For Günter Walter, general manager of aktiv & irma in Oldenburg, tomorrow’s supermarket isn’t a future project. The aktiv & irma chain operates ten markets and is growing steadily. Given that energy costs, which are one of the largest cost factors for supermarket operators, are increasing, Walter was looking for innovative solutions for the refrigeration system in the newly constructed market in Oldenburg-Kreyenbrück. The system had to be energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and come with maximum food safety.
In order to meet the requirements of the supermarket chain, plant constructor Jens Schön had to break new ground. Given its natural properties, the refrigerant CO2 has until now only been used in colder regions. Still, aktiv & irma wanted to use it in the new supermarket, because it’s the most environmentally friendly refrigerant. So Schön set out to find a supplier – and found Danfoss. The Danfoss Smart Store concept with central refrigeration control was the only solution on the market that met all requirements. Also, Danfoss supported the plant constructor during both planning and installation phases.
As a one-stop shop, Danfoss was able to offer a solution that’s perfectly tailored to the needs of aktiv & irma. Products like the Danfoss System Manager, refrigeration controllers and programmable controls regulate cooling, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. The compressors of the refrigeration system are linked to Danfoss drives, which compensate fluctuations, guaranteeing maximum food safety and minimum energy consumption. The Danfoss multi-ejector makes it possible to use the environmentally friendly CO2 as refrigerant for the cold-storage shelves and freezers of the market – a market first in Germany. The refrigerant also reduces energy consumption at higher outdoor temperatures. Thanks to these innovations, waste heat from the cooling system is used to heat the market, making additional heating redundant.
Opened in June, the market quickly became the focus of attention. Local press, Lebensmittelzeitung, a German retail newspaper, and TV stations – the "supermarket of tomorrow" (Walter) turned out to be great advertising for aktiv & irma. Thanks to the Danfoss system, Günter Walter awaits a 20 per cent reduction in energy costs compared to a standard refrigeration system. Since most components came from a single source, installation and commissioning was much easier than expected. The compatibility of the components and the close cooperation with Danfoss were decisive factors to implement the project within the given timeframe.