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Co-op store trials A2L refrigerant R454C

UK: A Co-op convenience store in Derbyshire is trialling Chemours’ Opteon XL20, the lower GWP A2L HFO blend refrigerant also known as R454C.

The new Central England Co-operative store at Langley Park, Mackworth, is said to be the first of two trial stores featuring A2L technologies. 

It has come about through collaboration between Central England Co-operative, Chemours, and a team of refrigeration industry stakeholders, ensuring that the store meets long-term sustainability and GWP requirements of the F-gas regulation, while also complying with necessary codes and standards for A2L refrigerants.

While Chemours supplied the refrigerant and technical support, Emerson supplied the R454C compatible compressors, PureCold provided A2L-ready cabinets and Space Engineering constructed a dual discharge refrigeration pack suitable for A2L refrigerants. The design was created according to the guidance in EN378 and installed by Oak Refrigeration following a rigorous risk assessment from Cool Concerns to ensure safe use in this type of application.

The installation is part of Central England Co-operative’s 10-year F-gas strategy. Having had previous experience retrofitting existing R404A systems to mid-range <1500 GWP HFO blends, the retailer is said to be comfortable with the operating characteristics of these systems and has seen the energy-efficiency gains from these retrofits. 

For this new store, Central England Co-op was looking for a solution with the lowest possible GWP, while maintaining the advantages of the familiar HFCs in terms of ease of installation and maintenance, cost efficiency, safety, and energy efficiency.

Opteon XL20, is a blend of R32 and 1234yf. It has a GWP of 148.

Luke Collins, managing director of Leicester-based Oak Refrigeration reported that the installation was straightforward and commissioning went smoothly. Oak Refrigeration used R454C set-up data provided by Chemours and received support from engineering consultants, Wave, to optimise the system.

Kevin Collins, head of Facilities at Central England Co-operative, commented, “This ground-breaking installation proves that we can have a sustainable, long-term solution to meet our corporate strategy without compromising performance and efficiency and, at best, cost. Other low GWP solutions considered, such as propane secondary and CO2 booster systems, were excluded as these did not meet our selection criteria.”

Related stories:

R454C brings a chill to R404A cabinet12 October 2016
GERMANY: Although designed only for use in new equipment, Chemours new low GWP Opteon XL20 (R454C) does feature in a R404A chilled drinks cabinet on the company’s stand at Chillventa. Read more…

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