Price Chopper Supermarket Honored for Environmental Stewardship
Flowery Branch, Georgia – Back in 2008, Benny Smith, V.P. of Facilities for Price Chopper Supermarkets, in keeping with their focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship, installed the first subcritical DX CO2 system in a U.S. supermarket. In 2010, at a FMI Refrigeration Roundtable, Benny commented, “It’s hard for me to say where we’re going with it [CO2] until we get three to five years under our belt.” Today, Benny and Price Chopper have five years of history running a DX CO2 system, and the results have been excellent.
The Hillphoenix Second Nature LTX2 DX CO2 system, located at Price Chopper’s Saratoga Springs, NY store, is a cascade system with four BITZER sub-critical CO2 compressors on the low side running at a saturated suction temperature of -20F° and four standard BITZER compressors on the medium temp side running at a saturated suction temperature of +15F° with R404A. The low temperature CO2 compressors are part of the DX system. The medium temperature compressors chill glycol for the secondary loop system. The medium temperature system also provides the condensing for the low temperature system via a brazed plate heat exchanger.
Joe McKeever, Price Chopper’s Maintenance Manager, commented that he is impressed with the reliability of the system. In addition, he is pleased that the use of CO2 led to a significant reduction in the total charge of R404A refrigerant in the store.
As always with new technology, the key question is whether the system is reliable. After five years of operation, the Price Chopper system has proven to be very reliable. Some of the key features and benefits have been:
• High Reliability
No BITZER compressor failures
• Lower Refrigerant Replacement Costs
The annual cost to replace CO2 has been around $1,100. This equates to an annual savings averaging $4,000 vs. an HFC system, with far less environmental impact and no EPA requirement for record keeping.
• Excellent Temperature Control
A graph of the low temp suction temperature [not shown here] reveals a nice tight pattern indicating precise temperature control. It was also noted that the compressors cycle less often, averaging one to two starts an hour.
• Energy Efficiency
Early studies on the operation of the store revealed that because of the superior heat transfer properties of CO2, the low temperature coils from Hillphoenix are able to run 2° to 3° higher suction and still maintain precise temperature in the cases. This results in an estimated savings of 5% to 9% in annual energy usage. The increased energy efficiency results in estimated annual savings of $6,500.
• Very Low Sound Levels
The mechanical room is located very close to the sales floor, but the rack cannot be heard over the ambient noise on the sales floor even when the door is open for servicing. This is attributed not only to the low sound levels of the BITZER compressors but also the reduced number of compressors used in a CO2 DX system.
Five years ago Benny Smith pioneered the first DX CO2 system in the U.S. His efforts, combined with Price Chopper’s commitment to the environment, have proven that a DX CO2 system is an excellent long term solution for supermarkets.
According to research by shecco, nearly 100 stores were built in 2012 or are planned for 2013 utilizing CO2 DX technology and compressors designed for CO2. Price Chopper’s Saratoga Springs store is an excellent example of the reliability and efficiency of DX CO2 systems in supermarkets. It also confirms Price Chopper’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
BITZER US, Inc. is a subsidiary of the BITZER Group of 36 companies. BITZER is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of A/C and Refrigeration compressors with sales companies and production sites for reciprocating, screw, and scroll compressors as well as pressure vessels all over the globe. In 2012, 3,046 employees generated sales of 639 million euros.
BITZER US, Inc.
4080 Enterprise Way
Flowery Branch, GA 30542 USA