Belgium, 2016-Sep-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour Belgium is using the extension of its convenience store network to introduce a brand-new type of high-performance environmentally-friendly technology.
This is a first for retail in Belgium, and a world first for the Carrefour Group. With the opening of the Laeken Express in Brussels, Carrefour Belgium is breaking new ground once again, using a more environmentally-friendly cooling technology that incorporates propylene gas – its global warming potential is significantly lower than that of traditional fluids.
Propylene gas is less energy-insensitive because its cooling capacity – i.e., its efficiency – is greater. These fridges are fitted with double-glazed doors which also reduce energy consumption (and the risk of condensation). They also have LED lighting and require less maintenance.
This new type of fridge also eliminates all risk of leaks. The refrigerant is located exclusively inside the fridge and the whole system is factory-sealed – meaning complete water tightness. The units are connected together via a hydraulic network. This type of refrigerator is therefore much safer. The biggest risk is a water leak.
Traditional technologies involve significant quantities of HFC refrigerants. These have two disadvantages: there is a high risk of them leaking (they circulate through pipes outside the fridge) and they are harmful for the environment.
In many Carrefour Hypermarkets and Market stores, these types of refrigerators have already been replaced by a new generation of units with CO2 cooling systems. But they are not in widespread use in small store formats, such as Carrefour Express stores.
The Water Loop fridge is even more innovative: it uses propylene gas, the global warming potential of which is 450 times less than an HFC fridge storing fresh products and 600 times less than an HFC fridge storing frozen food.
The Sobieski Laeken Express has 8 Water Loop fridges (6 positive and 2 negative for frozen products). Sobieski is a pilot project that is of interest to the entire Carrefour Group. The performances of these units will be compared over a one-year period to those of a similar control store – not only in terms of energy consumption, but also in terms of reliability and aesthetics (among other characteristics).
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