A New Generation Refrigerant for a New Way of Work
Verco is an innovative plug-in glassfronted freezer cabinet supplier working with several large retail chains in the UK. When Verco presented an opportunity to move to more energy efficient and lower GWP (Global Warming Potential) units cooled by an innovative Honeywell refrigerant, the supermarket chains took notes. The Genetron Performax® LT, recommended to Verco by refrigeration specialist Climate Center, promised outstanding results across key metrics linked to sustainability and energy efficiency.
In a field study, Verco assessed Genetron Performax® LT refrigerant against the commonly-used R-404A. The outcomes were impressive, proving the Honeywell refrigerant’s higher capacity and greater energy efficiency – and all with a GWP nearly 50% lower than R-404A. To date, Verco has installed around 125 new generation units.
Savings on Energy without Flammability Concerns
The decision by Verco to recommend cabinets running Genetron Performax® LT was taken in the context of UK HSE (Health and Safety Executive),after this institution confirmed that HC refrigerants (including R1270 propane) in closed chiller and freezer cabinets were subjected to ATEX (explosive atmospheres) regulations. Verco decided to move away completely from using R1270 in their cabinets and started using R404A as a temporary solution. Simultaneously, Verco searched for a refrigerant which could offer the same level of performance and safety while lowering the GWP of 3922 exhibited by R404A. Verco therefore undertook research into the performance of temporarily used R404A refrigerant compared with the new Honeywell refrigerant – Genetron Performax® LT, which was supplied by A-Gas and Climate Center. The first tests were conducted in a homologated test chamber on cabinets with an evaporating temperature of –30ºC. With R404A, the compressor ran continually – but with the better capacity exhibited by Genetron Performax® LT (R407F), cycling was more effective with thermostatic switch-off. Due to run-time performance, the Genetron Performax® LT unit achieved better than the expected 5% saving on energy efficiency. Critically, the installation of the non-flammable Genetron Performax® LT overcame flammability concerns raised by ATEX in relation to HCs. The results provided Verco good set of arguments to approach their customers. The switchover to Genetron Performax® LT was with no issues and since their installation, the cabinets run as expected. Verco is also in advanced negotiations with leading UK supermarket brands to move to this more energy efficient and low global warming solution. To date the company has delivered a total of 124 Genetron Performax® LT refrigerant chiller cabinets – 51 two-door cases and 73 three-door cases.
Contributing to Carbon Targets
“The challenge faced by supermarket chains in ensuring that refrigeration cases are as green as possible is significant, but in Genetron Performax® LT, here is a technology that addresses all the main safety, energy efficiency and sustainability issues.”-Robert Franklin, Refrigeration Sales Manager, Climate Center
Greening the UK Supermarket Sector
The performance of Genetron Performax® LT and the potential for significant energy savings and carbon footprint reduction is increasing interest in the technology among supermarkets and their supply chain partners. Previous field trials with the refrigerant in the retail sector confirm typical beneficial outcomes:
- 15 % saving in system energy bills
- 40 % reduction in system CO2 emissions
- 10 % improvement in system running costs
Genetron Performax® LT is shown to outperform alternative refrigerants across all ambient conditions – a benefit confirmed by retro-fit projects – creating potential for extended application into storage and packaging areas. The efficiency of the Honeywell refrigerant also provides potential for enhancing overall profitability, while at the same time enhancing sustainability benefits.
Summary of Results
- Genetron Performax® LT unit achieved 5% savings on energy efficiency
- Installation of the non-flammable Genetron Performax® LT overcame flammability concerns raised by ATEX in relation to HCs
- The switchover to Genetron Performax® LT was with no issues and since their installation, the cabinets run as expected.