Woolworths Australia plans 90 stores using CO2 refrigeration technology by end of the year

By Simon Burkel, Jul 01, 2013, 17:50 2 minute reading

At the 2013 Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Refrigeration Summit titled “Moving away from HFCs…Naturally!,” R744.com had the chance to interview Michael Bosnich from Woolworths Limited Australia. Michael Bosnich talked about Woolworths’ hybrid CO2 refrigeration technology and future plans for CO2 transcritical installations suitable for warmer ambient temperatures.

R744.com: In 2012 Woolworths already had more that 30 CO2 refrigeration plants in Australia. Can you tell us how many you have today? 
 
Michael Bosnich: I think Woolworth’s probably had around 40 to 50 stores last year, primarily the hybrid systems using R134a for medium temperature (MT) and CO2 for low temperature (LT).
 
By the end of July Woolworths will have 100 stores utilising CO2 as a refrigerant. Pretty much every store we build new is hybrid CO2 and R134. The only place that we wouldn’t do it is remote stores. But overall the places that we wouldn’t do it are becoming pretty rare. 
 
R744.com: What are the future plans regarding the roll-out of further CO2 systems?
 
Michael Bosnich: Conventional transcritical systems are not suitable for the Australian climate as, in the case of Sydney as an example, the temperature about 30% of the time is above 20°C, resulting in the overall yearly energy consumption of the system being much higher than in a European installation. In the future I think we are looking into a version of transcritical, but we would need to modify conventional transcritical system designs to allow the system operate sub-critically at all times. 
 
The efficiency is contingent on us being able to recover as much heat from the discharge gas as possible, because the more heat we can take out, the less we have to put into the chiller, which we’re keeping in a subcritical state. 
 
Working with R744 is us giving us new opportunities to think in a more integrated approach, and gradually we are becoming more and more confident with this technology. We have become more and more comfortable with what other people doing. 
 
It’s not that simple, but you know it’s not that dissimilar to what we (at the CGF Refrigeration Summit) saw at the Sainsbury’s store visit. They are using ground water to keep it subcritical, whereas we would look to use an external chiller, at this stage.
 
R744.com: With which suppliers have you worked with?
 
Michael Bosnich: We’ve purchased Austral refrigeration in the past six months, and we use their refrigerated cases almost exclusively. From a design and installation perspective we do work with a number of other suppliers. We also work very closely with Bitzer Australia for our main plant and Emerson Climate Technologies for our control systems.  

R744.com: Thank you very much!
 

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By Simon Burkel

Jul 01, 2013, 17:50




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