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Whole Foods to Use Transcritical Refrigeration System

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market here plans to open a store in Brooklyn, N.Y., in November that will be one of the first in the U.S. to deploy an environmentally friendly transcritical refrigeration system that uses only carbon dioxide as its refrigerant, according to Tristam Coffin, energy and maintenance project manager for Whole Foods’ Northern California region.

Coffin referred to the store last week in a webinar hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill program that addressed the Green Globes building certification program.

The transcritical system to be used by Whole Foods is the Advansor system made by Hill Phoenix, Conyers, Ga., said Keilly Witman, manager of the GreenChill program. She noted that “at least two other” supermarkets will have transcritical systems before the Whole Foods Brooklyn store, one using a system from Carnot Refrigeration, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, and the other using a Hill Phoenix system.

By incorporating only carbon dioxide as their refrigerant, transcritical refrigeration systems dramatically reduce the global warming impact of refrigerant leaks, compared to leaks from conventional systems that use synthetic refrigerants. In North America, Sobeys, Stellarton, Nova Scotia, has installed numerous transcritical systems in its Quebec stores, taking advantage of the better performance of the systems in colder climates. Transcritical systems are also implemented in European supermarkets.

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