After opening its doors on 22 April 2015, Makro Barajas quickly became a benchmark for cutting edge technology innovation in commercial refrigeration applications. The main highlight is its CO2 transcritical refrigeration system, which was installed by Cofrico and complies with the EU F-gas regulation as well as the F-gas tax in Spain.

We chose CO2 to move away from fluorinated gases and therefore minimise the impact of our activities on the environment by opting for natural refrigerant based technology installations” said José María De Santos, project manager for the Makro Barajas store.

The store includes a construction area of 11,700 m2 of which 9,560m2 is dedicated to the sales area. With a €17-million investment, the Barajas store represents a truly state of the art retail outlet with energy efficiency improvements at the heart of its operations.

“Electricity demands in this kind of facility is very high and we expect to achieve significant energy reductions with this new system”, De Santos continued.

Main features of the installation:

  • The CO2 TC refrigeration system is comprised of independent circuits with capacities of 500kW for positive temperature and 100kW for negative temperature
  • Four gas-coolers located on the building’s roof
  • Incorporation of an energy saving system, which improves the Coefficient Of Performance (COP) of the circuits without modifying the system’s performance
  • Use of a parallel compressor system when ambient temperatures are high
  • Use of frequency converters for compressors, evaporator fans and gas cooler, as well as for the economiser unit to maximise energy savings
  • Installation of a chiller indirect system using glycol when ambient temperatures are high and there are peaks in the electricity demand
  • Refrigerated cabinets are equipped with doors, LED lighting and electronic expansion valves, complying with energy efficiency requirements
  • Cold stores and machinery rooms are equipped with CO2 detectors in order to detect any leaks. The economiser and cold stores have safety valves to help relieve the pressure in low and high pressure circuits, if necessary

Regarding the use of CO2 in Spain in the coming years, De Santos is optimistic.

Although the decision to either install a subcritical or a transcritical system can be determined by ambient temperatures we have in Spain or Portugal, I believe that CO2 will become the dominant trend,” he said.

“At Makro, we are currently looking at this alternative solution in order to comply with the F-Gas regulation.”



Author Pilar Aleu