Tesco adopts a non-invasive approach to optimising the performance of refrigeration plant

A host of technical operating information on refrigeration and air-conditioning systems is provided by the ClimaCheck performance analyser without having to break into a system.
Tesco is investing in none-invasive technology to check the performance and efficiency of refrigeration systems in its stores as part of its environmental programme to ensure that stores operate as efficiently as possible and the company’s carbon footprint is minimised. The ClimaCheck performance analyser is to be used to check large systems that cool refrigerated display cases and cold stores. Such plant can account for over half of a store’s energy use. The analyser will also be used to compare the performance of new environmentally friendlier cooling technologies to evaluate which operate most efficiently before new systems are adopted. The ClimaCheck performance analyser does not require large-scale intrusion into the refrigeration. Instead, it uses simple measurements from working plant to calculate such parameters as heating and cooling efficiency, system capacity, compressor efficiency to indicate wear, superheat in the evaporator, sub-cooling in the condenser and flow in the condenser and evaporator. This information can be used to optimise plant performance. Andy Campbell, heating of Tesco’s environmental refrigeration research-and-development programme says, ‘Up to now, the only way to find this information was through complex and invasive monitoring. It was extremely expensive and time consuming. ‘With ClimaCheck, you just hook up the machine and it automatically calculates a full set of data on actual plant performance. The information is a gold mine for engineers, as you can use it to diagnose problems, check on performance and as a tool for optimising the performance of plant.’ One of the first uses at Tesco will be to evaluate the performance of a new generation of cascade-based carbon-dioxide cooling systems now under development. The technology behind ClimaCheck was developed by Swedish inventor and refrigeration engineer Klas Berglof. ClimaCheck has been used extensively by Business Edge for trouble-shooting, technical and legal work, and the company is making it available in the UK.
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