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Technology

Future-Proof And Sustainable Refrigerants From Honeywell

By Reuters
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  • Honeywell’s Solstice® range empowers retailers to boost efficiency, lower expenses, and lower the carbon footprint of their operations.

    In recent years, Honeywell has invested over one billion dollars in research, development, and expanding capacity for its Solstice® technology, which was driven by the company recognising the need for ultra-low GWP solutions, to address climate change and regulatory constraints.

    The Solstice® product line encompasses refrigerants for various applications, such as compressor racks, cabinets, condensing units, monoblocks, heat pumps, and chillers. It enables customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy efficiency without compromising system performance.

    Recent data released this year indicates that the use of Honeywell Solstice® products across various industries has helped prevent the potential release of over 295 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is roughly equivalent to the emissions of more than 62 million cars driving for one year.

    The Solstice® range is gaining traction in the retail sector, particularly in Europe, with grocers adopting these ultra-low GWP Solstice® refrigerants to improve efficiency, cut costs, and reduce their carbon footprint. 

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    Solstice® N71 (R-471A) 

    In France, the U Express outlet in the Bellecombe district of Lyon – one of the jewels in the crown of the Groupement U network – recently undertook an initiative to reduce energy consumption and improve customer experience.  

    As part of this effort, cabinets with doors for medium- and low-temperature cooling were installed. The store manager collaborated with the contractor FCT and with Honeywell’s partner Climalife earlier this year to identify the optimal refrigerant for the revamped infrastructure.

    Based on Climalife’s advice and recommendations, the retailer opted for Solstice® N71 (R-471A), developed by Honeywell, and the positive effects were evident when the store reopened in August. The refrigeration engineer observed that the R-471A refrigerant, with its lower pressures, played a crucial role in minimising leaks, and that energy consumption was reduced.

    Additionally, the refrigerant’s physical characteristics, including its non-flammability, make it easy for any technician with standard training to service and maintain.

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    Furthermore, the shopping experience was enhanced by raising the ambient temperature in the fresh-produce area, encouraging customers to spend more time and potentially increase overall spending.

    Solstice® L40X (R-455A)

    Elsewhere, Italian retailer MD, which operates more than 800 supermarkets, has also implemented stringent sustainability measures across its stores. 

    These include the use of LED lighting, remotely controlled refrigeration systems, electricity monitoring, and photovoltaic systems. In selecting a refrigerant for its San Giovanni in Persiceto store, which opened in April, the retailer prioritised the lowest overall environmental impact and the most cost-effective option. It turned to Honeywell’s energy-efficient  Solstice® L40X (R-455A), an implementation that has proven to be highly successful, delivering both strong performance and cost efficiency. 

    An Eco-Efficiency simulation conducted by the retailer estimates that the use of Solstice® L40X will result in a lifetime cost saving of approximately €260,000 and a 25% reduction in lifetime emissions, compared to CO2 technology, for that specific store. These savings are expected to multiply significantly with each additional store roll-out.

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    Both Solstice® N71 (R-471A) and Solstice® L40X (R-455A), together with the remainder of the Honeywell Solstice® range, reflect how Honeywell is supporting food retailers with future-proof and sustainable refrigerant solutions. 

    For more information, visit hwll.co/food-retail

    This article was written in partnership with Honeywell.

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