50 retailers talk future proof retail solutions ATMOsphere network Tokyo Part 2

By Jan Dusek, Jan 03, 2014, 13:36 4 minute reading

At the end of 2013 over 50 retailers from leading Japanese supermarket brands gathered for the second edition of the ATMOsphere network Tokyo meetings to learn more about global trends in commercial refrigeration using natural refrigerants. Panasonic ES, introduced a cutting edge CO2 solution for supermarkets and convenience stores and premiered a brand new R744 promotion video. Part 2 of our reporting from the event summarises presentations from Panasonic ES, AEON Retail and shecco J

The second edition of the ATMOsphere 'network' Tokyo meetings, with the theme "Natural Solutions for Japanese Supermarkets & Leading Retailers in the EU and US, and a European HFC Tax Report," was organised on 27 November 2013 in Tokyo. Sponsored by Panasonic ES, the leading Japanese supplier of CO2 transcritical (TC) systems for supermarkets (SM) and convenience stores (CVS), ATMOsphere 'network' Tokyo was hosted by Marc Chasserot and Jan Dusek from shecco Japan. The event attracted close to 120 stakeholders interested in the latest market and policy developments in the field of natural refrigerants.

Panasonic ES provides a complete R744 solution for Japanese supermarkets

Yasuyuki Tsuchiya, Director GM at Panasonic Eco Solutions Commercial Equipment Systems, presented Panasonic’s R744 solutions for supermarkets. Currently the only supplier to offer a complete solution (refrigeration unit + showcase) for the Japanese market, Tsuchiya introduced Panasonic’s CO2 technology line-up, featuring condensing units, mid and low temperature showcases and walk-in freezers/coolers. According to data measured at 6 installations, the R744 freezer systems achieve an average of 25.4% in energy savings in comparison to comparable R404A systems. Mid-temperature systems achieved an average of 16.2% in energy savings. In terms of CO2 emissions (direct + indirect impact) R744 systems contribute to a 60% CO2 emission reduction in comparison to R404A inverter units.

World premier of R744 promotion video featuring customer testimonials

Panasonic ES used ATMOsphere network Tokyo as an opportunity to premier its brand new R744 promotional video. The Japanese version features an overview of the f-gas problem, introduces the complete line up of Panasonic CO2 technology, including the pioneering technology developments, resulting from 10 years of Panasonic R&D, which now contribute to the high efficiency of the systems. The video also features the “voice of the customers” and their satisfaction and commitment to R744 technology. Representatives of Japanese supermarket and convenience store chains AEON Retail, Lawson and Coop Sapporo talk about their support for and commitment to CO2 refrigeration systems and technology, and their first installation success stories. The English version of Panasonic’s R744 video will be available in Q1 2014.

AEON's activities to expand the installation of natural refrigerants

Akira Shimizu, Head of Construction Department at AEON Retail, presented AEON’s declaration on preventing global warming (2008) and natural refrigerants (2011 - when the retailer declared that all new stores built from 2015 to use natural refrigerants only). AEON, one of the leaders in Japanese market, has piloted a number of CO2 installations at various sized stores. Three of AEON’s Max Value supermarkets that introduced R744 technology in 2009-2011 have achieved, on average, energy savings of 10% and a 50% CO2 emission reduction. An additional five Max Value stores, in which CO2 technology was installed as from 2012, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, have achieved energy savings of 20%. Up to 30% energy savings have been achieved in the case of freezer cases introduced to Ministop convenience stores.

New flagship AEON store has 144 CO2 showcases; energy savings of 18% achieved at Max Value

Opened in April 2013, the Max Value store located in Shin-Funabashi, features a Panasonic CO2 solution. The energy saving effect in high temperature and humidity was measured over the period of 4 months (June – September 2013). Despite the extremely hot August, average energy savings reached 18%.

On 20 December, the new flagship AEON Mall store, with total area of 128,000 m2, was opened in Tokyo (Makuhari Shintoshin). The largest scale store in AEON’s portfolio features 20 systems and 144 showcases with CO2 refrigeration (out of a total of 182 showcases). Expected energy saving have been calculated to be about 20% in comparison to available HFC systems.

Regulatory barriers slowing further CO2 uptake

According to Shimizu a number of regulatory issues remain obstacles to further CO2 adoption. In particular the High Pressure Gas Safety Act restricts the size of the available systems and as a result increases the total installation cost. While technological issues such as noise control are in the hands of the manufacturers, the legislation and regulatory work needs to be addressed by the close cooperation of all stakeholders. In AEON’s presentation, Shimizu points out that it is important for the government to show a clear direction on natural refrigerants by:

1. Introducing a policy to encourage manufactures’ and installation suppliers’ technological innovation to shift toward natural refrigerants.

2. The easing of regulations and preferential treatment to encourage technological development

Latest developments by leading retailers in introducing natural refrigerants globally

Marc Chasserot, Managing Director at shecco Japan, presented the latest achievements of leading global retailers in introducing natural refrigerant technology in their stores across the world. The latest installations by Supervalu, Delhaize, Sobeys, Ahold, Sainsbury’s, Carrefour and Tesco were presented to Japanese retailers, keen to learn more about the global trends and changes coming to Japanese market.

The final part of Chasserot’s presentation was dedicated to the changing regulatory environment around the world. He focused in particular on the increasing number of HFC taxes and fiscal incentives being introduced, which are benefiting natural refrigerants. As a matter of fact, the fiscal incentive for natural refrigerants proposed by the Ministry of Environment of Japan is expected to be one of the major driving forces in 2014 supporting the introduction of naturals to Japanese supermarkets, and a key opportunity for forward looking industry players.


By Jan Dusek

Jan 03, 2014, 13:36

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