Viessmann’s Frank Winters, Joachim Janssen (centre left and right) receives the award from state secretary Jochen Flasbarth (left) and deputy BDI chief executive Holger Lösch

GERMANY: Viessmann’s ESyCool Green propane-based heat pump refrigeration system has been awarded the government-backed German Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment.

The Innovationspreis für Klima und Umwelt (IKU) Award is presented every two years by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Association of German Industry. It awards prizes to innovations from industry and research that showcase new approaches in the field of climate and environmental protection.

The ESyCool Green solution was one of six winners this year, taking first place in the Process Innovations for Climate Protection category.

Developed by Viessmann in cooperation with discount retailer ALDI Nord, ESyCool Green is a new refrigeration/heat composite system. It uses brine-water heat pumps operating with the refrigerant R290 (propane) in small, hermetically sealed refrigeration circuits.

Thanks to the innovative heat pump technology and the use of propane significantly reduces the typical refrigerant charge. According to Viessmann, whereas a conventional refrigeration system in a discounter store might, for instance, require approximately 100kg of refrigerant, ESyCool Green reduces the amount of refrigerant to less than 5kg.

Another special feature of Viessmann’s innovative energy system is the ice energy storage system, which uses the phase change energy from water to ice. On particularly cold days, additional heat can be extracted very efficiently from the thermal storage. In summer operation, the heat pumps can also be used to build up ice in the ice energy storage system during the day via the photovoltaic system. In this way, the stored regenerative solar energy can be used at night to operate the cooling units. Viessmann calls this function Power2Ice.

Joachim Janssen, Co-CEO of the Viessmann Group, received the award in Berlin, yesterday, from Jochen Flasbarth, secretary of state for environment. Janssen said: “This award encourages us to continue in developing sustainable energy solutions for the benefit of future generations.”

The new type of refrigeration and heat supply for supermarkets not only significantly reduces energy consumption, but also significantly reduces CO2 emissions. Viessmann claims that with ESyCool Green, so-called zero-emission stores can be realised – one of the major sustainability goals of food retailing.

“We are very pleased with the award and it underscores once again how innovative our solution is. It boasts features that are unique on the market – especially in terms of ice energy storage,” said Viessmann Refrigeration Solutions CEO Frank Winters.

The ESyCool Green energy solution has been tested in several ALDI Nord stores over the last two years with reports of a significant reduction in energy consumption.