Waitrose gains with HFO-based refrigerant

A Waitrose supermarket is said to be achieving refrigeration energy savings of nearly 7% following the replacement of R404A with a new HFO-based blend.

The results have been achieved at one of the British supermarket chain’s store in Holsworthy, Devon, using Opteon XP40, Chemours brand name for R449A. This HFO/HFC blend of R32, R125, R134a and R1234yf has a GWP of 1397, which is significantly lower than R404A, the refrigerant it is designed to replace.

As well as needing to comply with the requirements of the European F-gas regulations and forthcoming bans on high GWP refrigerants, Waitrose has been looking for ways to decrease its carbon footprint across all its 336 sites.

Waitrose’s Carbon Plan, published in 2010, identifies the indirect and direct emissions from the refrigeration systems in its shops as a very significant contributor, making this area a prime target for improvement.

Under the European F-gas phase-down, refrigerants with a GWP of 2500 or more will be banned from use in all new equipment and for service in systems with a charge >40T CO2e from 2020. This particularly affects popular supermarket refrigerants R404A and R507A.

Many major compressor manufacturers have now approved R449A for use as an R404A replacement and can be found in their compressor selection software.