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World-first installation of R32 e-Baltic

One the first R32 packaged rooftop units has been released onto the market by Lennox, while a Lidl supermarket in France has become the world’s first user of the e-Baltic units for energy-efficient delivery of hot and cold air.

The launch of the e-Baltic at Lyon Lennox facility in January 2020.

The first installation is the Lidl store in Chilly-Mazarin, close to Paris which will open on 29 January. This is to be closley followed by the second one in Fenouillet, close to Toulouse, which will open in March.

The advanced e-Baltic units, commissioned in January 2020, are fully compliant with the forthcoming 2021 Ecodesign regulation. This installation is seen as a key milestone in the industry and, moving forward, the Lennox strategy is to adopt R32 as a replacement for R410A due to its low Global Warming Potential (GWP) (677 versus 1924) and its affordability.

The Lidl group has grown to become one of the world’s largest supermarket chains with over 11,000 stores in 30 countries. One of Lidl’s ambitions is to be able to produce more energy through its stores than it consumes as Alex Baudart, head of the store construction department at Lidl France explained: “Lidl does not sit back and wait for legal and regulation changes, it acts proactively and plans ahead. The company is not afraid to experiment, test, try, take risks, to also face challenges and make adjustments down the road, but always to persevere and succeed.

“This is why we are proud to announce that we are in the process of experimenting and building our first positive energy supermarkets: over one year, these new generation supermarket will produce more energy that it consumes. The first of its kind will open its doors beginning of march in Fenouillet, close to Toulouse in the south of France.”

Keen to support this ambition while meeting regulatory requirements and ensuring the comfort of its customers and staff, Lidl looked for suitable rooftop units for its brand new store. After a comprehensive review of the available solutions, the company opted for the e-Baltic rooftop from Lennox.

One of the reasons why Lidl selected the Lennox e-Baltic rooftop was to meet the building's bioclimatic indicator (bbio) requirements, which is an index of good bioclimatic building design. This important measure takes into account heating, cooling and lighting needs, but is completely independent of the selected heating or cooling solution.

Designed as a high-efficiency product, the e-Baltic includes low-consumption electronically commutated motor fans, freewheel fan technology, newly designed pipework, CO2 sensors and a new generation of heat exchangers. The unit's features enable it to adjust its power and airflow according to real climatic conditions, generating significant energy savings. The design of the e-Baltic allows a reduction of the refrigerant charge by up to 30%, which enables a decrease of the carbon dioxide equivalent. All of this means that the e-Baltic choice has enabled Lidl to lower its impact on the environment while reflecting its commitment to a responsible ecological investment.

Mr Baudart said: “When Lennox offered to become an exclusive 'proof of concept' partner and install this new innovative rooftop, we obviously accepted to join the adventure, as this solution totally made sense with our sustainable development approach.”

The e-Baltic also offers connectivity to ensure optimal performances and optimal use of resources. Through the Lennox Cloud, connectivity allows permanent monitoring of the e-Baltic, which offers the potential to implement preventative maintenance routines. This means that at any time of the day or night, Lidl can access all the performance metrics of the e-Baltic units to ensure optimal use and ultimately helping users such as Lidl predict any risk of downtime and plan maintenance operations accordingly. The ability to predict and forecast those operations can save companies considerable time, resource and money. In addition, the selection of The Lennox Cloud connectivity offers an extended warranty that extends for up to 10 years.

Ricardo Freitas, vice president and managing director of Lennox EMEA said: “This world premiere is a true partnership between Lennox and Lidl; we are committed to providing our customers with product support, a full service, information and training offer throughout the transition process.”

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