The US Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is considering testing R-290 (propane) systems in their stores located in military bases around the world.
The commissaries are located in 240 locations around the globe and allow both current staff and veterans to get a 30% discount on groceries.
The positive experience with ammonia and CO2 systems so far is leading DeCA to consider installing more natural refrigerant-based solutions in the future.
Kevin L. Robinson, a Public affairs specialist at DeCA, told Hydrocarbons21.com, “We are aware of the tests for R-290 (propane) systems and we may consider a future test for this refrigerant as well”.
Robinson went on to explain: “We will pursue the best available, cost-effective technology that allows us to provide an energy-efficient and environmentally sound commissary benefit to our patrons. There are plenty of emerging technologies and we are excited to see how these technologies evolve and mature in the North American marketplace”.
Federal Regulations: A driver?
DeCA is a division of the Department of Defense and a subsection of the Federal government. Therefore it is required to follow the same strict sustainability regulation as other branches of the Federal government.
Robinson explained it is necessary for DeCA, as a Federal department, to comply with the “Planning For Federal Sustainability In The Next Decade - which set aggressive goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and energy use for the entire federal government”.
Their commitment to natural refrigerants makes up a significant part of their response to this, as Robinson confirms, “The migration to very low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants is one part of DeCA's overall strategy to reduce both direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Energy use reduction is also a key component of DeCA's effort to reduce our carbon footprint. It is essential that any natural refrigeration systems be energy efficient so reductions in direct emissions are complemented by reduction of greenhouse gases from energy consumption.”
Furthermore, Robinson says DeCA would like to go even further than the directive “we are committed to meeting or exceeding the government's goals for reductions of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions”.