A French healthcare logistics provider has chosen five HERA 160 propane (R290) heat pumps for a new warehouse in Weert, the Netherlands, according to Euroklimat, the manufacturer of the heat pumps.

The provider, which has not been named, offers services like cold storage and transport for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in a number of European countries.  

For the Weert warehouse, which has space for 2,800 pallets of cold storage and 600 pallets of frozen storage, the company needed a solution to provide both space heating and cooling for the warehouse and offices. The HERA 160 R290 heat pumps have a combined heating capacity of 500kW (142.2TR) at -10°C (14°F) ambient with hot water at 45°C (113°F) and 700kW (199TR) cooling capacity at 35°C (95°F) ambient with chilled water at 7°C (44.6°F). This capacity is enough to “keep the medical and pharmaceutical equipment in the warehouse at a stable temperature of about 20°C [68°F],” explained Roberto Leucci, Area Export Manager for Euroklimat. 

The HERA 160 is designed as a heat pump. However, being reversible, it can also provide cooling in summer, Leucci explained. “But the main purpose is heating,” he stressed.

All-natural and sustainable facility

The cold rooms at the warehouse are cooled by a CO2 (R744) refrigeration system, for an all-natural refrigerant facility. To increase the sustainability of the facility, the logistics provider has also chosen to install photovoltaic panels on the roof to produce a good part of the energy needed to run the heat pumps and the rest of the facility. “A 100% sustainable solution,” Leucci called it.

The installation of the reversible R290 heat pumps from Euroklimat was completed in November last year, and the warehouse opened in February. “The system has been running in heating mode so far,” Leucci said. “Now they have also started to cool down the offices a little bit since the weather is milder and it may happen that they need heating in the early morning and then some cooling over the day.”

The customer has been very satisfied with the reversible R290 heat-pump system in the Weert warehouse so far, according to Leucci, and has placed an order for a similar system with six HERA 160 R290 heat pumps for its main logistics center in Oss, the Netherlands.

On why Euroklimat’s customer chose R290 for the space heating and cooling, Leucci said “it is more flexible and less expensive than CO2 and ammonia/NH3 (R717), which are very good for low temperature.”

“There is also a low-temperature warehouse, and they made it with CO2. Sustainability is their target, so they do not accept other solutions than natural refrigerants,” Leucci concluded.

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