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SPAIN: Chemours’ lower GWP refrigerant replacement for R134a has been adopted for a new Aldi store in Dos Hermanas, near Seville.

Faced with a desire to reduce carbon footprints, lower energy consumption and comply wth the F-gas phase-down, European supermarkets are pursuing a number of alternative refrigerant options. These include modernising their central refrigeration systems, adopting low GWP and CO2 refrigerants, and integrating refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

For its new Dos Hermanas location, Aldi worked with Tewis Smart Solutions, a Valencia-based energy Consultancy specialising in designing integrated solutions for refrigeration and air conditioning installations.

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The solution was to use R513A, a refrigerant devoted by Chemours and marketed as Opteon XP10. With a GWP of 573 it provides a 56% reduction in GWP compared to R134a. The use of Opteon XP10 was seen as the best option to meet the F-gas regulation without having to sacrifice capacity and energy efficiency.

“We chose Opteon XP10, because it offered the optimal balance of properties when compared to other replacement options,” said Javier Atencia, technical manager for Tewis.

The installation was said to have been seamless and occurred overnight with limited interruption to business activities. In total, three independent machines were retrofitted:
Refrigeration rack TN1 (30 kW): dairy shelf murals (-6 ºC)
Refrigeration rack TN2 (39 kW): meat, fish, fruit, vegetable, fourth range (fresh-cut products) and frozen food store units (-8 ºC)
Refrigeration rack AT1: air-conditioning for check-out area (+5 ºC)

In Winter, the condensation of TN1 and TN2 refrigeration racks is achieved through an AHU managed by controllers developed by Eliwell specifically for this application. Full recovery of the heat energy is achieved in winter mode.

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The installation was carried out by Spanish contractor Friex, based in Don Benito, Badajoz.

While tests are still being carried out to determine the total cost savings associated with using R513A, previous Aldi installations using this refrigerant have shown increased energy efficiency compared to R134a.