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Caterer chooses HFC/HFO blend over CO2

GERMANY: A lower GWP HFC/HFO A2L blend has been chosen instead of CO2 for a new freezer for an airline caterer.

The customer, which had initially considered a CO2 refrigeration system for the freezer, was given the option to consider a system using R454C by contractor Birgels Prima Kälte Klima Rhein-Main.

“In comparison, the advantages of the R454C concept outweighed the disadvantages, although some convincing was necessary,” said Birgels operations manager Benedikt Maas.

The advantages are said to have started with the energy supply to the system. The electrical connection load of the R454C system could be reduced by more than 50% compared to the CO2 system, meaning the existing distribution could be used. This is said to have been made possible with the use of Bitzer Ecolite condensing units.

The R454C refrigerant, supplied by Westfalen, is an A2L blend of R32 and 1234yf with a GWP of 148. 

Being an A2L, the flammability of R454C had to be taken into consideration when planning the system to stay within the requirements of EN 378-1. To accomplish this, a system was designed with four individual circuits, each with a capacity of 11kg. However, even if the entire filling quantity of all four systems leaked into the cold store, the concentration would still be within the permissible limit of EN 378-1.

The division into four individual circuits brought with it system redundancy benefits. The system has a backup of two systems which can still meet the planned goods turnover of 25% per day.

In addition to the high level of safety, repairs to a circuit can also be carried out without restrictions during ongoing operations.

Another significant advantage was the cost. The purchase price of the system was said to be 30% lower than that of the alternatively planned CO2 refrigeration system. In addition, lower costs are expected for service, maintenance and operation.

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