Riverford's Green Credentials

The UK’S first A2L system-match cold room 

brief:Low GWP & energy-efficient refrigeration system for their Field Kitchen cold room
customer:Riverford Organics
contractor:Keep it Cool Refrigeration
equipment:Marstair Condensing Unit + Evaporator

As soon as Marstair launched their A2L product range, Charlie Patt of Keep it Cool had the ideal application to try it out. Their client, Riverford was one of the first organic vegetable box schemes in the UK. The company has a strong environmental and ethical ethos and strives for sustainability. They deliver 80,000 organic veg boxes each week across the country.

Refrigeration is a big part of their business and having already invested inefficient compressors and re-using waste heat to save energy they were looking for new innovation and environmentally friendly solutions for their new cold room.

The project was for the new onsite canteen facility which caters for around 600 staff and opened in September 2020. It was clear that a requirement for a greener, more cost-effective solution for a cold store application to house their own organically farmed produce was needed.

Keep It Cool Refrigeration had worked with Riverford for some time to find an effective solution. They had considered options such as C02 but became aware of the new A2L systems that have been developed by the Marstair engineering team over the last year.

The new A2LsysteMatch offers a 93% reduction in GWP, is up to 3% more efficient than current Marstair units which are on the ETL list, and can deliver up to 33% lower total cost of ownership. With these benefits in mind, the A2LsysteMatch was the perfect solution for Riverford.

The system selected was an SMC40 Condensing unit with MBMT130E Evaporator match to fulfil the project specification as below:

  • Cooling requirement: 2.4kW cooling
  • Conditions: 32°C external and 1°C internal
  • Cold Room Size: 19.65m M/3
  • DSEAR free volume assessment: 6m
  • Pipe run: 22.5m
  • Pipe sizes: 1/2″ Expansion line -5/8″ suction line -Both lines to be insulated
  • R454C Refrigerant charge requirement: 1.135kg
  • Maximum refrigerant allowable R454C = 19.65 * 0.293 * 0.2 = 15kg
  • Single-phase motor rated 16A fused supply

The installation was a great success with accurate figures for the refrigerant required, easy valve adjustment with the new digital screen, easy wiring, and commissioning was no problem.

The value to Riverford is an environmentally friendly solution that fits with their company ethos and over a 20-year life cycle will save them 25% on the total cost of ownership in comparison with CO2 and 28% energy emissions comparison with CO2.