Whole Foods Selects R-448A for Retrofitting in U.S. Stores – Alpyne Strategy

Whole Foods Selects R-448A for Retrofitting in U.S. Stores

Whole Foods Market has invested in Honeywell’s Solstice N40 (R-448A) refrigerant in an effort to help reduce the impact of refrigerant emissions at its U.S. stores and make strides with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill program. 

Since 2007, Whole Foods Market has been a member of the EPA’s GreenChill program, which focuses on working with the food retail industry to reduce refrigerant emissions in order to protect Earth’s fragile ozone layer from degradation. One of the ways the GreenChill program does this is by helping food retailers switch to environmentally friendly refrigerants, like Solstice N40.

Solstice N40, a next-generation refrigerant, is a low global-warming-potential (GWP), energy efficient, and non-flammable refrigerant replacement option for high-GWP refrigerants, such as R-404A and R-22. Because of this, Whole Foods is beginning to retrofit R-448A to their commercial refrigeration applications in more than 100 of its U.S. stores.

Based on hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) technology, Solstice N40 has a 68% lower GWP than legacy hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants like R-404A. In comparison to R-404A, Solstice N40 reduces energy costs as it has been shown in U.S. and European supermarket trials to reduce about 5% to 15% of energy consumption in refrigeration systems.

Being the world’s leading natural and organic foods retailer, Whole Foods Market is not only setting a precedent for encouraging good health and wellness in people’s lives, but they are also setting an example for how food chains can be leaders in environmental stewardship with proper refrigerant management.

It will be interesting to see how other supermarkets follow suit and what refrigerant they choose as they transition away from high-GWP HFC refrigerants, like R-404A. Now, with the recent passage of the AIM Act, we will see this unfold much sooner, rather than later. 

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