Festival Foods Gets Eco-conscious With Refrigeration

Festival Foods has built the first chain-supermarket store with refrigeration equipment designed to run Solstice N40 (R-448A), a new refrigerant from Morris Plains, N.J.-based Honeywell International Inc. that reduces global warming potential (GWP).

A hydrofluoro-olefin-blend refrigerant for such low- and medium-temperature refrigeration equipment as supermarket refrigerated and freezer display cases, Solstice N40, which has a GWP 68 percent lower than R-404A, reduces the store’s environmental impact by 3 percent or more while increasing energy efficiency and lowering its cost. Following the Somers, Wis., store’s opening, Festival Foods plans to design all of its new stores to use Solstice N40.

To develop the equipment using the refrigerant, Festival Foods worked with Zero Zone Inc., a refrigeration system manufacturer based in North Prairie, Wis. Following the opening of the Somers, Wis., store, the grocer will continue working with the manufacturer to design all new stores to use Solstice N40.

In supermarket trials conducted in the United States and Europe, Solstice N40 has demonstrated 3 percent lower energy consumption in low-temperature applications, and 5 to 16 percent lower energy consumption in medium-temperature applications, compared to R404A. It is a near drop-in replacement for R404A and R-507, and can be used to replace R-22, helping users comply with new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency aimed at phasing out commonly used high-GWP refrigerants for supermarket refrigeration. By July 20, 2016, R-404A and R-507 will be unacceptable in retrofit systems under the EPA rule, and by January 1, 2017, for new supermarkets.

Solstice N40 has a GWP of 1273. It is non-ozone-depleting and nonflammable, and is approved for use by major compressor manufacturers. Solstice N40 is listed under the U.S. EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program and is UL-listed.

Based in De Pere, Wis., Festival Foods operates 24 stores across Wisconsin.