UK: Carter Synergy is carrying out a trial installation using an A2L refrigerant at a new Central England Co-operative Society store, with initial reports recording good performance at low ambient conditions.
The test store in Tamworth uses R455A, an A2L refrigerant supplied and sold by Honeywell as Solstice L40X.
The refrigerant, which blends an HFO and an HFC with CO2, is designed for medium- and low-temperature stand-alone applications such as hermetically sealed systems in refrigerated plug-in-type cabinets. In these applications, Honeywell has claimed that R455A provides up to 3% higher capacity and up to 6% better efficiency at low temperature than R404A.
Most importantly, R455A’s GWP of 146 is within the European F-gas regulations, which limits central plant systems above 40kW capacity to refrigerants with GWPs under 150.
For the Co-operative, the solution also offered a compromise, balancing capital cost, system complexity, higher operating pressures and flammability. With the exception of considerations of the flammability and unique glide of R455A, it offers characteristics and systems requirements similar to traditional HFCs.
The new £600,000 food store was opened at the end of November and also includes energy efficient LED lighting.
When planning the trial site, careful consideration was given to service routes, plant location, leak detection systems and mechanical extraction systems. The selected dual temperature plant solution was specifically designed for A2L refrigerants and incorporated external glanded control panels and EX-rated extract fans.
The cold rooms, classed as sealed environments, employ standalone integral monoblock refrigeration units to comply with strict refrigeration charge limits.
Carter Synergy reports that, while energy performance data for the site is not yet fully available, initial reviews carried out demonstrate good performance at low ambient conditions.