© Photo | ebm-papst

Green shop­ping oasis

With its new super­market, Brazil’s Verdemar retail chain takes its name liter­ally by going green

In Jardim Canadá, a commu­nity in the Brazilian state of Belo Hori­zonte, cool temper­a­tures are occa­sion­ally encoun­tered due to the great eleva­tion. There­fore, customers appre­ciate the floor heating of the Verdemar chain’s super­market, which opened in April of last year. Though this may sound like wasteful luxury, it is actu­ally precisely the oppo­site. All of the store’s many ameni­ties, of which the floor heating is just one, have one thing in common: they are 100 percent envi­ron­men­tally friendly. In the store’s 1.500 square metres of space, Verdemar — Portuguese for “green sea” — has created an envi­ron­men­tally aware shop­ping oasis that remains one of a kind in Brazil.

Natu­rally cold

The heart of the green systems – and the supplier of the hot water for the floor heating – is the cooling system. “We are the first super­market in Latin America to use CO2 as a refrig­erant. It replaces the chlo­ro­flu­o­ro­car­bons used earlier,” explains Brog­naro Poni, Busi­ness Director of the super­market chain. In the Skyrack Breeze cooling system from Brazil-based manu­fac­turer Plotter & Racks, CO2 serves as the refrig­erant for the upright freezers and freezer cases. This allows food­stuffs to be cooled faster, letting them retain more mois­ture and thus main­tain a higher level of quality.

“Compared to conven­tional refrig­er­a­tion plants, CO2-based systems have emis­sions that are about six times lower,” explains Marcelo Merolli, Managing Director of Plotter & Racks. More­over, due to the higher refrig­er­a­tion capacity of the carbon dioxide and the resulting lower temper­a­tures, higher throughput rates can be attained, which saves costs. The energy balance is like­wise respectable: savings of some 40 percent are possible due to smaller compres­sors and pumps, smaller pipeline diam­e­ters and ESM fans.

Small, quiet, effec­tive

The fans with Green­Tech EC tech­nology supplied by ebm-papst can be run at normal or double speed. An elec­tronic sensor measures the ambient temper­a­ture and adapts the speed of the fans to the respec­tive condi­tions. At reduced speed, the main­te­nance-free ESM fans provide energy savings of up to 60 percent — which saves costs. More­over, the fans generate very little heat and work quietly. An addi­tional plus: They are very small and thus are an ideal addi­tion to CO2-based refrig­er­a­tion plants, which require less space in general because of their smaller subassem­blies.

At the vanguard

Brog­naro Poni needs space for other inno­va­tions that are outstanding features of his super­market: for example, for recy­cling facil­i­ties for oil, paper, glass, metal and Tetra Packs, which his customers can bring to the store for processing. “We want to set an example with our new store. The invest­ment in Jardim Canadá was about 15 percent higher than for our tradi­tional stores, but we offer our customers state-of-the-art comfort and conve­nience while also doing good for the envi­ron­ment.”

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