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US retailer adopts R448A for retrofits

USA: American multinational supermarket chain Whole Foods Market is reported to be retrofitting 100 of its US stores to lower GWP HFC/HFO blend refrigerant R448A.

According to refrigerant producer Honeywell, which sells the refrigerant as Solstice N40, the retailer will retrofit the R404A and R22 refrigeration systems at more than 100 stores of its 500 stores in North America.

A complex blend of R32, R125, R1234yf, R1234ze(E) and R134a, Honeywell’s R448A is a non-flammable A1 refrigerant with a GWP of 1387. 

As well as offering a lower GWP alternative, R448A is also said to be more efficient than the gases it replaces. In US and European supermarket trials, R404A is said to have demonstrated an average of between 5 to 15% lower energy consumption in refrigeration applications. It can be used in new installations and to retrofit existing systems using high GWP refrigerants like R404A and R507. Honeywell claims over 30,000 installations globally since the refrigerant’s release in 2015.

Whole Foods Market is a founding member and active participant in the US EPA’s GreenChill Partnership, with 12 stores certified. The GreenChill programme is a partnership with food retailers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using alternative solutions and minimising refrigerants that deplete the ozone.

“Solstice N40 will help Whole Foods Market lower its carbon footprint, save energy and meet regulatory requirements without having to undertake massive changes to its systems,” said Honeywell stationary refrigerants vice president Chris LaPietra.

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