Whole Food's ammonia system is the jewel in the crown of innovative distribution centre

By Robert Davidson, Nov 02, 2015, 12:29 2 minute reading

Whole Foods Market has opened its new distribution centre in Vernon, California. The new 12,000m2 facility uses an ammonia refrigeration system to refrigerate the 1.2 million cases of product that the warehouse turns over per month.

Whole Foods is one of the most proactive supermarkets in the United States in encouraging the ascendency of natural refrigerants in the commercial refrigeration sector. In addition to utilising CO2 transcritical refrigeration systems in their stores, Whole Foods is using natural refrigerants in other areas of the supply chain.

Distribution centre increases use of natural refrigerants in Whole Food’s supply chain

The distribution centre which serves 56 stores across Arizona, Hawaii, southern California and southern Nevada is a tour de force of energy saving materials and systems. In addition to the environmentally friendly ammonia refrigeration system, the warehouse also boasts the company’s largest recycling centre. Other building innovations include:

  • Solar panels on the roof for heating water
  • Warehouse with temperature-controlled rooms for each product type
  • Energy efficient motion sensor LED lights
Bryan Bergez, the facility team leader said: “We are very excited that this updated centre will offer new and improved efficiencies and innovations.”

Natural refrigerants as the first choice for North American industrial refrigeration

shecco’s recent GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in North America put forward the case for natural refrigerants to continue their dominance of the industrial refrigeration market with key areas such as Quebec and New Jersey –both home to a large amount of moribund R22 based installations – making the switch to natural refrigerants.

California is already home to countless ammonia installations as well as being on the forefront of “next-generation” installations. These installations are low-charge ammonia, CO2 transcritical and CO2/NH3 cascade systems with over 400 such installations present in North America. California excels in its usage of CO2/NH3 cascade systems, with the highest amount in North America according to shecco’s data collection, with 16 such installations. California is also home to one CO2 transcritial system and two low-charge ammonia systems.


By Robert Davidson

Nov 02, 2015, 12:29

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