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CO2 a natural choice for Danish food retailer

DENMARK: Danish refrigeration systems manufacturer Advansor has supplied a transcritical CO2 system with eight Bitzer EcoLine+ reciprocating compressors at a new distribution centre for REMA 1000 supermarkets.

The recently completed warehouse in the Danish city of Vejle will deliver goods to REMA 1000’s shops in western Denmark.

REMA 1000 is a multinational no-frills supermarket chain owned entirely by the Reitan Group. It supports more than 800 subsidiaries in Denmark and Norway.

The REMA 1000 project, which began in the summer of 2018, was described by CO2 systems specialist Advansor as “the biggest compound system in company history”.

The project began in the summer of 2018 with Advansor in charge of planning and realisation of the refrigeration system in collaboration with ICS Industrial Cooling Systems. The system was built from scratch, but the building itself is a former dry-storage warehouse.

The refrigeration system has a total capacity of 940kW at -4°C evaporation temperature and 32°C ambient temperature. And it is quite large, too, at 10.8m long. Six Bitzer EcoLline+ compressors ensure the medium temperature application, while two additional EcoLine+ compressors provide for even greater efficiency in parallel compounding.

Bitzer has has collaborated with Advansor since the German compressor manufacturer first started producing CO2 models, and REMA 1000 already uses Bitzer compressors in all of its shops.

“Bitzer is our preferred supplier. We get around 95% of our compressors from Bitzer,” said Advansor’s business development manager Kenneth Madsen.

He explained that this project marked the first time Advansor had opted for EcoLine+, mainly because of its high efficiency. It was also the company’s first experience with a line start permanent magnet motor (LSPM).

The LSPM motor is said to increase seasonal performance factor by more than 10%. These motors can be connected directly to 50 or 60Hz networks, offering higher efficiencies in both full and part load operation. Permanent magnet motors are robust, easy to use and can operate both directly on the mains network and with frequency inverters.

“Very few other technologies would be suitable for this system. They simply can’t handle the cold climate here,” explained Madsen. “The fancy stuff with ejectors and the like wouldn’t be worth trying out in an application like this. LSPM is a good technology because it works in any climate.” Advansor’s system design combined with LSPM is said to enable a new level of energy efficiency – by more than 10%.

Natural” refrigerants are common in Denmark due to charge size limits on HFC refrigerants which have been in place since 2007.

“In Denmark, it’s probably easier than in other countries for these systems to gain a foothold. But it can still be difficult here.,” explained Kenneth Madsen. “Hydrocarbons would not be an option. Ammonia, perhaps, but most distribution centres and smaller businesses rely on CO2 because it is cheaper to both acquire and operate. Five or 10 years ago, this project would have opted for an ammonia system – but now the focus is on CO2 for such cases.”

“The demand for industrial CO2 systems is constantly increasing, especially with permanent magnet motors, because they save on operating costs and reduce the impact on the climate,” claimed Advansor’s Denmark country manager Casper Christiansen. “Of course, compressors with these motors are more expensive to acquire – but this investment pays off within just a short period of time.”

Compressor talk marks IoR 120th anniversary

UK: The Institute of Refrigeration (IoR) celebrates its 120th anniversary next month with a talk on the history of the HallScrew compressor at the equally historic RAF Museum in Hendon.

The IoR was formed at a meeting chaired by R M Leonard with 16 interested individuals on the 8 December 1899 at the London Chamber of Commerce. Leonard, editor of Cold Storage and Ice Trades Review, a forerunner of RAC magazine, subsequently became the first secretary of the Cold Storage and Ice Association, as it was initially known.

To mark the occasion, Terry Young of J&E Hall will chart the development of the HallScrew compressor, first introduced in 1972 using a concept of single main rotor plus two gate rotors. This talk describes the challenges encountered during the development process, from the first open drive prototype to decades later a compressor that encompasses innovations and advanced design features necessary to meet today’s shifting world of refrigeration.

The joint meeting with the London Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Society will be held at the RAF Museum in Hendon on December 4. Before the presentation, those attending will have the opportunity to explore the Museum and discover the fascinating story of the RAF.

Tefcold owner becomes Interlevin MD

UK: Torben L Christensen, the owner of Tefcold, has taken over as MD of Interlevin Refrigeration.

He replaces Jonathan Corns who was appointed MD last year following the company’s acquisition by Tefcold, the Danish family owned commercial refrigeration company.

“We see Interlevin as a very important part of the Tefcold Group and for Interlevin to reach its full potential we believe we have an obligation to get the best possible integration into the group,” said Christensen.

“The group management have decided that I take over as MD in order to make sure we share best practices around processes through the group and grow Interlevin within the marketplace. While we have seen many operational improvements during the last financial year, we know that there is still room to grow and maximise our offering within the commercial refrigeration sector.”

Survey seeks to boost womens’ careers in RACHP

UK: The IoR’s Women in RACHP Network is inviting the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector to complete a survey to gauge attitudes towards women in the industry.

As the RACHP sector continues to struggle to bring more women into the industry and utilise female talent to its full potential, the Women in RACHP Network is undertaking research in this area in an aim to drive change. The network is encouraging everyone in the sector to take part in the online survey which is intended to benchmark the industry’s benefits and attitudes towards women and explore what should be done to close the gender gap.

It is clear that women are under-represented in engineering and the RACHP sector is no exception.

“Although there are no official figures in the UK the reality of the RACHP sector is comparable to that of the US where women represent only 1.2% of the HVACR workforce,” said committee member Astrid Prado, marketing manager at Star Refrigeration.

Maintaining that a reputation for the refrigeration and air conditioning being “man’s work” is failing to attract talented women at all levels, Prado said it continued to operate with work packages “developed decades ago for a largely male, full-time workforce” and was “failing to keep pace” with the expectations of the modern workforce.

“In order to drive change, we must redesign current workplace practices to accommodate the diversity of today’s workforce who want flexibility, equal opportunities, and better access to training and development.”

Prado added, “Although this is only a starting point, the outcome of the research will serve not only as a point of reference but as industry guidance for the future, to help us improve and ensure we offer an attractive package to women so that they are inspired to join and stay in the industry.”

The survey is open to both men and women working in all roles and from all pay grades and structures. All entrants completing the questions before December 1 will be added to a prize draw to win a Latitude travel charger set.

The Women in RACHP Network was set up by the Institute of Refrigeration as an educational and networking group to encourage diversity in the workforce and promote the role of women in refrigeration.

Contractor group moves to allay fears on R22

USA: The USA’s largest air conditioning contractors’ association has moved to allay US fears regarding the future availability of R22 refrigerant.

The production and importation of the main air conditioning refrigerant R22 will be banned in the US from January 1 under Montreal Protocol phase-out agreements. While existing stock and reclaimed/recycled material will still be able to be used, there is concern in the market regarding future prices and availability.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), which represents over 60,000 members and 4,000 businesses, says it believes there will be enough stockpiled and reclaimed R22 to allow for a smooth R22 transition.

“Do we know how much R22 is and will be available? No, but there are some indicators that show that R22 should be available for several years,” says ACCA vice president, public policy & industry relations on the association’s website.

This he bases on ACCA’s research and in working with refrigerant manufacturers and reclaimers.

He quotes Arkema’s director of sales saying: “Arkema has done significant market research and we estimate that there is sufficient R22 to serve the market needs for at least five years.”

Haun also stated: “Take R12, for instance, which was phased out on January 1, 1996. There are still R12 systems operating in the US and contractors are still able to purchase R12 to service those systems.”

However, according to a large reclaimer, one of the challenges that could decrease R22 availability is the mixing rate of reclaimed product. Some reclaimers lack the ability to separate refrigerants when they received recovery cylinders that are made up of a cocktail of refrigerants. ACCA fears that the increased mixing rate and inability to separate those products could have an impact on the supply but is not certain that that alone would reduce the years of projected availability.

Dearman refrigeration technology is top tip

UK/NETHERLANDS: Dearman’s liquid-nitrogen-powered transport refrigeration units will be offered for lease to leading fleet operators by Dutch trailer firm TIP.

Following successful trials in the Netherlands and Italy with a top multi-brand foods company, TIP will deploy Dearman’s technology alongside their regular fleet of refrigerated trailers.

The Dearman technology replaces diesel-powered secondary engines used to power transport refrigeration units, and has the potential to cut CO2 emissions by up to 95%.

According to TIP vice president Benelux Rogier Laan, the company’s customers are frequently seeking answers to issues such as sustainability and the type of trailers to be used. “We therefore keep a close eye on technical developments within our industry and we test these developments regularly, including this revolutionary solution from Dearman,” he said.

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