Supermarkets Advocate Sustainable Refrigeration

Author: Erik Hansen (source article:

Supermarkets Advocate Sustainable Refrigeration

[The food retailing secle Refrigerationtor increasingly uses natural refrigerants]

For a long time now, consumers not only look at quality and price when making purchases. In the results of a study conducted throughout Germany by IBH Retail Consultants published in December 2010, 60% of those interviewed indicated that their purchase decisions have also recently started to take account of the extent to which companies implement the meanwhile increasing demands in society at large for a sustainable approach to everyday business practice. Supermarket chains are also increasingly opting for environment-friendly shop concepts with lower emission stores to reduce their carbon footprint.

The refrigeration systems account for a large share of energy consumption in the food retailing sector. Possibilities for taking a sustainable approach include among others the choice of particular refrigerant. "Depending on the local conditions, today it is possible to develop an individual solution with natural refrigerants for every supermarket", confirms Mark Bulmer, member of the Board at eurammon, the European initiative for natural refrigerants. "Natural refrigerants such as ammonia and CO2 are used for supermarket refrigeration all over the world. In fact, there are two good reasons in their favour: firstly, they have no or only negligible global warming potential. And secondly, supermarket refrigerating systems with natural refrigerants are energy-efficient in operation."

The type of system suitable for a certain supermarket depends among others on the geographic location and the prevailing climatic conditions on site. Outside temperatures warmer than 26°C prevent liquefaction of carbon dioxide because the refrigerant temperature on the high-pressure side is above the critical temperature. Such trans-critical CO2 solutions therefore tend to be used in moderate climate zones such as Canada, Scandinavia or Central Europe", Bulmer explains. "Ammonia-COcascade systems on the other hand constitute a suitable possibility for environment-friendly, efficient refrigeration in warmer regions. Ammonia is deemed to be the most energy-efficient refrigerant of them all." ]

  • Eurammon Article

Carlson and Stewart Refrigeration has decades of experience using ammonia as a refrigerant and is involved with the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) in developing CO2 standards and best practices.