Enrad, a Swedish manufacturer of propane (R290)-based liquid chillers and heat pumps, has announced it has received its largest ever order from the Finnish market via its local partner, wholesaler CoolFors Finland.
According to a statement from the manufacturer, written in Swedish and translated to English, the order is worth SEK 1.2 million ($113,022/€105,297) and consists of heat pumps for “several projects” for K Group, Finland’s second-largest supermarket chain by annual sales turnover.
“It feels very good to start 2024 with a large order from the Finnish market,” commented Andreas Bäckäng, Enrad’s CEO, in the statement announcing the order.
The heat pumps will be delivered to CoolFors Finland during the first quarter of 2024, with the first units scheduled to be installed later in the spring, according to CoolFors.
While Enrad has been working with CoolFors many years, the company said it is noticing a growing interest in natural refrigerants following recent developments in European policy.
“We have been working with CoolFors since 2020, but it is only now, when the f-gas regulation is being updated, and the PFAS ban is being investigated, that we are really noticing a lot of interest in switching to natural refrigerants and more specifically propane,” explained Bäckäng.
“Even those who have widespread environmental work, like K Group, have increased their involvement in natural refrigerants,” he added. “The others who are lagging behind in the development are now contacting us to quickly adjust. We are very happy that the K Group continues to be one of the companies that help lead the development.”
“We have been working with CoolFors since 2020, but it is only now, when the f-gas regulation is being updated, and the PFAS ban is being investigated, that we are really noticing a lot of interest in switching to natural refrigerants and more specifically propane.”Andreas Bäckäng, Enrad
Eco-friendly heat pumps
With a belief that natural refrigerants will be the only option in the future, Enrad has been working exclusively with propane since 2008.
The company says it is committed to manufacturing heat pumps and chillers that are eco-friendly, easy to install, energy efficient and safe.
Enrad offers modular heat pump and cooling units are available in four sizes up to 120kW (34.1TR) in heating output and up to 91kW (25.9TR) in cooling output. The units can provide temperatures from −8 to 60°C (17.6 to 140°F) and be combined to create larger systems of up to 12 units, with a maximum heating capacity of 1.4MW (398TR).
Enrad’s Compact Chiller can be used as a heat pump as well as a liquid cooler unit, offering temperatures from −8°C to 60°C. It has a cooling capacity from 25 to 60kW (7.1 to 17.1TR) and comes in three different sizes.
With a commitment to being net-zero across its entire value chain by 2050, K Group is working to reduce energy consumption in more than 1,300 of its stores as well as several of its offices and storage facilities.
K Group’s “energy renovations,” which are typically conducted during store refurbishment, include updating refrigeration systems and adopting “innovative solutions” such as heat recovery and reuse.
For example, the chain’s K-Citymarket Turtola in Tampere, Finland, was renovated in the summer of 2022. The project included installing a new energy-efficient CO2 (R744)-based refrigeration system with heat recovery.
“Recycling the waste heat from refrigeration units is estimated to reduce the K-Citymarket’s annual consumption of district heating by about 40%,” said K Group.
“We are very happy that K Group [is] one of the companies [leading] the development,” said Bäckäng.
With the new order for K Group, Enrad now serves three of Finland’s largest supermarket chains, having already established relationships with Finnish discounter Tokmanni and S-Group.