Quebec InstallationUK: Refrigerated display cabinet manufacturer Verco is introducing eco versions of its Kingston and Verwood chillers as it moves to phase-out R404A.

The new Energy Plus option has a re-designed cabinet to improve airflow, incorporates low energy LED lighting and uses the lower GWP refrigerant R407F in instead of R404A.

While the high-performance Energy Plus is initially an option only on the Kingston and Verwood models, Verco plans to completely phase out the use of R404A in its range of open-chill and glass-door cabinets and replace it with R407F.

Development director Mike Nicholls explains that Verco’s environmental policy includes a commitment to monitoring the development of environmentally friendly materials. “Following extensive testing, R407F has been selected for its combination of zero ODP and 53% reduction in GWP compared to R404A.

“Customers specifying the Energy Plus option on Verwood models can expect significant energy savings of up to 33% at chill temperature” says Mike.

Verco says that the introduction of R407F also addresses the ATEX directive covering potentially explosive atmospheres or areas and the use of hydrocarbon-based refrigerants (such as R1270), which states that system designers follow the principles of the ATEX 95 equipment directive with regard to area classification and avoidance of sources of ignition.

In glass-door cabinets as an example, even a minor leak of hydrocarbon refrigerant cannot dissipate and a potentially explosive atmosphere could be created and persist. The inability of the explosive atmosphere to dissipate substantially increases the risk of ignition, therefore bringing the ATEX directive into effect.

Looking to the future, Mike says: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to anticipate and satisfy safety requirements where hydrocarbons are used so, while Verco has committed to standardising on the use of non-flammable refrigerants such as R407F in its glass-door cabinets, we will continue to offer the option of R407F or R1270 on open-chill Kingston and Cambridge models.”

The company maintains that, mindful of the growing preference for ‘natural refrigerants’, Verco will keep under review the use of hydrocarbons in glass-door cabinets until such time as equipment is available to ensure their safe use and compliance with regulatory requirements.