Walmart Call for a new Refrigeration Strategy


The head of refrigeration at Walmart has created a strategy that will be implemented to reduce the amount of refrigerant that they use across the business. Richard Royal has suggested that they use packaged refrigeration solutions rather than using bespoke systems. They are not only looking to reduce the amount of refrigerant used but also the amount of leakage which means that they need simpler systems which calls for simpler processes.

Richard Royal is the senior design manager for refrigeration and his strategy means that there will be a closer integration with the supply chain as well as having a controls system too. He has said that the reason behind the new strategy is to improve the efficiency of the business through simplifying their processes. “We can really impact direct emissions positively. We believe charge reduction will be one of the single biggest issues for us, together with leak reduction.”

The strategy consists of three phases including reducing charge size, reducing leakage and using lower GWP-refrigerants. Royal has said that Walmart are in the middle of advanced trials with a refrigerant manufacturer. It is believed that the refrigerant will have around 68% lower GWP than the original refrigerant.

Richard Royal has also suggested that there are more opportunities available when it comes to reducing emissions by paying attention to the technology that is available to us. Currently they have bespoke systems per store which can be replaced with packaged systems meaning that energy ratings can be standardised and the installation process is simpler. “We have packaged equipment for the HVAC. The question is: Can we broaden it out to include the refrigeration, integrating the controls; air cooled condensers and pumps and pre-charged with refrigerant?

“We currently have a lead rate for the heating ventilation and air conditioning of 2 per cent but for refrigeration 12 per cent. We can bring that nearer to the 2 per cent with a packaged system because of the factory assembly.

“The industry needs people with the vision, strategy and energy to meet the changing needs. And supermarkets need a low cost, packaged refrigeration system, to provide an integrated alternative to today’s custom-built systems.”

Photo by Inoyamanaka79