indoor sight of a supermarketClick to enlarge
Supermarkets should cool climate friendly, energy-efficient and without fluorocarbon.
Source: Bernard Bailly /

Commercial refrigeration units are used to keep food fresh and keep frozen products frozen, primarily in the grocery industry as well as in bars, restaurants, florists and other businesses. Some 30,000 refrigeration units were installed in German food stores in 2006, most of them direct heat exchanger units that use HFC 134a or 404A refrigerant.

However, alternatives to these HFC refrigerants are readily available for commercial refrigeration units. These alternatives involve the use of halogen free substances such as hydrocarbon or CO2 as refrigerants. Such solutions have been implemented in a number of European countries and are consistent with the state of the art.

As energy costs rise, so does the willingness on the part of the supermarket industry to address the issue of energy efficiency, by virtue of the fact that numerous cost and energy saving solutions are realizable from both a technical and economic standpoint. It is now customary for newly built supermarkets to be regarded as a single energy system that uses the heat generated by refrigeration as an energy source for heating and hot water. As for supermarket renovation projects, customized concepts are in demand that meet each store’s specific requirements. As numerous projects have shown, supermarket energy modernization can reduce energy costs by up to nearly 50 percent relative to supermarkets that use conventional solutions.

Newly installed stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, operating with halogen-free refrigerants, can be funded under the Kälte-Klima-Richtlinie issued by the Federal Ministry for the Environment.

The Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte programme

The series of events known as Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte (supermarket refrigeration conferences) enables operators and installation and component manufacturers to exchange information with policymakers and members of the building trades. This programme aims to pave the way for widespread use of more energy efficient and climate friendly supermarket refrigeration solutions based on natural refrigerants.

The 2012 Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte

The theme of the 2012 Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte (supermarket refrigeration conference) was the safe use of natural hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide refrigerants. The conference presenters and the nearly 60 attendees discussed regulations concerning the manufacture and operation of refrigeration solutions that use natural refrigerants. Many such solutions are already available that have proven to be perfectly safe. It was pointed out at the conference that there is room for improvement in the training and component domains, and that the use of combustible refrigerants is feasible. But in order to achieve this, operators, installers and maintenance technicians need to be provided with complete information.

The afternoon session was devoted to the comparative economic efficiency and Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI) of various refrigeration solutions with and without heat recovery systems. This involves a computed value that allows for comparisons of the greenhouse gas emissions attributable to various refrigeration processes.

The results presented at the conference demonstrated the clear economic and TEWI advantages of integrated concepts (system solutions for heating supplies as a whole) relative to separate systems for heating, cooling and the like. Transcritical CO2 systems are even more advantageous from an energy standpoint, relative to R134a/CO2 cascade systems.

The 2011 Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte

The fact that nearly 60 persons attended the 2011 Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte (supermarket refrigeration conference) is indicative of the importance of the conference’s “eco-friendly supermarkets” theme. In the future, Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte conferences will be held in years when Euroshop is being held and as a joint event with the industry association known as VDMA.

The 2009 Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte

Paving the way for widespread use of more energy efficient and climate friendly supermarket refrigeration solutions based on natural refrigerants.

The 2008 Runder Tisch Supermarktkälte (supermarket refrigeration conference)

See below for information about this event.

Klimafreundliche Kälteanlagen für den Supermarkt (Climate friendly refrigeration solutions for supermarkets)

On 5 September 2008, the closing event titled Klimafreundliche Kälteanlagen für den Supermarkt (Climate friendly refrigeration solutions for supermarkets) was held at the UBA’s Dessau branch. The event featured, among other things, a presentation concerning the findings of the report titled Vergleichende Bewertung der Klimarelevanz von Kälteanlagen und –geräten für den Supermarkt (Comparative evaluation of the climate impact of supermarket refrigeration systems). The study provides a comprehensive overview of refrigeration solutions available in Germany and elsewhere in Europe that use natural, halogen free refrigerants.

The report compares their performance and economic efficiency to that of conventional solutions that use synthetic halogen-containing refrigerants and provides an overview of supermarket refrigeration unit emissions. The Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI) analyses that were conducted show that solutions based on natural, halogen-free refrigerants have the smallest carbon footprint.

The Co2ol Food – klimafreundlich Kühlen im Supermarkt international conference on climate friendly supermarket refrigeration

On the occasion of Germany’s EU presidency and at the invitation of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the UBA, on 23 May 2007 an international conference titled Co2ol Food – klimafreundlich Kühlen im Supermarkt was held in Berlin.

Documentation of the events

Programmes, presentations, results (in German)

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 fluorocarbon  supermarket  HFCs  fluorinated greenhouse gases  F-gases  refrigerant  refrigeration