The use of natural refrigerants plays a key role in delivering retailer ALDI Süd’s worldwide target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 (compared to a 2012 baseline). In keeping with that strategy, ALDI Australia – the German multinational’s Australian branch – commissioned a CO2-based water-loop system in a Melbourne CBD location. Accelerate Australia & NZ reports.

Originally opened 12 years ago, the refurbished supermarket – located in a multi-storey high-rise building in Melbourne’s central business district – puts the natural refrigerant-based system at its heart.

AJ Baker & Sons Pty Ltd. installed and commissioned the ‘EptaBlue Natural’ refrigeration system. The Epta Group is an Italian multinational manufacturer of HVAC&R systems and refrigerated display units. It is represented by AJ Baker & Sons in Australia.

“This is the world’s first installation of the EptaBlue CO2 units,” Claus Mecklinger, director, AJ Baker & Sons, told Accelerate Australia & NZ.

“The challenge for a full refrigeration refurbishment was to find a system able to respond to ALDI’s need for a self-contained solution, equipped with a small machine room, without having to compromise in terms of performance, efficiency or sustainability,

” Mecklinger said.“This is the world’s first installation of the EptaBlue CO2 units.

Claus Mecklinger, director, AJ Baker & Sons

Variable-speed compressors offer operational flexibility

Variable-speed CO2 compressors modify the refrigerating capacity distributed to the load of the refrigerated unit according to external conditions, such as the number of customers in the store, the season, and whether it is day or night.

Asserting that the ‘EptaBlue Natural’ is, “the ideal water-loop system to meet these needs,” the firm reports that it “reduces the complexity of installing the refrigeration system while limiting energy consumption and noise level”.

“With EptaBlue Natural, the 40m run of Epta brand Bonnet Névé’s Strateo chilled open vertical cabinets are equipped with their own on-board refrigeration unit that transforms them from remote cabinets to integral cabinets, thanks to a water loop,” said Epta.

The system allows the store to accommodate up to 60 metres of vertical cabinets, granting ALDI the flexibility to expand the refrigerated area in future if necessary. “This could not have been done using a traditional system due to lack of space in the machine room,” Epta said.

“The cabinets used are the standard ALDI specification Strateo model with a CO2 evaporator,” says Mecklinger. “Each cabinet has an EptaBlue water-loop unit installed on top of the cabinet.”

Click here to read the full version of this article – which expands upon ALDI Australia’s plans for natural refrigerants in 2019 – in the summer 2019 edition of Accelerate Australia & NZ magazine.

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