In the frozen and chilled areas of busy grocery stores and in grab and go units at the front, It’s vital to present an attractive shopping environment where it’s easy for consumers to find the products they want and want to visit again and again. At the same time store managers must achieve maximum energy efficiency and control energy costs. And it’s also essential to be aware of, and comply with, the new regulations about refrigerants in these systems.
The Food & Drink Federation‘s Update on F-Gas Regulation and Refrigerants July 2017 provides information for users of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems in food and drink manufacturing and related sectors. Available as a pdf from www.fdf.org.uk It includes updates and reminders on key aspects of the UK-EU Regulation and the likely future regulations after we leave the EU.
The most crucial aspect is the phased cut down in the quantity of HFC coolant chemicals with high Global Warming Potential that can be placed on the EU market. The HFC phase-down will have a major influence on use of refrigerants in all end use markets, including food and drink manufacturing and retail. The first really big cut in HFC supply comes this year, 2018, when there will be a cut of around 40%.
The advantages of using ultra-low GWP refrigerants such as ammonia or CO2 are very clear. Ammonia has been widely used in the industry for many years and is an excellent option, especially for large refrigeration units. Medium high and very high GWP refrigerants such as R- 404A should be avoided as of now and you should seriously question anyone advising you to use “mediumhigh” GWP HFCs.
The F-Gas Regulation’s other major requirements relate to leak checking and leak prevention/repair: HFC recovery during plant maintenance and at end-of-life: record keeping: using F-Gas trained technicians for installation and maintenance. Against this background the equipment manufacturers have been quick off the mark with high performance technology.
Refrigerated cabinets are the largest consumer of power in a supermarket, which is increasingly leading shop owners to enclose them. The latest cooling doors for cabinets not only save energy costs by keeping the cold inside while offering the visibility of open cabinets. SCHOTT’s new door solutions for refrigerated cabinets offer the best visibility for product presentation and allow retrofitting into existing refrigerated display cases. Closing open cabinets is becoming more and more attractive to retailers, especially as the ROI is approximately 2.5 years. Retailers benefit from 30-65% energy savings and stand out at the Point of Sale with an appealing merchandise presentation.
Refrigerated open cabinets also play a crucial role in the race to get more sales per square foot from front of store areas. Adande Refrigeration is launching its new refrigerated, open front grab & go cabinet at Hotelympia this month. the Aircell ‘Sarma’ cabinet delivers all the benefits of conventional open front cabinets with the energy saving characteristics associated with glass door cabinets. Finally this equipment looks pretty cool in your store, but if you want your set up to look even more stylish, Fri-Jado UK has introduced a consultancy service for the design of custom counters, available free of charge service to end users, contractors, distributors and equipment concept specialists. They have already completed several large projects for major supermarkets in the UK and Europe.