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Using CO2 for Cold Distribution at a Loblaw Supermarket

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Authors: Chantal Leroy and Daniel Giguère, Natural Resources Canada
              Michael Ross, RER

CETC number: 2014-198

Publication date: 2014-10-27


For a number of years, Loblaws Inc. has been investing in innovative refrigeration technologies. In 2008, the multinational company opened in Scarborough (ON) the first Canadian supermarket to use carbon dioxide (CO2) as a heat transfer fluid for frozen food display cases. Since the opening of the store, a set of operating data has been recorded and analyzed. The analysis results confirmed that the CO2 secondary loop refrigeration system installed at the Scarborough supermarket was a favourable alternative to conventional, direct-expansion (DX) systems found in most Canadian supermarkets.

The Scarborough supermarket greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are 2,700 t CO2 eq. lower than those of a conventional Canadian supermarket of the same size. This is attributable to the use of secondary loop refrigeration systems and to the implementation of several energy efficiency measures related to the design and operation of the refrigeration unit. Among others, the energy efficiency measures included: mechanical subcooling, floating head pressure, heat recovery and integration with the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system.

For more information about Natural Resources Canada’s activities related to refrigeration systems, visit the Refrigeration section of the website.

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