Sprouts Farmers Market and Hill Phoenix Collaborate on GreenChill Refrigeration System

Phoenix, Ariz.-based Sprouts Farmers Market and Hill Phoenix, a designer and manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment, will host a community open house at Sprouts' first GreenChill Platinum Award-winning store on May 17 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The Westlake Village store is only the third grocery store in the nation to receive the EPA's highest GreenChill Award.

GreenChill is an EPA partnership with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change.

"Hill Phoenix's project with fellow GreenChill partner Sprouts is a perfect example of what companies can do when they take the 'GreenChill spirit' and push the boundaries of the achievable," said Keilly Witman, manager of EPA's GreenChill Partnership. "This store represents many firsts: the first CO2 cascade system to achieve platinum, the first platinum store west of the Mississippi, and the first time a store was designed from the ground up to achieve GreenChill standards."

In collaboration with Sprouts' construction and facilities engineering team, Hill Phoenix designed and manufactured a new solution featuring a full CO2 cascade system for both low temperature and medium temperature applications -- the Second Nature MT2LX.

"We challenged Hill Phoenix to come up with a design that would reduce our use of refrigerants by an amount that would allow us to meet GreenChill Platinum standards," said Jerry Stutler, VP, construction and facility engineering for Sprouts Farmers Market.

The Second Nature MT2LX system is one of the most environmentally responsible refrigeration systems available in the industry today and represents the next step in CO2 refrigeration technology, Hill Phoenix said. CO2 is used as a secondary coolant for the medium-temperature system and as a direct expansion cascade refrigerant for the low-temperature system.

The advantages of a CO2-based cascade system, according to Hill Phoenix, include:

-- CO2 is considered a natural refrigerant with very low global warming potential (GWP=1).

-- CO2 is an inexpensive, widely available refrigerant compared with HFC.

-- A more than 70 percent reduction in HFC refrigerant charge can be achieved. The entire primary refrigerant charge is confined to the machine room and condenser to enable simple leak detection and servicing.

-- The lines required for CO2 transport are typically one to two sizes smaller than traditional DX piping systems, reducing the weight of installed copper lines by 50 percent of more and reducing installation costs.

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