Eurotunnel has released official data demonstrating energy savings of 33% after the first season of operating a new cooling system for the Channel Tunnel.
The operator saved 4.8 GWh and approximately €500,000 in 2017 courtesy of the new cooling system – equivalent to saving enough electricity to run 1,000 households.
François Gauthey, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Channel Tunnel owner Getlink, said: “Eurotunnel’s commitment to environmental protection involves a number of initiatives. We saw the replacement of the Channel Tunnel cooling system as a chance to reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint. This effort required installing a new cooling system — Europe’s largest — to maintain the Channel Tunnel at optimal ambient temperatures. Honeywell’s Solstice zd refrigerant, with its ultra-low global warming potential (GWP), and Trane chillers, which are already being used to cool large buildings and infrastructure, provided the best combination of features to help us meet our energy and environmental goals.”
The Channel Tunnel connects Folkestone, in the United Kingdom with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, in northern France. Without round-the-clock cooling, the heat generated by high-speed trains passing through the tunnel under the English Channel would drive indoor temperatures above 35°C, which is the maximum that can be reached while still running services in optimal condition. The new system ensures that ambient temperatures stay at or around 25°C.
The system contains four Series E CenTraVac large-capacity (2600 kW to 14,000 kW) chillers from Trane. These chillers are are said to be up to 10% more energy efficient than the next best chiller available in this tonnage. Two of the chillers have been operational in Sangatte, France, since 2016, and the remaining units at Shakespeare Cliff in the UK have been operational since late October 2017.
“These chillers have been successfully used in various applications across Europe and have helped our customers to achieve operational savings while lowering their environmental footprint, without compromising safety, reliability and performance.”
Solstice zd is a non-flammable refrigerant based on Honeywell’s hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) technology with a GWP of 1, which is 99.9% lower than R22, the previous refrigerant used in the Channel Tunnel, and lower than any other non-flammable solution in the market. It is designed for centrifugal chillers, which are most often used to cool large buildings or infrastructure projects, as well as for Organic Rankine Cycle systems and high-temperature heat pumps.
Julien Soulet, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Worldwide demand is growing for solutions like Solstice zd, which offer the best combination of features to help companies achieve their environmental goals. The use of our refrigerants to cool major structures like the Channel Tunnel in Europe demonstrates their easy adaptability to even the largest or most chllenging cooling situations, all while providing energy savings, carbon reduction and regulatory compliance. “We are committed to helping industries transition to and adopt next-generation, lower-GWP solutions.”