The Galician company GIPAT opted for Climalife’s A2L Solstice® L40X as the best solution to meet the requirements of the Grupo Olano logistics platform. The non-toxic and slightly flammable fluid R-455A was the long-term eco-efficient solution for the new seafood food distribution center in the Iberian Peninsula of the Spanish-French company.
On the road towards the new Groupe Olano logistics complex in Madrid, a sign appears with the legend “Pinto, geographic center of the peninsula”. This was the strategic place chosen by the company as its base of operations more than 20 years ago and it has built its new platform here.
Groupe Olano had been considering expanding its Madrid headquarters for several years and finally in May 2020 the French technical management requested a complete refrigeration project from GIPAT, a Galician company with which it had already collaborated on several occasions. “The new plant is the hub of all the operations of the Olano network. We needed a new, larger platform to serve the rest of the 20 that exist on the Peninsula. In addition, we estimate a growth for 2021 that will reach 44 tons of passage, “says José Godino, head of Groupe Olano in Madrid.
The project contemplated providing a 24-hour service, 365 days a year, with up to 4 daily productivity peaks in addition to the seasonal ones, to more than 14,000 m3 of refrigerated spaces. The new plant includes two cold rooms of 3,750 and 2,000 m3 to preserve and store food, but most of the area is a work area for loading and unloading of the 90 trucks on average that pass through its 25 loading docks daily. . “Some come and go, but others take 3 hours, and there are foods that require spending time in our facilities at controlled temperatures,” explains Godino.
Alejandro Arias, engineer and manager of GIPAT, presented his calculations to meet Olano’s 5 basic requirements:
- Cool various spaces at temperatures between 0 and 6 °C.
- With a moderate investment cost.
- Good performance.
- With hot gas defrosts.
- And using a gas with low environmental impact.
To better satisfy the client’s requirements, the installer consulted Tomás Méndez, general director of Anfrigal, a distribution company and now also a manufacturer of refrigeration equipment.
Solstice® L40X stands out by far
Working closely with Climalife, Anfrigal proposed, after studying its characteristics, the innovative refrigerant A2L Solstice® L40X (R-455A) for various and varied reasons:
- Its high performance.
- To be an ecological and long-term solution due to its GWP of 146.
- Its low environmental impact, which exempts it from paying the Spanish tax, the IGFEI.
- Because given the classification of the premises and the type of location of the system, there is no load restriction according to IF-04.
- And, furthermore, because R-455A is an alternative to ammonia, used in other Olano plants and a specialty of GIPAT.
«Frozen facilities often use ammonia, but for this fresh platform it was not necessary. The performance of R-455A is just as effective and even better. In addition to the fact that a toxic gas leak in this area could have tremendous consequences,” explains Alejandro Arias.
The technical management of the Olano Group immediately accepted the installer’s proposal with the Solstice L40X: “Olano has a huge business structure, but it is a dynamic organization and very willing to implement new areas of improvement,” says the installer..
The refrigeration system was launched in just a couple of months. “We perfectly met the deadlines. In addition to the refrigerant, I bought almost all of the machinery from Anfrigal, and while in Galicia they were prefabricating the plant, in Madrid they made progress with the circuitry without any problem because it was A2L”, details the head of GIPAT.
Regarding the safety measures required by the RSIF for slightly flammable gases, GIPAT, used to working with ammonia, classified B for its toxicity and therefore subject to much more restrictive measures, has not encountered any difficulties either.
Even initial hurdles at the time were brilliantly overcome, such as finding A2L-approved components or configuring the computer parameters to adjust the slip of R-455A: “The evaporative condenser software did not yet pick up this gas, but I asked the brand for the factor correction and settings are very similar to those of R-407C. In any case, we are expanding in counterflow evaporators and there is no humid return”, specifies Arias.
«Solstice® L40X has proven to be unbeatable in terms of efficiency and low installation and maintenance costs. I will recommend it for systems of a certain volume, even for freezing, because it is more than enough. Not everyone can afford an indirect ammonia system. An interesting door opens with R-455A”, comments Alejandro Arias, director of GIPAT.
R-455A, the new star in refrigeration equipment
The Galician distribution and manufacturer company Anfrigal offers a whole range of condensing units and groups, as well as hermetic or semi-hermetic central refrigeration units.
The components are imported, assembled and approved at its headquarters in Vigo, which allows the manufacturer to customize its offer according to the specific needs of its customers.
With three decades of experience in the distribution of refrigerated material, Tomás Méndez, general director of Anfrigal, has opted for R-455A as the reference refrigerant to expand his business to the manufacture of equipment: “It complies with all current regulations and it is so easy to drive like an A1. An A2L installation represents savings of up to 70% compared to R-744».
Solstice® L40X represents a breakthrough for this manufacturer, which increasingly serves more customers interested in implementing new, more sustainable and energy-efficient fluids.
Anfrigal has already equipped more than 15 systems with this refrigerant, including freezers, storage rooms, ice makers, small food stores and supermarkets. R-455A is perfect for both high and low temperatures.
«The potential of this A2L is enormous and it is already being seen. I think that in two or three years 70% of the refrigeration market will work with gases like R-455A. I am sure that when installers see the ease of use and reliability of a slightly flammable gas, they will go for it. It is exempt from the Spanish tax (IGFEI) and is much easier to handle than CO2”, says Méndez.
- 4 direct expansion compressors on rooftop with a single circuit.
- Refrigeration: 14,100 m3 of docks and two cold rooms of 3,750 and 2,000 m3.
- R-455A load: 800 kg.
- 4 Bitzer 6FE-44y semi-hermetic piston compressors.
- Refrigeration capacity: platform 288 KW / cold rooms 90 kW and 77.80 kW.
- Evaporation temperature: -5 °C.
- Condensing temperature: 30 °C.
- Adiabatic condensers: Evapco ATC-M278E / 11 evaporators in total.
- Other equipment: Sportlan suction valves, Danfoss expansion valves.