The first ever UK manufactured chiller, incorporating the low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant R1234ze, to hold BSI approval is currently cooling shoppers visiting the new £15 million John Lewis shop which opened in York on 10 April 2014.

John Lewis is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

Airedale’s TurboChill™ TCC R1234ze based chiller is the first of its kind to slide off the cooling specialist’s Leeds production line.  One of the ‘fourth generation’ refrigerants, R1234ze is a hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) based refrigerant rated by the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) with a GWP lower than one, better than CO2. This compares with GWPs of 2088 and 1430 respectively for more traditional refrigerants such as R410A and R134a which are expected to be phased down by 2030. HFO refrigerants break down more readily in the atmosphere than their predecessors; in the case of R1234ze this process can take just 16.4 days, compared with 14 years for R134a.

The use of R1234ze also makes it easier for facilities owners to obtain BREEAM points in new installations. Airedale’s TurboChill™ Free Cooling chiller (TCF) with R1234ze, for example, automatically receives two BREEAM points for its low global warming potential characteristics. In contrast, R134a TurboChill™ TCC and TCF variants receive one point for their Direct Effect Life Cycle (DELC) CO2 equivalent emissions of =1000 kgCO2e/kW cooling capacity and a further point for leak detection and automatic shutdown and pump-down of refrigerant.

The new 92,000 square foot York department store will be the most sustainable of the 41 John Lewis shops. The shop will have a range of sustainable design elements, such as energy-efficient cooling, low energy lighting and photovoltaic cells on the roof to generate renewable energy.