Live Co-op trial for A2L R454C


25 October 2019
A2L refrigerant HFO Low GWP convenience store refrigeration
The Central England Co-op store in Langley Mill, Derbyshire
Chemours has announced that a new Co-op convenience store in Derbyshire is conducting a live trial of the R454C lower GWP A2L HFO blend refrigerant.

Central England Co-operative was looking for a solution which combined the benefits of HFCs, including ease of installation and maintenance, cost efficiency, safety, and energy efficiency, with the lowest possible GWP for its store at Langley Park. 
Branded by Chemours as Opteon XL20, with a GWP of 148, the refrigerant was selected for what is said to be the first of two trial stores featuring A2L technologies, as part of a collaboration between Central England Co-operative, Chemours and a team of stakeholders from the refrigeration industry.

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

Luke Collins, Managing Director of Oak Refrigeration, said: “We found the installation to be straightforward and commissioning went smoothly and without incident using R454C set-up data provided by Chemours and with support from engineering consultants, Wave, to optimise the system to give best energy performance.’’

The trials form part of Central England's 10-year F-Gas strategy, which has already seen it 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. The objective of the new store installation is to achieve even lower GWP levels without sacrificing energy efficiency or overall system performance, as any increase in indirect emissions from increased power consumption would greatly reduce any net gain from lowering the refrigerant GWP.

Kevin Collins, Head of Facilities at Central England Co-Operative, said: ‘’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.’’  
Murli Sukhwani, Regional Business Director, Fluorochemicals, EMEA, at Chemours, said: “The adoption of Opteon XL20 by the Central England Co-op shows that this technology is a viable and credible solution for commercial retail.”
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