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Tesco switches to Honeywell refrigerant to cut carbon emissions

Honeywell has announced that Tesco, one of the world’s largest supermarket chains, is converting more than 1,200 stores across the UK its Solstice N40 refrigerant in order to meet its carbon reduction commitments.

The conversion will take place over the next three years, with the first 60 stores already converted.

In November 2015, Tesco committed to the parties of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris (COP21) to carbon reduction from refrigeration systems. Part of the work to support this was focused on reducing its refrigerant emissions by 26.5 per cent compared with a 2006/2007 baseline. Part of its strategy is to switch to Honeywell’s Solstice N40 from R-404A, which it uses today. By converting 1,200 stores to Solstice N40 and using the lower global warming potential (GWP) of the new refrigerant Tesco can lower its carbon footprint by up to 40 per cent, which is equivalent to removing 70,000 cars from the road over the next three years.

Tesco’s current refrigerant, R-404A, is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) with a high GWP of 3,943.

Matthew Reeves-Smith, group head of refrigeration & HVAC, Tesco, said:“We set aggressive sustainability goals and were committed to achieving them without impacting our customers. We sought the best technology to convert 1,200 stores in three years and found our solution in Solstice N40. This refrigerant meets all our key criteria including energy efficiency, system performance and maintenance. The fact that it is a near drop-in replacement for our current refrigerant helps ensure a smooth, ongoing conversion process over the next three years.”

Solstice N40 is the supermarket industry’s most commonly used, lowest-GWP, non-flammable refrigerant to replace R-404A, and can be used in new installations as well as in installed systems that use high-global warming refrigerants like R-404A, R-507 and interim blends. More than 2,000 supermarket installations were completed with Solstice N40 by the end of 2016.

Robert Kebby, refrigeration global business manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products, said: “More and more supermarket companies are using Solstice N40 in large-scale store conversions, as it is the ideal solution to help meet their energy efficiency and sustainability goals. Honeywell encourages customers to accelerate the conversion to immediately available, environmentally preferable refrigerants and avoid expected legacy product scarcity.”

The success of the Tesco conversion project requires a close collaboration between Honeywell and its partners. A-Gas, a major distributor of Honeywell refrigerants for the UK, provides a reclaim and testing facility. Climate Center provides national delivery and collection of new and reclaimed refrigerants, while Carter Synergy and Space Engineering provides the expertise for the actual conversions.

24 May 2017

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