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Waitrose to eliminate HFCs from its stores

WAITROSE is to eradicate HFCs from its stores in a move to hydrocarbon-based refrigeration equipment.
A new refrigeration system using a bespoke Geoclima roof-top chiller with free-cooling and water as the heat exchange medium has been developed with Carter Synergy.

Field trials on the system, which uses propene R1270, have proved successful and will now be debuted in the new Waitrose store opening in Altrincham in October 2009. It will then be introduced in every new store and refit thereafter, says the company.

The free-cooling characteristics of the chiller, combined with the efficiency of the hydrocarbon refrigerant and the ability to reclaim heat from the store have enabled Waitrose to produce a system which claims to be 20% more efficient than a similar HFC-based plant.

Safety will not be a problem according to Steve Isaia, Waitrose' head of feasibility development and maintenance. 'There is more hydrocarbon in the aerosols sold on our shelves than in the refrigeration system,' he told ACR News.

Waitrose is also committed to reducing leaks by 50% over the next three years. 'With this new system we feel we can produce refrigerators that don¹t leak,' added Isaia.

The retailer says it will invest in training to get the system rolled out quickly. Cool Concerns, run by the former Institute of Refrigeration's president Jane Gartshore, will provide training for the retailer's new refrigeration system.

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