from waste sugar beet has never been on sale before on a commercial basis.”

Sainsbury’s Head of Refrigeration John Skelton said: “We wanted to use eCO2 to reduce our carbon footprint. A supermarket refrigeration system operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, so it has to be extremely reliable. Having the right refrigerant plays an important part in this.”

Related Articles:

 

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The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) has published a new technical guide on the application of “CO2 as a Refrigerant,"

The guide written by Star Refrigeration's Andy Pearson, a well-known expert in the field of natural refrigeration applications and who has extensive experience in the use of carbon dioxide as a refrigerant, is for design and development engineers needing instruction and inspiration as well as non-technical experts seeking background information on specific related topics.

The first edition IIR guide highlights the application of CO2 refrigeration in supermarkets, industrial freezers, refrigerated transport, and cold stores as well as ice rinks, chillers, air conditioning systems, data centers and heat pumps. 

Main topics include,

  • Thermophysical properties of CO2
  • Exposure to CO2, safety precautions
  • CO2 Plant Design
  • CO2 applications
  • Future prospects
  • Standards and regulations
  • Bibliography

Andy Pearson commenting of the release of the new guide said “I am grateful to the many colleagues and friends in the industry who have provided the knowledge contained in the guide and to the staff and volunteer contributors of the International Institute of Refrigeration who have pulled it together.”

You can purchase "CO2 as a Refrigerant" from the IIR online bookshop here.

  • Paper version: 40 euros 
  • Electronic pdf version (downloadable): 30 euros

IIR members receive a 25% discount on all purchases from our online Bookshop. You can find out about IIR Membership here.

 

Fridgehub, providing information and resources to Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Suppliers, Contractors and Retail Business Operators

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UK:  Geoscart, formerly Greenfield energy, a UK-based geothermal energy company has secured £15m from Macquarie Lending to roll out its technology, which integrates geothermal energy generation, heat pumps, and solar thermal panels, at 15 Sainsbury’s stores this year, with further financing lined up to expand the business over the coming years.

Sainsbury’s has now moved Geoscart from a technology trial and bedding in period to a full “business-as-usual” rollout. 

Greg Davis of Geoscart commented, "As a central part of that, we have had to set up a full finance/delivery relationship with British Gas and Macquarie, to enable the full self-funding rollout across a target of 100+ stores.  Macquarie provides the necessary finance; while British Gas stands behind the technology and installed systems – both to Macquarie and the client – for their installed life."

Geoscart is working with British Gas to deploy the systems for Sainsbury's, but also hopes to work with other corporate clients in the longer term as the market for the technology grows.

"This marks the next stage in Geoscart's growth," said Geoscart chief exective Grahame Newton in a statement. "We developed the baseline technology from the oil and gas sector and have successfully applied it to the retail-consumer space. We are looking forward to rolling out the technology to a wider audience with the help of our operational partners."

Nikolaus Woloszczuk, co-head of Macquarie Lending Europe, said it was pleased to be supporting an "an exciting development" in the area of distributed and renewable energy finance.

"We are pleased to support the upscaling of emerging technologies that allow users to lower energy bills and minimise carbon emissions on a mass scale," he added.

Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, engineering and energy at Sainsbury’s said the supermarket was "delighted" to be at the forefront of the technology.

"I hope that with Geoscart’s help we’ll now see more retailers following suit," he said.

Sainsbury's have already installed 14 geothermal and heat pump systems at its stores and is planning to roll out to 100 stores over the next three to four years incorporating the use of natural refrigerant CO2 refrigeration systems.

About Geoscart: Formerly Greenfield Energy, Geoscart are leaders in thermal energy management technologies, design, install and operate thermal energy networks sustainably and efficiently, through geo-coupling.

Geo-coupling is a system that is coupled to the subsurface rock via pipes and heat exchangers.

Related articles:

Closed Loop Geothermal Heating & Cooling for Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s cuts CO2 and energy bills through renewable technologies

 

 

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AUSTRALIA:  Retail giant Coles has confirmed its participation along with the Facility Managers Association of Australia (FMAA) at this years CCN Live 2014 conference.

Coles general manager of store services, energy and sustainability, Holly Angell, will detail the supermarket's refrigeration and air conditioning energy efficiency initiatives and discuss its transition to low GWP refrigerants. 

In the past five years, the Wesfarmers-owned supermarket chain has opened 100 new stores and refurbished another 350 Coles, and has plans for $1.1 billion investment in new stores over the next three years.

Coles Supermarket also one the Project Excellence Award at this year's ARBS Awards for its Refrigeration Project in Hallam, Victoria. 

Green Building Council of Australia COO, Robin Mellon, will officially open the conference with a presentation on how to measure and put a dollar value on sustainability. 

The conferance will also have a special session on how green technology has revolutionised air conditioning and future impacts.

Another important session will be on How to Keep Refrigerant Costs Down by Minus40 managing director, Michael Bellstedt, followed by a refrigerant roadmap panel debate with industry heavyweights discussing the way forward as Australia transitions to low GWP refrigerants.

A total of six panellists will take part in the debate including Brett Fraser (A-Gas), Tim Edwards (Australian Refrigeration Association) and Ian Stangroome (VASA).

According to industry research firm, the Expert Group, Australia’s refrigerant bank will increase 23 per cent by 2030.

CCN Live 2014 will be held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney on August 13, 2014.

 

Image Credit:  TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com

USA:  Organised by market development experts Shecco, last weeks ATMOsphere America was reported to be the largest ever.

With over 250 industry experts gathering to discuss the future of natural refrigerants in North America and featuring over 60 presentations, ATMOsphere America 2014 was also reported as being the most well received conference to date.

Big names such as McDonald’s, Red Bull, and The Coca Cola Company demonstrating their ongoing commitment to phasing out the use of harmful green house gases and presented their future strategies, and estimated that between them over 1.5 million pieces of refrigerated equipment have been converted to the use of natural refrigerants to date.

There were also one or two surprise announcements and some fantastic case studies here's an overview of what took place with links to just a few of the presentations.

Click on the images to view or download the full presentations.

Target officially announces shift to CO2 hybrid systems for new stores

Target is officially changing its prototype for new stores from R404A to hybrid cascade R134a/CO2 systems. The announcement was widely praised by ATMOsphere America participants as the new CO2 systems have a carbon footprint 65% lower than systems previously installed.

 

 

 

 

Red Bull’s 100% natural refrigerant goal

Red Bull confirmed it had placed 457,000 hydrocarbon ECO Coolers globally in the market to date and by switching to R600a has reduced there energy consumption also by 10%.

Red Bull's ECO Cooler which operates using Hydrocarbon R600a received approval by the US EPA in 2013.

 

 

McDonald's natural refrigerant equipment and green HVAC opportunities

McDonald's have deployed over 13,000 pieces of natural refrigerant equipment worldwide using R290, R600a and CO2, out of a total of 700,000 units of equipment McDonald’s have operating.

McDonald's installed it's first transcritical CO2/R290 system back in 2003 for it's low and medium temperature refrigerated storage equipment in Vejie, Denmark.

 

 

 

Coca-Cola places 1.1 million CO2 and HC coolers worldwide

Last year Coca-Cola placed 40% more HFC-free cabinets in the market than the previous year.  “To The Coca-Cola Company, HFC-free means natural refrigerants,” said Steven Cousins, Equipment Quality Manager for The Coca-Cola Company. 

Market leader in HFC-free refrigeration, Coca Cola set an ambitious target in 2009 to phase out the use of HFCs in it's cold drink display equipment by 2015. This however is anticipated to take a further 8-years, although they have already placed around 1.1million CO2 and Hydrocarbon units in the market already.

 

 

Other presentations of notoriety include: 

Natural Refrigerants, Enhanced Geothermal Heating & Cooling Solutions

The use of R744 also expands the opportunity for geothermal heat pumps according to a presentation by Marc Portnoff, Thar Geothermal, LLC.

Highlighting that R744 allows for a direct exchange design. By and large the R744 direct exchange geothermal heat pump is 30% more efficient than a standard ground source geothermal system, which tends to be 40-60% more efficient than an air side heat pump.

 

 

Installing & Maintaining Natural Refrigerant Systems

Senior Director Energy Optimization for Source Refrigeration, Richard Heath emphasises the importance of certification and training.

The presentation highlighted that matching the proper technician with the proper skill level to a refrigeration system provides a beneficial solution for both the customer and the contractor. Stressing the importance of proper training, and the necessity to understand the design installation and operation requirements and develop best practices in order to safely install and maintain natural refrigeration systems.

 

 

It appears to be that the framework for a sustainable RACHP industry is becoming very clear throughout the world.

  • The revised EU F-Gas regulations have now been finalised
  • Natural refrigerants are here to stay
  • Use of renewable energy sources are essential to our planet and our own well being
  • Energy efficient systems and products are required to achieve environmental and cost targets
  • There is a need for the development of skills and training

In order for RACHP businesses to be sustainable and operate within this framework they require access to resources, information, expert knowledge and skills.

Businesses now need to engage with alternative solutions, be prepared to share experiences and learn through collaboration with each other. We also have a social responsibility to educate, provide training, knowledge and opportunities for engineers in order to up-skill the industry and provide consumers and end-users with quality products and services.

ATMOspere America appears to have been a huge success and we for one beieve that Shecco are doing a fantastic job in raising awareness and bringing natural refrigeration to the forefront.

You can view all of the presentations at ATMOsphere America 2014 be clicking here

UK:  In a first for the UK, A-Gas has launched a new high specification Carbon Dioxide (R744) refrigerant. Known as “eCO2” due to its environmental credentials, this product is produced sustainably from waste sugar beet, is UK-sourced, has excellent thermodynamic properties and sets the standard for those looking for a green alternative to HCFC gases like R22, commonly used in these industries.

The cooling industry has known for several years that R22 is being phased out but under recent amendments to the F-Gas Regulations, HFC refrigerants with a Global-Warming Potential (GWP) of 2500 are on a cap and phase down, with future supply being restricted. Many retrofit refrigerants also fail the F-Gas test, so eCO2 from A-Gas provides a cutting-edge alternative for those looking for a sustainable option.

A-Gas Operations Manager Rob Parker said: “The X Factor for eCO2 is the sustainable way it’s produced. Most CO2 refrigerants are recovered from dirty industrial processes which are far from green in their methods. eCO2 is a by-product of bioethanol production from waste sugar beet – using crops not destined for sugar production. This is a first for A-Gas and the UK market, as a CO2 refrigerant produced from waste sugar beet has never been on sale before on a commercial basis.”

“eCO2 can be used in a range of applications but it is particularly suitable for supermarket refrigerant systems, as its green credentials give it stand out qualities in an industry where reducing the carbon footprint is high on the list of priorities.”

Like traditional refrigerant grade CO2, eCO2 has a low environmental impact with zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1. However, with its ultra-low moisture content, eCO2 is certified to exceed refrigeration grade specification – giving it the edge over lower grade Carbon Dioxide. Low moisture content and high purity enable the refrigerant to work more reliably, which in turn extends the life of equipment.

eCO2 is recovered from the natural fermentation of the sugar beet crop. Bioethanol production is a highly integrated and sustainable local operation with the sugar beet crop sourced close to the factory.  The waste beet does not compete with other food sources and, as part of the process, raw carbon dioxide is recovered, so no new CO2 enters the atmosphere.

Rob Parker added: “Increasingly, supermarket chains are thinking of switching to greener refrigerants because they are aware of the phase-out of R22 and the changes under the F-Gas regulations. eCO2 is an attractive option for those who want to keep pace with these developments by choosing the first sustainably-produced CO2 refrigerant.”

eCO2 is available from A-Gas wholesale partners in a range of portable cylinders for standard use and Manifold Packs and Dewar cylinders for larger installations.

About A-Gas

A-Gas is an international group of companies with headquarters in the United Kingdom and trading subsidiaries in the UK, South Africa, Australia, South East Asia, China, Thailand and the Americas.

Their core business focuses on:

Refrigerants used for heat exchange in air conditioning and chilling applications.

Industrial special products including industrial and specialty gases used in a variety of applications.

Environmental services providing full environmental services for the recovery and reclamation of environmentally sensitive products such as HCFCs, HFCs, Halons and associated products.

Performance chemicals such as blowing agents used in the manufacture of insulating foams and chemicals used in the electronics industry.

A-Gas is a market leader in the supply of refrigerants within its core territories in the UK, Australia and South Africa, with modern state-of-the-art storage, blending and packaging facilities in Bristol, Melbourne and Cape Town. We are rapidly growing our market share in Asia and the Americas with sales offices in Singapore, China, Thailand and the USA.

 

Fridgehub, providing information and resources to Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Suppliers, Contractors and Retail Business Operators

Visit the Fridgehub App StoreBecome a member of the Fridgehub communitySign up and register your Company in the Fridgehub directory

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction Branch has published a booklet entitled ‘Low-GWP Alternatives in Commercial Refrigeration: Propane, CO2 and HFO Case Studies’ as part of UNEP’s work programme under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).  

The publication is the first in a series featuring case studies on alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), providing information on energy efficient, zero to low-GWP alternatives - intended to assist relevant decision makers, especially those in developing countries, in selecting the most appropriate climate-friendly alternatives.

The studies cover a cross-section of low-GWP applications being adopted by supermarkets around the globe, from C02 transcritical and secondary cascade systems, and the adoption of low flammable refrigerant and HFO alternatives. They go on to cover the valuable lessons learned to enable a smooth transition away from high-GWP refrigerants and assist in selections of future refrigerants.

The case studies include the type of facility, a background to the project, type of system,  installation and refrigerant adopted, along with the challenges that were presented, system performance - advantages and disadvantages. 

Case studies included within this first publication include;

CarrefourSA Express, Kurtköy, Turkey

Transition from HFC R404A to a CO2 transcritical system - download

Sobeys (IGA), Cookshirein, Quebec, Canada

​New CO2 transcritical system – download

​​Verdemar, Nova Lima, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

​New CO2 cascade system using R-134a as primary circuit – download

Waitrose, Bromley, Kent, United Kingdom

​HFO R-1234ze chiller plant system – download

H-E-B, Mueller, Austin, Texas, United States

​Propane (R-290) self-contained integral case installation – download

To download the full publication click here

The CCAC recently launched a transformative initiative, entitled ‘The HFC Initiative, Promoting HFC Alternative Technology and Standards’ – it’s objectives being to:

  • Encourage the uptake of climate-friendly alternatives that could support national, regional and global policies or approaches to reduce reliance on high-GWP HFCs;
  • Overcome barriers that limit the widespread introduction of these climate friendly technologies, including those related to the establishment of standards; and
  • Encourage the responsible management of existing equipment and better designs for future equipment in order to minimize leaks.

Source : United Nations Environment Programme, 2014

About CCAC

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short- Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) is a unique global effort supporting fast actions to mitigate the impacts of short lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon, methane and many hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and addressing near-term climate change and air pollution at the same time. The CCAC is a voluntary partnership bringing together over 36 country and Regional Economic Integration Organization (REIO) partners and 44 non-state partners including intergovernmental organisations, representatives of civil society and the private sector. 

Shecco have recently published a second report revealing that natural refrigerant CO2 is now being used in over 4,500 supermarket refrigeration applications throughout Europe.

The in-depth report goes on to reveal that there are now over 2,885 stores using transcritical applications, an increase of some 117% since the first report was published back in 2012, and a further 1,662 stores where CO2 is being used as a sub-critical secondary coolant in cascade system applications.

The Guide encompasses the following key areas of study;

  • Natural Refrigerants - summarising the characteristics of the “natural five” ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, water, and air.
  • Applications of Natural Refrigerants in Europe - depicting their use in three “ecosystems”: City, Buildings & Transport and Industry & Sports.
  • Natural Refrigerants in the European Food Chain / Application Areas & End- User Views - focusing on a 4th ecosystem that has shown highly dynamic developments.
  • Natural Refrigerants in the European Food Chain / Market & Technology Maps - examines and depicts the market for commercial CO2 transcritical refrigeration systems.
  • The European Market Today & Tomorrow - visualises for the first time in a “Natural Refrigerant Suppliers Map” in which countries the over 400 system manufacturers, component suppliers, contractors, consultancies and engineering businesses offering natural refrigeration solutions are located.

  • Policy - describes how laws, standards and rules are among the decisive factors for building a prosperous business around natural refrigerants
  • Case Studies - presents a selection of outstanding real-life cases, covering commercial and industrial heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions.
  • European Industry Survey - summarises the results from 367 HVAC&R industry experts responding to an open survey running that ran until November 2013.

Shecco's managing director Marc Chasserot comments “We are publishing the Guide EU 2014 at a point in time when proposed European-level rules on the restricted or banned use of f-gases are expected to take effect.”

The 'Guide 2014: Natural Refrigerants – Continued Growth and Innovation in Europe' can be downloaded for free here

About Shecco

Shecco is a market development company supporting the introduction of climate friendly technologies, whose primary focus is to facilitate the market uptake of heating and cooling solutions based on the use of natural refrigerant CO2 (R744). Applied to mobile air conditioning, hot water heat pumps, or in commercial refrigeration systems.

This article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

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Over 400 European companies across Europe work with all natural refrigerants (using CO2, ammonia, hydrocarbons, air and water) in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors.

100 of those companies either attended or presented their solutions at the biggest ever ATMOsphere Europe conference in Brussels, 15-16 October 2013.

Marc Chasserot, shecco’s Managing Director presented the ATMOsphere Europe 2103 summary report.

natural refrigerants

View the Summary Report for ATMOsphere Europe here.

In his opening speech he said:

“This is the decade for natural refrigerants…we already have over 400 European companies across Europe working with all natural refrigerants (using CO2, ammonia, hydrocarbons, air and water) in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors.  100 of those companies either attended or presented their solutions at the biggest ever ATMOsphere Europe conference in Brussels, 15-16 October 2013. This is a sign that natural refrigerant alternatives to HFCs exist today. There is an undeniable momentum behind this trend and it is growing every day.

An ambitious EU F-Gas Regulation will only accelerate this trend rewarding innovative companies across the whole of Europe and creating ‘green jobs’ that will attract the next generation of European talent.

A phase down of HFCs over the next 15-20 years is too weak and will not reward the leaders and innovators that want to make the HVAC&R industry more sustainable. It will maintain the status quo and has been referred to as the ‘business as usual scenario’. It will not provide the clarity that industry really needs.  Clear deadlines, bans, training for natural refrigerants will. HFC-free solutions for Europe exist today.  By giving clarity to industry, more and more companies will compete in this growing market thus further improving efficiencies and driving down costs. This is what Europe needs.

Leading Food Retailers and Consumer Brands are already anticipating tough EU F-Gas legislation by implementing these natural refrigerant-based solutions today. They benefit from being ‘greener’ towards their consumers but also because they are saving money with natural refrigerants. It’s a win-win.  The clear message to EU policy makers: ‘Be ambitious’ and industry will deliver.”

Marc presented the Summary Report for ATMOsphere Europe.  The report includes:

  • The future EU F-Gas Regulation market trends
  • Food retailers & end users
  • Market innovations
    • Commercial refrigeration for warm climates
    • Commercial refrigeration for convenience stores
    • Commercial refrigeration using integrated systems
    • Industrial refrigeration
    • Transport refrigeration
    • Heat pumps & air conditioning
    • Glossary
    • Full ATMOsphere Presentations list

Marc Chasserot is a specialist in natural refrigeration with over 10 years experience in the HVAC&R sector. Since 2007 Marc is co-founder and Managing Director of shecco sprl (Belgium), an independent market development company specialised in bringing Natural Refrigerants 'faster to market', working with numerous companies worldwide.  The full range of presentations from ATMOsphere Europe can be found on www.ATMO.org.

This article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

www.fridgehub.com

Follow @theFridgehub on Twitter

Subscribe to Fridgehub Industry News Updates

ATMOsphere Europe 13 consisted of a series of interactive workshops bringing together decision makers from industry and government to change the future of natural refrigerants.

We are bringing our readers a selection of the presentations from the conference with the main theme being “Natural Refrigerants”-Solutions for Europe”.

Integrated CO₂ booster for high-efficiency cooling, heating and air conditioning – PRESENTATION

ATMOsphere presentation

Jens Kallesoe, presented Advansor’s Sigma system, which combines the supermarket’s entire thermal needs (refrigeration, AC and heat recovery) in one unit and was installed in a new Co-op Maxi store in Tocksfors, Sweden. It incorporates new technologies such as parallel compression and heat pump function with artificial loads on the cabinets.  View the Integrated CO₂ booster for high-efficiency cooling, heating and air conditioning – View the technical presentation from Advansor at ATMOsphere Europe here.

CM FRIGO 360 Degree natural refrigerant solutions – PRESENTATION

 ATMOsphere presentation 2

View the SCM FRIGO 360 Degree natural refrigerant solutions – here.

This presentation outlines the various stages of SCM Frigo’s CO2 technology development from 2005 to 2013. It emphasises that safety aspects and training are still a barrier and the industry needs to focus on providing information for customers, contractors and service providers. With legislation focusing more on environmental and efficiency aspects, end users and manufacturers will continue to invest more in natural refrigerant technologies.  The presentation was delivered by Mirko Bernabei, Technical Director and R&D Manager of the SCM Group.

Many case study sessions that focus on cutting-edge natural refrigerant technologies and projects in the areas of industrial, commercial and transport refrigeration as well as heat pumps and air-conditioning were included at the ATMOsphere Europe 2013 Conference. The full range of presentations from ATMOsphere Europe can be found on www.ATMO.org.

This article is brought to you by Fridgehub – a major new industry website for manufacturers, distributers, service providers, operators and consumers of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) products and services.

www.fridgehub.com

Follow @theFridgehub on Twitter

Subscribe to Fridgehub Industry News Updates