Self-styled as ‘Europe’s most sustainable supermarket’, Dutch retailer Albert Heijn’s brand new store in Purmerend uses natural refrigerants CO<sub>2</sub> and propane for its cooling needs.
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The rack is a CO<sub>2</sub> transcritical booster system with parallel compression (Bitzer). It is one of only a handful in Europe to use ejectors (Danfoss). An adiabatic gas and a dry-cooler on the roof complement the rack. The 6K evaporators alone deliver energy savings of 10% compared to the previous cabinets. The addition of the evaporators and design of the cabinets are the result of intensive collaboration with partners.
The rack was prepared in advance. Upon arrival on site, it simply required dropping in and connecting to the piping before it was ready to work.
The Purmerend store is 100% CO<sub>2</sub>-neutral. 50% of the energy used in the Albert Heijn XL, Etos drugstoe and Gall & Gall beverage vendor on site is provided by a combination of 700 solar panels (on the roof and sides of the building) and a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in the car park.
The CHP is fired by biogas and provides in-store heating and electricity. The store is fitted with phase-change equipment for heat storage.
Albert Heijn’s use of fully closable refrigerator doors saves 25% of electricity for cooling purposes. Smarter design of the fixed cabinets in Purmerend delivers another 10% saving on top of that.
For flexibility, Albert Heijn also uses stand-alone plug-in propane units to display certain products. Its distribution centres are cooled by a combination of ammonia and brine.
Albert Heijn chose Purmerend as the location to pilot all these ideas in February 2016. By November, it was ready to close the previous store. The new one opened just 10 days later.
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