Accelerate Europe magazine announced the winners of its first annual awards programme, which recognises excellence in advancing natural refrigerant adoption in Europe, at an evening ceremony today at the ATMOsphere Europe conference, taking place this week in Berlin, Germany.
The magazine and conference are both produced by shecco, a global market accelerator for natural refrigerant systems and worldwide publisher of natural refrigerant news.
The winners in the best-in-sector award categories are the Carrefour Group (food retail), Nestlé (light commercial) and the Staay Food Group (industrial). The Innovation of the Year award went to Viessmann for its Click4Food propane and isobutane-based cooling system. And the winner of the Person of the Year award is Menno van der Hoff, head of R&D and HVAC manager at Unichemie.
To reduce refrigerant emissions, Carrefour is phasing out HFCs and replacing them with CO2 for commercial refrigeration. Overall the Carrefour Group is aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2025 and by 70% by 2050 (compared to 2010 levels). There are around 12,300 stores under the Group banner in 35 countries and five continents.
Carrefour boasts over 400 stores with technologies using natural refrigerants worldwide, around 175 of which are fitted with CO2 transcritical racks. Assets Project Director Jean-Michel Fleury received the award on the group’s behalf.
Vincent Grass, Refrigeration Team Leader in the Corporate Operations – Engineering Services department at Nestlé, collected the Swiss multinational’s award. In 2011, Nestlé debuted its first hydrocarbon-based ice-cream chest freezer. Since 2014, all Nestlé’s new ice-cream chest freezers in Europe are HFC-free (and since 2015, worldwide). Since 2016, all its new island and upright freezers worldwide are HFC-free.
Jens Kallesøe, director (internal sales and projects) at Advansor, the Danish manufacturer of transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems, collected the award on behalf of the Staay Food Group. This year, Advansor completed the installation of a transcritical system at a Dutch lettuce processing plant managed by Staay Food Group; the capacity of the system exceeds 3.36 MW, making it the largest CO2 refrigeration project in the world.
Person of the Year
Van der Hoff played a key role in developing the Triple Aqua, an energy-efficient heat pump employing propaene (R443A), a mixture of the hydrocarbons propane (R290) and propene (R1270), with a global warming potential (GWP) of three and a charge of less than 11 lbs. (5 kg).
TripleAqua has the ability to store heat and cold in buffers for later use in the building, providing heating and cooling simultaneously or individually. It uses three water-loop pipes to distribute heat and cold, and to return water at ambient temperature
Uniechemie is a division of Swedish HVAC&R distributor Beijer Ref, which is marketing TripleAqua. According to Beijer Ref, TripleAqua can save up to 50% in heating and cooling costs in commercial buildings (including office buildings, hotels and hospitals) compared to traditional heat pumps, with a COP (coefficient of performance) between four and 10.
“Carrefour, Nestlé and the Staay Food Group have each pushed the boundaries of natural refrigerant system adoption in their respective sectors, while Viessmann is innovating in food retail,” said Andrew Williams, editor of Accelerate Europe.
“Menno van der Hoff has played an inspirational role in raising the profile of natural refrigerants in Europe and his enthusiasm for pushing the boundaries of technology is infectious,” Williams added.