Japan: Lawson’s CO2 stores recognised with METI Award

By R744.com Past Member, Oct 17, 2012, 15:20 2 minute reading

Japanese convenience stores chain Lawson has been awarded "Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award" for the contribution of its 50 CO2 stores to ozone layer protection and mitigation of climate change. The 50 convenience stores with CO2 refrigeration feature 25% electricity savings in the total cooling equipment and 11% reduction in total store energy demand.

In September 2012, major Japanese convenience stores chain Lawson received a prize at the 15th Ozone Layer Protection and Global Warming Prevention Awards conducted annually by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun. The "Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award" was given in recognition of Lawson’s outstanding activities related to the installation of refrigerators and showcases using natural refrigerant CO2 in 50 stores throughout Japan.

Lawson has demonstrated that the refrigeration system using CO2 as a refrigerant led to 25% savings in total energy for cooling equipment and 11% reduction in the store’s total energy consumption. The presented results and the effectiveness of the installed systems were verified and evaluated by a committee of experts upon which Lawson was granted the Minister’s Award.

Special study group formed to learn from European experience with CO2

In order to support the effective deployment of CO2 technology, Lawson has launched the “CO2 refrigerant study group”. The study group actively investigates implementation of European benchmarks that will serve as helpful reference in the future standardisation of CO2 refrigerant installations in Japan. For example, the study group is investigating how the industry evaluates pipe welding reliability and how this process can be implemented in Japan.

Furthermore, in order to train technical personnel responsible for store construction, Lawson in cooperation with its suppliers has developed a training programme for CO2 technology installation and maintenance including specialised seminars and workshops.

About the 50 CO2 stores

The first Lawson’s convenience store with CO2 outdoor units is located in the Kyoto Prefecture and operates since 2010. Subsequently a demonstration project testing CO2 refrigeration technology in 50 stores, supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) was launched to verify the energy consumption in different locations through out Japan.

The CO2 outdoor unit for refrigeration showcases has been developed by SANYO (now Panasonic) with support from the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The performance of the system was presented in detail by Gaku Shimada during ATMOsphere Europe 2011.

Following the successful demonstration of CO2 refrigeration in 50 convenience stores Lawson plans to have the same systems installed in 500 stores by 2016.

Other awardees in the natural refrigerants technology field

Mitsubishi Plastics received the Minister of Environment Award for the development of a new adsorbent for application in adsorption heat pump technology. The Excellence Award went to Hoshizaki Denki for its commercial ice machine with R290 as a refrigerant that features energy saving of about 30%. Finally, a second Excellence Award was presented to Kuwabara Reinetsu and Cradle Foods for practical application of low temperature system using ammonia and CO2 refrigerants in Hokkaido.


By R744.com Past Member

Oct 17, 2012, 15:20

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