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Propane integrals could save retailers millions, research concludes

Analysis from manufacturer Emerson dares to suggest there could be a profitable alternative to using transcritical CO2

Use of integral display cases running on hydrocarbons could help large retailers realise savings of £50,000 per store over a ten-year period in place of CO2 remote systems, research from technology group Emerson has concluded.

The findings, produced in conjunction with research institute ILK Dresden, have concluded that there may be a better alternative to CO2 trans critical plant.

According to Emerson, potential savings of almost half a billion euros are predicted across a fleet of stores over a decade as the result of predicted reduction in maintenance and energy costs.

Two leading natural refrigeration technologies were tested through the study in the form of remote rack CO2 systems and integrals using propane (R290). The study was based on the model of a European discounter store with ten display cases and a vending area of 1,000 sq m.

Eric Winnandy, director of integrated solutions for Emerson’s commercial and residential operations, said international agreements such as the Kigali amendment and the EU’s F-Gas regulation were forcing operators to rethink the systems they use to better address the environmental impacts of refrigeration.

He said, “As the retail sector makes this once in a generation transition, it is presented with a major challenge – but also an opportunity – to select the right technologies that can maximise long-term environmental, operational and cost benefits.

“Our analysis shows that the choice of refrigeration system entails far more than just a need to move to a low GWP refrigerant. It has major implications for the operations of stores, for maintenance and upkeep and for the overall running costs of facilities.

Mr Winnandy argued that although internal display cases would not be appropriate for all stores, the significant costs benefits shown in the research highlighted a need for retailers to consider broader options around refrigeration systems.

More on the findings can be read in the digital edition of February’s RAC Magazine here.

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