Application of hydrocarbon refrigerants in the retail sector

Over the last five years most of the major retailers have reviewed refrigerant options and moved towards natural refrigerants. Waitrose made the decision to use hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants in all new stores and major refits, and now have over 100 stores running exclusively on HC refrigerants. Each store has water cooled integral cabinets with heat rejected to chilled glycol, glycol chillers, mono block cold room systems and split system air conditioning.

We worked with manufacturers of HC equipment to Waitrose:

  • Identifying relevant standards and developing a practical method of complying with them;
  • Carrying out simulated leak testing (area classification) and working with manufacturers to enable them to do this in house;
  • Providing advice on elimination of sources of ignition, e.g. through the use of Ex rated electrical devices;
  • Training for development engineers and manufacturing personnel.

We worked with Waitrose on the overall application of HC refrigerants:

  • Ensuring the individual refrigerant charges did not exceed those specified in EN 378;
  • Auditing equipment installation to ensure that HC leakage would not result in ignition and combustion;
  • Providing awareness training to store partners.

We have also provided training for the majority of service engineers on the safe handling of HC refrigerant.

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