Three questions about supermarket refrigeration

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Jörg Wittmann is Manager Key Accounts and Market Sector Supermarket at BITZER. EuroShop is more or less a home game for him – reason enough to delve a little deeper into the area of supermarket refrigeration. COMPACT asked further questions

BITZER serves various business areas within the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. What is the exciting thing about supermarkets for you?

This sector shows a dynamic like no other. Whether macroeconomic trends such as urbanisation or the increasing demand for fresh, chilled food such as convenience food – they all have a direct impact on supermarket formats and refrigeration requirements.

Longer shop opening hours with rising energy prices and, at the same time, the rapidly growing environmental awareness of consumers are setting a focus on the environmental friendliness and efficiency of cooling systems. We can make a decisive contribution here with our components.

Efficient supermarkets – how does that work?

I would say it is a combination of holistic planning and intelligent linking of efficient components. If, for example, the waste heat from the refrigeration system can be used directly for heating or service water heating, a good starting situation is created. Together with intelligently controlled components that are efficient at full and partial load, you get an energy-saving system.

In supermarkets, CO2 is now often the refrigerant of choice (R744). Why is that?

The refrigerant R744 has many advantages: It is inexpensive, available worldwide, neither toxic nor flammable in the classical sense and impresses with an outstanding volumetric cooling capacity. Thanks to its GWP of 1, direct emissions from refrigerant leakage are also reduced enormously.

The initial hurdles in the application of R744 such as high pressure levels and low eco-efficiency in transcritical operation have long been overcome. CO2 refrigeration systems are fully developed and have been successfully in use for years. Numerous further developments in components and system design enable an energy-efficient operation in all climate zones and thus also sustainably reduce indirect emissions. Experts also refer to an excellent TEWI balance sheet. (Editor’s note: Total Equipment Warming Impact: the sum of direct and indirect emissions of greenhouse gases.)

By the way, BITZER products even enable efficiency increases in CO2 systems without creating additional complexity. Thus, we enable energy-saving and yet robust and manageable CO2 plant technology even in hot regions.

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