Lincoln-CoOp-Newark

UK: The success of the first refrigeration system running on alternative refrigerant R449A has prompted Lincolnshire Co-op to expand the technology to further stores.

The first store using R449A, the lower GWP alternative to R404A, was installed and commissioned by Ultra Refrigeration in April 2015. Satisfied with this first install, a further five new Lincolnshire Co-op stores using the new refrigerant were opened in 2015 and plans for further installations this year are said to be already well advanced.

R449A, marketed by Chemours as Opteon XP40 and supplied for this project by Climalife, has an AR4 GWP of 1397 which is nearly three times lower than R404A. A blend of R32 (24.3%), R125 (24.7%), R1234yf (25.3%) and R134a (25.7%), it is said to closely match the properties and performance to R404A, and can also replace other HFCs such as R507A, R407A and R407F. It also offers a direct replacement solution to supermarkets looking for a more sustainable R22 replacement.

Lincoln-CoOp-XP40Describing the installation at the convenience store in Bowbridge Road, Newark, Steve Shipp, managing director of Hertfordshire-based Ultra Refrigeration, said: “The Newark site is a new build and there are five more sites set up on an almost identical format close by. The sites are all linked up to a BMS system, via RDM, with energy monitoring, specifically for the refrigeration plant so comparisons can be made.”

The store has Costan cases with EPTA coils, comprising 5KW of LT cabinets (approx 3.75m combi freezer) and 25KW of chilled cases (around 12-15m of open multi deck). A cold room and freezer room run off the same pack, with two further Zanotti monoblock units as back up.

The engineering is remotely monitored and controlled by the RDM system, with the software designed by Ultra.

The refrigeration pack – a triple stage booster pack, operating HT, MT and LT – was designed by Ultra, using Copeland digital scrolls and Danfoss electronic valves controlled by the RDM controller. They use heat recovery in various applications.

After charging with R449A, the evaporator pressure controls were adjusted to take into account the  refrigerant’s slightly lower operating pressure and the expansion valve superheat setting was checked to ensure correct operation for its higher glide than R404A. The slight increase in discharge temperature compared to R404A helped with the heat recovery.

Three months after installation the monitored data was compared to other similar stores running on R404A and was said to have shown similar efficiency. It was also noticed from the data that with some minor adjustments to the operating conditions it should be possible to achieve some energy saving from the store.

Opteon XP40 is readily available from Climalife UK in a range of cylinder sizes.

This and other options as well as advice to help customers meet the F-gas regulations will be available from the Climalife stand at this week’s ACR Show at the NEC, Birmingham.

Related stories:

R449A in 1,000 supermarkets next year – December 8, 2015
USA: Chemours is predicting that R449A, the lower GWP alternative refrigerant for R404A, will be adopted in more than 1,000 supermarket systems by the end of next year. Read more…