Romanian distribution centre opts for transcritical

By Charlotte McLaughlin, Dec 13, 2017, 12:25 2 minute reading

Marathon Distribution, a food logistics company, recently installed a CO2 transcritical system at its Ilfov facility near Bucharest.

Thermofin gas cooler used in the installation in Romania. 

Photo credit: Frigotehnica

Romania-based Marathon Distribution, a food logistics company, recently installed a CO2 transcritical system at its Ilfov facility near Bucharest. 

The installation was carried out by Frigotehnica and is the first CO2 transcritical industrial project the installer has carried out in Romania.

“This project is the first logistics centre for us with R744 and the first industrial logistics centre ever in Romania with CO2,” Razvan Voicu, operations manager at Frigotehnica, told R744.com.

This project is the first logistics centre for us with R744 and the first industrial logistics centre ever in Romania with CO2.
– Razvan Voicu, Frigotehnica

A smaller Romanian logistics centre using CO2 opened two years ago, used by Selgros, a cash and carry retailer that is part of the Transgourmet Group.

The system is designed to cope with the high ambient temperatures that Romania experiences during the summer months (up to 38oC), according to Voicu.

Its employs three energy saving devices to make sure the system operates efficiently all year round:

  • Parallel compression
  • R744 gas subcooling with ethylene glycol (from a R290 chiller)
  • R744 low-temperature desuperheater with water

The R744 transcritical rack, from Advansor, also employs heat recovery and uses a Danfoss control and monitoring system to further optimise the system.

Unique to this installation is a Euroklimat propane-based chiller, working in tandem with the R744 system to circulate ethylene glycol, which provides space heating and winter de-icing for 11 ramps in the truck loading area and protects the cold-room floors from freezing.

The propane helps improve the systems efficiency as well, acording to Voicu.

Frigotehnica’s Voicu thinks the use of CO2 technology for larger installations will increase. “In my opinion in this moment R744 is a very good alternative and option for logistics centres. There are now available different solutions involving R744 (e.g. transcritical, pumped, cascade R744/R717), depending on the specific requirements of every project,” he said.

The end user, Marathon Distribution, chose the system for its price and expected performance.

According to Voicu, the price was approximately 18% lower than that of an industrial-compressor ammonia system with an evaporative condenser. The heat recovery could also be used for “multiple purposes (space heating, floor protection against freezing in cold rooms, de-icing truck loading area”.

Another reason was the impact of the EU F-Gas Regulation, which is phasing down HFCs and putting pressure on end users to choose a long-term solution.

“[We] explained the risks regarding F-Gas compliance, energy efficiency, heat recovery possibility, long-term reliability, service and maintenance, and he finally considered R744 technology as his best option for the long term,” he said.

By Charlotte McLaughlin

Dec 13, 2017, 12:25




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