European supermarkets take the first steps towards a united, greener future using natural refrigerants.

Tesco recently opened its first zero-carbon store in the United Kingdom. The new store, opened at Ramsey in Cambridgeshire, is completely HFC-free.
The supermarket has addressed the environmental dilemma by using natural refrigerants CO2 and hydrocarbons throughout its refrigerators, freezers, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in both the store and petrol kiosk. The trans-critical system was supplied by Star Refrigeration. Tesco and Star anticipate that the system will save 22% on rollout costs.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s has reduced energy consumption of its Durham store by 10%, while doubling the size of the plant. Due to CO2 refrigeration technology and on-site renewable power generation, the store will be ‘carbon negative’ within two years. Objectives have been confirmed by the group’s CEO who recently announced plans to switch to CO2 refrigeration in all stores by 2030.

Similarly, European groups such as Carrefour are joining the green army. In France, CAREL and Carrefour have joined forces to develop the first subcritical CO2 plant in Turkey. The Istanbul unit uses a cascade system that supplies the low-temperature units with R744. In addition, CAREL utilises floating suction pressure for all compressor racks, showcase anti-sweat modulation relay, heat recovery on the compressor rack and a smart / skip defrost function.

Legislation is encouraging these environmental efforts. By 2019 legislation in the UK will stipulate that all new commercial developments must be carbon-free.