Most systems are transcritical CO2, with some trials of self-contained R290 cases.
ALDI US, the leading food retail user of natural refrigerant systems in the U.S., as of last month had installed them – mostly transcritical CO2 equipment – in 360 stores, according to Aaron Sumida, Vice President at the chain.
The Batavia, Illinois (U.S.)-based chain, an independently operated member of German retailer ALDI South (Sud), has also installed “alternative CO2 technology” in some stores, said Sumida.
In addition, ALDI US has started trials of self-contained propane (R290) display cases, “which offer the same sustainability benefits,” said Sumida. In development are tests of AHT’s R290 semi-plug-in cases tied to water-loop heat removal, confirmed ALDI US; this includes multi-temperature merchandisers and some R290 air-cooled units for cold rooms.
ALDI US, which operates more than 2,000 small-footprint stores across 36 states, has recently received awards for its sustainability efforts. One of these was a a Store Certification Excellence award from the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency’s GreenChill Partnership for achieving the most GreenChill store certifications (331) between July 1, 2019, and June 20, 2020. All of those certifications were at the highest level, platinum, signifying their use of refrigerants with a GWP of less than 150.
Most of the 360 ALDI US stores using natural refrigerants “are undergoing the GreenChill certification process, if they haven’t received it already,” said Sumida.
“We’re honored to be recognized by the EPA for our environmental milestones in eco-conscious refrigerant use,” noted Sumida. “It’s through programs like these that ALDI can lead the way in the natural refrigerants market.”
ALDI US has ambitious growth plans, investing more than $5 billion in new and remodeled stores. These stores will feature “eco-friendly elements, such as energy-efficient refrigerated systems and more environmentally friendly refrigerants, among other elements,” said Sumida.
“We’re honored to be recognized by the EPA for our environmental milestones in eco-conscious refrigerant use."
– Aaron Sumida, ALDI US