German manufacturer Viessmann Group has introduced photovoltaic and thermal storage options for its integrated propane (R290)/CO2 (R744) HVAC&R system to offer a “total energy solution for food retail,” the company said in a statement.

Based around the manufacturer’s R290-based Tecto EC Pro heat pump, ESyCool green combines refrigeration, space cooling, heating, hot water production and energy management into one system.

With the addition of Viessmann’s solar panels and ice energy storage, store operators can further enhance their “energy independence” with the aim of making themselves as self-sufficient as possible, the company added. This includes grid-connectivity, which allows stores to sell generated electricity back to the grid. Alternatively, they can store excess energy in their thermal storage facilities for future use.

Viessmann presented the updated version of its ESyCool green system at the EuroShop 2023 trade show, which took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, February 26 to March 2.

According to Johnny Michaelsen, Technical Manager at Viessmann, as a complete system, there is nothing like ESyCool green currently available on the market.

Modular system

The modular system can be scaled up to meet the needs of different store sizes, explained Viessmann, adding that different options can be added to ESyCool to minimize the store’s energy use.

“Customers can choose between different variations depending on their requirements, space options and geographical locations,” it added.

At the heart of the system is Viessmann’s R290-based, hermetic Tecto EC Pro heat pump module, which can provide 24kW (6.8TR) cooling capacity and up to 34kW (9.7TR) heating capacity at an ambient temperature of 25°C (77°F). Each unit contains 2.4kg (5.3lb) of propane, and, according to the manufacturer, it requires 90% less refrigerant charge than traditional systems.

The heat pump is installed outside of the building and connects to a brine circuit that serves the store’s medium-temperature refrigerated cabinets and cold rooms. The brine circuit also connects to a subcritical CO2 unit that serves the store’s low-temperature requirements.

Waste heat is recovered from the CO2 system and used for space heating via the store’s ceiling cassettes or under-floor heating, as well as hot water production. The system’s heat pump can also produce additional heating when needed during times of high demand.

Space cooling can be provided via an additional heat pump module, said Viessmann.

European demand

Due to the current energy crisis in Europe and strengthening climate targets, interest in ESyCool green is high across the continent, said Michaelsen.

Viessmann installed and commissioned the ESyCool green system – including propane heat pumps, ice energy storage and photovoltaics – at one Circle K gas station in Denmark in 2022.

While performance data and energy savings are still being calculated, Michaelsen said that Circle K has purchased two more systems, and there is growing interest across the international company, particularly in Canada.

The manufacturer plans to launch ESyCool green across Europe over the coming years, he added.

20% energy savings

ESyCool green, which is suitable for new stores or retrofits, is designed to help store owners achieve greater control over their energy consumption, reducing their costs and cutting their carbon emissions. In addition to giving retailers a live and detailed view of their energy use and emissions, the system also helps them identify opportunities to reduce their impact.

“Combining HVAC&R into one integrated energy management system brings significant savings, reduces the CO2 footprint and provides care-free daily running of the store,” said Viessmann on its website. “The goal is to operate zero-emissions stores in the future and to lower the overall energy bill for operators.”

“Combining HVAC&R into one integrated energy management system brings significant savings, reduces the CO2 footprint and provides care-free daily running of the store.”

Viessmann

Compared to the “latest” integrated CO2 (R744)-based systems, ESyCool green can improve the energy efficiency of a smaller store by up to 20%, the company said.

Additional energy savings can be realized in combination with the manufacturer’s refrigerated cabinets and cold rooms, it added.

According to Michaelsen, with energy savings, Viessmann has estimated the payback period of ESyCool to be 6–7 years.