Refrigeration group incorporates R290 in its multidecks
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Hydrocarbon refrigerants virtually eliminate the direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because of their very low GWP, whilst also reducing the indirect emissions by improving energy efficiency. Already the acceptable standard in European domestic refrigeration, hydrocarbons could also become standard in commercial kitchens, as international brands commit to environmental sustainability.
Hydrocarbons in commercial kitchens
Subway have introduced energy efficient equipment across a number of stores in the UK and Ireland, including equipment using hydrocarbon as the working fluid, which saves up to 13% more energy than existing products.
McDonald’s has opened three HFC-free restaurants using hydrocarbons. The franchising group has developed natural refrigerant alternatives for eight pieces of refrigeration equipment, including: juice dispenser, ice cube machine, salad cooler, and the meat/wall freezer.
With the E3 sustainable building innovation at Yum! Brands, (including Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Taco Bell), and the company’s search for energy efficient kitchen equipment and refrigeration systems, YUM may in the future also invest in hydrocarbon refrigeration.
The Benefits of hydrocarbons
- Hydrocarbons can reduce energy consumption by up to 15%;
- Hydrocarbons are a less ‘aggressive’ material – this extends the life span of your compressor, which in turn reduces servicing costs;
- A quicker ‘pull down time’ when doors are closed means more efficient recovery;
- A lower compressor operating temperature means less heat is emitted into the kitchen;
- A lower kitchen noise level is achieved due to less noise emanating from the compressor. This is excellent news in any kitchen, but combined with the reduced heat factor, really makes a difference in a large room with several cabinets.
- Adande: Andande hydrocarbon units save users a further 19% on energy compared to Adande’s standard HFC units;
- Electrolux: The new full hydrocarbon refrigeration appliances for commercial kitchens are foamed with cyclopentane, and feature Smart Defrost Technology that starts only when ice is actually building up in the evaporator and ends as soon as ice has actually melted. By defrosting only when necessary, less energy is needed and no ice builds up;
- Foster Refrigerator: Eco Premier foodservice refrigeration cabinets are available with energy-saving hydrocarbon refrigerant as an option. According to the company the hydrocarbon option offers up to 15% savings on running costs;
- Gram: Using hydrocarbon technology, Gram produces some of the greenest refrigeration units on the market, such as hydrocarbon roll-through refrigerators. Over 30 of their units have made it onto the Carbon Trust’s Energy Technology List;
- Hoshizaki: Hydrocarbon FM Series Icemakers use hydrocarbon refrigerant R290 (propane), reducing energy consumption by up to 20% compared to and HFC system;
- Husky: The company produces single, double and triple door R600a (iso-butane) undercounter back bar bottle coolers featuring self-closing doors, auto defrost, an electronic temperature contoller and double-glazed doors.
- True Refrigeration: The company’s hydrocarbon upright cabinets feature powerful evaporators, fan motors and condensers and compressors that help pull down temperature more quickly, which in turn means less energy use.