INSTALLATION ENGINEER THERMIAFRED DEVELOPS AN OVERALL STRATEGY TO REDUCE THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF VERITAS, A CHAIN OF 57 ECO-FRIENDLY SUPERMARKETS ACROSS 29 TOWNS IN SPAIN AND ANDORRA.
The relationship between Thermiafred, Veritas and Climalife is a genuine example of trust, not only in terms of the companies’ long-standing partnership, but also their capabilities, mutual understanding, responses and goals.
Installation engineering company Thermiafred, through its founder and director Carles Albert, has been in the business for 25 years and has worked in close collaboration with Climalife Friogas since the beginning.
Albert explains : «Our business was created to bring innovative solutions to refrigeration applications for industrial or food-based processes. In order to offer a comprehensive service, we have developed various systems based on new energy-saving technologies.»
Veritas, a chain of eco-friendly supermarkets founded by four Catalan families 15 years ago, with 57 stores across 29 towns in Spain and Andorra, has placed its trust in Thermiafred to help strengthen its environmental commitment and take innovative action by incorporating energy efficiency into its approach to refrigeration.
« We’re in the process of designing what we call the store of the future », explains Anna Badía, sustainable development manager at Veritas. «But to do this, we need to ensure that our commitment to sustainable development applies to all of our actions, from the screws we have manufactured to the light bulbs we use».
Motivated by a common goal to find the best solutions to guarantee a future for the generations of today and tomorrow, the three companies are working together instinctively to design an overall strategy to reduce the carbon footprint in the field of refrigeration: a strategy incorporating three lines of action.
New stores and renovation
Four supermarkets are already operating with R-450A (Solstice® N13) and the equipment installed in new stores will also use this refrigerant. Units still operating with R134a will gradually see this replaced by R450A reducing the GWP by more than half. In addition to this, R448A will be used as a replacement when equipment currently filled with R404A is renovated, reducing the carbon footprint by 60%.
«We opted for R450A because, in comparison with R134a, the GWP is reduced by more than half, minimising the impact on the environment due to the lower carbon dioxide tonne equivalent emissions», says Albert.
Above all, « This confirms the environmental conscience that defines Veritas, which has been using biodegradable bags instead of plastic ones for over ten years now», Thermiafred’s director points out.
This commitment is the real starting point for the partnership between Thermiafred, Veritas and Climalife: : «We followed Climalife’s recommendations and believe that Solstice® N13 is the best refrigerant to use», says Albert. «It is currently the cheapest fluid on the market, but Veritas has already been using it for several years, regardless of its price. Although changing the refrigerant increases costs, the return on investment is almost immediate because the systems will offer a better performance and will be more energy-efficient».
Preserving the cold chain
The pedestrianised town centre of Lérida was one of the first sites to benefit from R450A in September 2017. This was followed by the town centre of Pamplona and the L’Illa Diagonal shopping centre in Barcelona.
Carles Albert takes great care to study and plan for new equipment using R450A as well as reconversion projects. Thanks to his many years of experience, the installation engineer guarantees that “new equipment will take one to two days to fill and put into service. Renovations will take less than three hours. So the cold chain will not be affected.
Projects have to be tailor-made due to the different sizes of Veritas’ stores and their diverse locations. As a result, Thermiafred takes great care to examine each situation on a case-by-case basis However, the company is able to provide a general schedule based on the equipment normally installed in Veritas’ supermarkets :
- Refrigeration unit: compressors, frequency converter, high-pressure oil separator-accumulator tank.
- Fluid tank with optoelectronic level sensor.
- Air-cooled condenser with axial or centrifugal ventilation and frequency converter.
-Cooling capacity oscillating between 13.5 and 19.5 kW.
- Mean fluid load approaching 40 kg.
Facilities at Veritas’ logistics centre at Lliçà d'Amunt, Barcelona.
Waste recovery and management
Veritas and Thermiafred are also in agreement when it comes to refrigerant recovery:: «We use a recovery machine to remove the fluid from the equipment and then place it in special recovery cylinders supplied by our waste manager. After that, we dispose of it by obtaining the appropriate legal certificate, or sometimes we reuse it when we’re repairing or replacing certain system components. The quantity varies depending on the size of the installation, but we can estimate that it will be around 50 kg per unit».
|New equipment using R-450A||Large||Small|
|Cooling capacity||148.5 kW||15.5 kW|
|Condensing capacity||211.5 kW||23 kW|
|Compressors||3 Bitzer 6FE_ 44Y||2 Bitzer 4DES-5Y|
|Quantity of refrigerant||200 kg||37 kg|
|Type and quantity of oil||20 Litres BSE-32||4 Litres BSE-32|
|Evaporation/condensation pressure||0072/9.62 bar||0.83/9.62 bar|
|Mass flow||3,273 kg/h||435 kg/h|
|Energy consumption||51 kW||6.9 kW|
"Having observed and applied the usage procedures for the new refrigerant, both the installation engineer and the customer are happy with the results and with the energy efficiency achieved". Carles Albert, Director of Thermiafred.
"Thermiafred and Veritas placed their bets on reducing their carbon footprint right at the start, by choosing a refrigerant with a lower GWP even when it was only a matter of principle and conscience. They didn't wait until their chosen product became one
of the cheapest on the market with a low tax, as it is now." Jesús Gutiérrez,Sales Manager at Climalife Friogas.
"We promote health in all areas and in all of its forms. We have even developed our own programme in conjunction with recycling centres and associations to promote the use of out-of-date products." Vanesa Solana, Manager of Veritas Dr Fleming de Lleida.