Woolworths currently has seven stores operating on transcritical CO2 in Australia but projects this number could almost double before the end of the year.
Woolworths' first transcritical CO2 store in Colebee, NSW.
Woolworths commissioned its first transcritical CO2 system in Australia in July 2017 in Colebee, New South Wales. Its latest transcritical CO2 store, which opened this past June in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg, marked the company’s seventh transcritical CO2 store in Australia in just two years.
Woolworths is projecting to have 13 transcritical CO2 stores up and running by the end of 2019. "Of these, 12 will be large supermarkets, each with two transcritical CO2 systems, and one will be a small store with just one system," explained Dario Ferlin, Sustainable Innovations Engineer for Woolworths.
Currently, in Australia, Woolworths has seven stores up and running on this natural refrigerant, each with two transcritical CO2 systems. In total, including New Zealand (operating under its Countdown brand), Woolworths has 14 stores operating on transcritical CO2 systems, according to its recently released 2019 sustainability report.
In addition, Woolworths is making significant progress in deploying transcritical CO2 systems that fully integrate HVAC&R requirements for entire stores.
In December 2018, Woolworths commissioned a fully HVAC&R integrated transcritical CO2 system in Prestons, New South Wales. The system was a technological milestone for the company as it was the first in the company’s fleet that combined “the natural refrigeration and HVAC systems into an integrated transcritical CO2 platform,” the 2019 sustainability report states. “This virtually eliminates synthetic refrigerants from the store.”
The Woolworths store that opened in Heidelberg last June also features a fully integrated transcritical CO2 system that serves the store’s entire space cooling and heating, hot water and refrigeration needs. Australian HVAC&R journal Ecolibrium covered the installation in its August 2019 issue here. The Heidelberg store has also been designed in accordance with the requirements of a five-Star Green Star Design and is now undergoing certification for an ‘As-Built v1.2’ Rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, according to the report.
“It’s quite fitting that what constitutes our seventh transcritical CO2 store at Heidelberg…is an integrated [refrigeration and air conditioning] system that does away with dependency on gas fired boilers and synthetic refrigerants altogether,” said Dario Ferlin, sustainable innovations engineer for Woolworths in a recent post on LinkedIn.