Exclusive interview: Beijing’s first CO2 refrigeration store to achieve 35% energy savings

By Huiting Jia, Feb 27, 2012, 00:00 4 minute reading

On 23 February 2012, retailer Tesco opened its second CO2 cascade refrigeration store in China and the first one in the capital city of Beijing. The R744 system is expected to save 35% of energy. Carrefour is the next retailer considering the use of CO2 refrigeration in one of its stores in China. Fute Refrigeration & Electrical Engineering Co, Ltd installed and commissioned both CO2 refrigeration systems for Tesco. Mr. Zhang MengLong, Owner of Fute, pro

R744.com: Compared with FUTE’s first CO2 refrigeration system for Tesco’s supermarket in Shanghai, what is the difference and improvement of the Beijing store?
Mr. Zhang MengLong: The Beijing store is around 10% larger than the first store in Shanghai. The big difference with the Beijing store is the level of outside expertise required. The rack for the Shanghai store was manufactured in Australia and there was support with the design, installation & commissioning from our Australian partners. However, the Beijing store’s CO2 rack was built entirely by Fute Refrigeration here in China, which also did the design, installation as well as the commissioning.
The main difference from a design point was the use of Dorin CO2 compressors and the Presscon control system which controls all the CO2 and high stage racks, all VSD devices, as well as MT display cabinets and cold/preparation rooms. The Presscon system also provides remote monitoring and controlling. In addition, we installed CO2 ice makers by Maja. We also installed VSD to drive the water pump (water cool condenser). 
R744.com: What is the reduction of CO2 emissions and energy savings for this second CO2 refrigeration system?

Zhang: Installing a CO2 cascade system in the Beijing store has enabled us to reduce the HFC charge from 1500Kg to less than 200kg. We just downloaded the power consumption data of the Beijing system today, and the data shows at least 10% power consumption reduction compared with the first CO2 store we installed in Shanghai. We expect the Beijing store to use 35% less energy than standard store designs. This should reduce annual electricity consumption and carbon emissions by approximately 550,000 kilowatt hours and 4391 tons respectively. 

R744.com: Safety issues usually worry end users of CO2 refrigeration systems. How did Fute solve the problem? 

Zhang:The first Shanghai project demonstrated to our client that Fute had the ability and expertise to carry out such as unique project in China. Regardless of what kind of refrigeration system you use, safety to the end user and the company who carries out the system integration task is always a priority in our agenda.

Our experience dictates that to avoid and minimize hazards, system design, selection of equipment and components, and installation are factors that must be taken into careful consideration. Preventive periodical examination and maintenance of the system are very necessary to avoid potential safety issues. Particularly important is to exclude “cowboy” suppliers and unqualified personnel from your project. 
In order to avoid safety risks, CO2 gas detectors, ventilation system, warning signs and flashing/siren lights, CO2 pressure vent and relief systems as well as emergency power (power generator) supply for the control and CO2 vent system are installed to all necessary areas in our system. In addition, the end user has also been made fully aware of all the safety measures in place. We also provide regular training to end users to make sure all fixtures are used in the right manner. 
R744.com: Will the maintaining of the system require additional costs?

Zhang:At this point we do not perceive that there should be any additional ongoing maintenance cost, our service personnel have found that the CO2 liquid re-circulation systems are actually easier to service and maintain.
R744.com: Does Fute have other supermarket clients choosing CO2 refrigerants? Do you have planned to further promote CO2 refrigeration in other fields?

Zhang: Aside from Tesco China, for which we have completed two CO2 refrigeration projects, there are other supermarkets in China who also have expressed interest in converting to a CO2 refrigeration system in the near future. Unfortunately I cannot disclose their identity at this early stage. 
But we just received an official invitation from Carrefour China to submit a design for a CO2/R134A system in a new store, DX to low temperature fixtures and R134A to the MT system. Our company is also liaising with various other end users in the food processing and food distribution sectors with hopes of introducing natural refrigerant (CO2/NH3) into their refrigeration system. We hope that with further awareness of the advantages of a CO2 refrigeration system, more end users will be willing to incorporate natural refrigerants into their refrigeration system.
R744.com: Thank you for your insights, Mr. Zhang.

Note: A second part of this interview will be published on R744.com very soon, to highlight general market trends and drivers for the uptake of R744 refrigeration systems in China.


By Huiting Jia

Feb 27, 2012, 00:00

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