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Spar converts to cryotech refrigeration

Alkmaar, Netherlands: Spar Netherlands is converting its diesel fleet to cryotech refrigeration units that use recycled R-744 refrigerant in an open-loop system to achieve a significant reduction in emissions and best in class performance compared to conventional diesel powered units.

The cooling technology enables Spa to reduce its carbon footprint, meet cold chain regulation requirements and stringent Piek guidelines, gain top refrigeration performance, and lower annual distribution costs by an estimated €62,000. The new solution has also reduced emissions by 400 tons annually and eliminated nitrogen oxide emissions entirely.

Thermo King recognised Spar’s commitment to energy and operational efficiency and sustainability by presenting the company with the Energy Efficiency Leader Award earlier this year.

Nico Kuipers, supply chain manager for Spar says: “We’re pleased that the Cryotech solutions help us ensure the integrity of the cold chain while reflecting Spar’s strong commitment to sustainability.”

“It’s even better that they save money while enhancing performance.”

Dwight Gibson, vice president of transport solutions for truck and trailer for Thermo King (left) presented the award to Nico Kuipers, supply chain manager of Spar

Spar, and its transport provider, Peter Appel, tested the refrigeration technology in 2009 and have since converted all 60 trailers in the fleet to the new refrigeration solution. The Spar fleet serves the company’s 677 retail locations, a distribution centrer in Alkmaar, and a distribution site in Waalwijk which opened in May 2011.

The Cryotech refrigeration units substantially exceed the demanding Piek low-noise standards and suit distribution in urban areas.

Drivers can refill the cryotech units at seven fill stations located in Apeldoorn, Zwolle, Amsterdam, Heerenveen, Waalwijk, Alkmaar and Hengelo. The R-744 fill stations offer Silenci high-speed refrigerant dispensers, which Yara International ASA developed in collaboration with Thermo King. The dispensers to fill a vehicle’s tank in less than 10 minutes.

Because driver safety is a high priority, the patented quick connection couplings used for refilling the CryoTech units incorporate a unique pull-away safety system. This stops the R-744 refrigerant flow in the event of a driver pulling away from the dispenser with the fill hoses still attached, minimising leakage of the R-744 and injury risk.

The CryoTech units use recycled R-744 in an open-loop system which provides airflow in the load space. This is essential for fresh produce. It exhausts the cryogen outside the load space, ensuring that no R-744 enters the cargo area, unlike other systems that inject liquid coolant into this space, displacing oxygen. Such systems require complex safety mechanisms and gas extraction equipment to protect operators. This inevitably delays loading and unloading while the gas is removed and the area becomes safe to enter, says Thermo King.

CryoTech units offer a variety of benefits including:

  • Zero emissions: Units use recycled liquid R-744 captured from ammonia production in a zero-emission system. In addition to transport refrigeration, R-744 can be used in multiple applications in various industries such as food processing, manufacturing, beverage carbonation and medicine.
  • Superior performance: CryoTech units feature faster temperature recovery compared to conventional diesel driven refrigeration, making them ideal for the distribution segment.
  • Low noise: CryoTech units are significantly quieter than the PIEK standard level of 60 decibels without sacrificing performance.
  • Low maintenance: Unlike diesel-driven refrigeration units, which contain numerous high-maintenance parts like diesel engines, compressors and belts, CryoTech units reduce customer’s maintenance needs due to the lower number of moving components.