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Central England Co-op installs very-low GWP HFO in first convenience store trial

Retailer trials R454C, an A2L with a GWP of 148 in its Langley Park store, Derbyshire

Retailer Central England Co-operative has partnered with Chemours on a live trial of the very-low-GWP HFO, R454C, at its new convenience store at Langley Park, Derbyshire.

The retailer said it was looking for a solution with the lowest possible GWP that would maintain the advantages of the familiar HFCs, (such as R404A) in terms of ease of installation and maintenance, cost efficiency, safety, and energy efficiency. Ultimately it decided that R454C, branded as Opteon XL20, with its GWP of 148, could satisfy each of these requirements.

This is the first of two trial stores featuring A2L technologies. It has come about through collaboration between Central England Co-operative, Chemours, and a team of stakeholders within the refrigeration industry, ‘all focused on ensuring that the newly-designed store meets long-term sustainability and GWP requirements of the F-Gas regulation, while also complying with necessary codes and standards for A2L refrigerants.

The stakeholders comprise of Chemours, which supplied the refrigerant and technical support; Emerson, which supplied compressors; PureCold, which supplied A2L-ready cabinets; and Space Engineering, which constructed a dual discharge refrigeration pack suitable for A2L refrigerant applications in a retail environment.

The design was created according to the guidance in EN378 and installed by Oak Refrigeration following a rigorous risk assessment to ensure safe use in this type of application from consultant Cool Concerns.

Central England Co-operative says it is developing a robust 10-year F-Gas strategy, building on its experience retrofitting existing R404A systems to mid-range HFO blends (<1500 GWP). The retailer notes it is ‘comfortable with the operating characteristics of these systems and have seen the energy-efficiency gains from these retrofits. The objective of this new store installation is to achieve even lower GWP levels without sacrificing energy efficiency or overall system performance, as any increase in indirect emissions from increased power consumption would greatly reduce any net gain from lowering the refrigerant GWP.’  

Kevin Collins, head of facilities at Central England Co-operative,, ’’This ground-breaking installation proves that we can have a sustainable, long-term solution to meet our corporate strategy without compromising performance and efficiency and, at best, cost. Other low-GWP solutions considered, such as propane secondary and CO2 booster systems, were excluded as these did not meet our selection criteria.’’ 

Luke Collins, managing director of Oak Refrigeration said: “We found the installation to be straightforward and commissioning went smoothly and without incident using R454C set-up data provided by Chemours and with support from engineering consultant, Wave, to optimise the system to give best energy performance.’’

Murli Sukhwani, regional business director, fluorochemicals, EMEA for Chemours added: “The adoption of Opteon XL20 by the Central England Co-Op shows that this technology is a viable and credible solution for commercial retail…”




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