New Intermarché in Marseille opts for R-448A / CO2 cascade system

A safe, long-lasting and environmental solution, to deal with the complexity of this local store.


Situated in Marseille's 5th borough; a densely populated area, the new city-centre store aims to offer a large sales area of 900 sq. m where as many products can be found there as in an Intermarché brand hypermarket. It has been created on the ground floor of a new property site with fifty apartments on seven floors. This project, initiated by Intermarché, took on Laurent Dubuc and his partner Stéphanie Maurin as managers on 1st March 2016.

Carefully selected criteria to satisfy customers and preserve the environment

The store owners wanted to provide real comfort for their customers: they made the choice to have wide aisles to provide a sense of ease of movement, to install closed backlit Carrier cabinets and to install LED lighting over the entire area of the store, so as to reduce electricity consumption and create a pleasant environment for consumers.
For the cold installation, their requirement, above all, was to call upon competent professionals and achieve a reliable and durable technical solution that provided a good return on investment. Before the project started, they contacted the fluids design consultancy run by Maxime Maisonnave and selected FCS 84 to do the installation work. "There was a real synergy between these two companies, on the one hand their technical skills and the solutions put forward and on the other hand their willingness to help us and listen to our requirements," says Laurent Dubuc.

The R-448A / CO2 cascade system meets requirements

The project was complex, given the layout of the building. You have to remember that the machine room is on the first floor and that the condensers had to be installed on the seventh floor roof and still comply with the developer's noise and visual restrictions. 110 metres of pipework had to be installed. An acoustic study was then conducted by the Masonnave design consultancy before work could begin and be subsequently approved by the Buildings Inspectorate to certify that the installations would not cause any nuisance to future tenants / owners of the building. A transcritical CO2 system was selected, given the lack of access to the pipework between each floor and the high pressure applied to the fluid. The choice was based on a cascade installation with the new Solstice® N40 fluid for the MT cooling. The R-134a and R-450A fluids were eliminated, given the significant cost associated with the size of the pipework and the purchase of the central unit. The clever use of the two fluids R-448A / CO2 and their low environmental impact allowed the installer and design consultancy to go for a long-lasting solution.

The Solstice® N40 (R-448A) solution: a fluid of the future

"N40 was a choice made jointly with FCS 84 after we both studied the information on this new product, provided by Josiane Marin, Climalife's Key Accounts Manager. We selected this fluid for its thermodynamic properties which are the closest to R-404A from a density and discharge temperature point of view and since it is approved by manufacturers," Maxime Maisonnave reminded us.
"N40 is a fluid with a low GWP, no regulatory constraints and easy to use, plus we have real feedback from experience," emphasised Alain Griotto, FCS 84 Manager.


A cooling installation produced using custom equipment

The cooling installation supplies a LT cold room for the storage of frozen foods, five MT cold rooms for fruit and vegetables, waste, the drive-through (storage of customer orders) and all the store's refrigerated cabinets. To meet the constraints imposed, choosing the right cooling equipment was essential. The two central units are made by HK Refrigeration and are located in the technical room on the first floor. They are fitted with a Siemens electrical trip controlled by Carel PLCs. The main LT unit was delivered in kit form and assembled on site, due to its size. The semi-hermetically sealed compressors are Bitzer branded to limit vibration as much as possible. In addition, anti-vibration mounts are fitted on the Luve Contardo helical condensers chosen for their low noise and small size. Special smoke extraction ducts have been installed. Four mini Daikin VRV units with R-410A control the air conditioning on the sales floor and in the offices, once again necessary because of the limited space on the roof. The installation was commissioned on 25th October 2016 after two months of site work, monitored closely by Nicolas Pique, FCS84's Contracts Coordinator. Supervision from a PC allows the installation's operation to be monitored and controlled remotely. The Intermarché store opened its doors on 1st November 2016 as planned, thanks to the efficient cooperation between all parties involved on site and regular monitoring by Atelier AB at an architectural level.

The budget for the entire refrigeration and air conditioning installation, including refrigerated cabinets, was around €400,000.

Description of the installation



Electrical consumption lower than previous estimates
"Above all, a good cooling installation is a sign of a top quality job. If you allow the technician time to do his work properly, i.e. to adjust for superheat, check that the evaporator is correctly filled, in particular, then there's nothing to worry about." And correct settings mean that you save on electricity consumption,"
says Alain Griotto.
"I am extremely satisfied with the choice of fluids, since we're using a technology of the future which won't need changing for the next few years and which will contribute to a significant reduction in electricity consumption, in addition to LED lighting all across the store. After we were open for a month, our bill was €2600, well below our forecast. If we compare ourselves to a store of a similar size in Marseille, we're saving more than 50%!" enthused Laurent Dubuc, owner of the Intermarché.






From left to right: Alain Griotto, Manager of FCS 84, Laurent Dubuc and Stéphanie Maurin, Owners of the Intermarché, Nicolas Pique, Contracts Coordinator FCS 84, Maxime Maisonnave, Manager Ingénierie Maisonnave, Josiane Marin, Key Accounts Manager, Climalife.