Tecnofreddo technology for the largest distribution center in the Netherlands


With over 24,000 square meters, the distribution center in Zaandam, The Netherlands, is one of the largest in Europe. Every day, thousands of products leave from the Dutch centre and are delivered daily to the entire supermarket chain of an international retailer. Active in Europe and in The United States, the global retailer has a turnover of over 30 billion euros through its 370,000 associates in more than 6500 stores and about 121 thousand employees.

The need

or years, the group-retailer looked for a system that would improve the working conditions of its employees and, at the same time, optimize the maintenance costs of their machines and improve the general productivity of the distribution centre. Furthermore, the complex structure of the distribution center required an accurate design strategy: the different rooms, distributed on several floors, presented very binding architectural and logistical features that required a complex study in the construction of the machines.

The solution

To meet the request, Tecnofreddo S.r.l has realized a water cooled liquid cooler and a reversible heat-pump with a capacity of 400 and 1200 kW for cooling, and 600 kW for heating, respectively. Both units employed ammonia: a natural refrigerant, which not only has zero ODP and zero GWP, but it is 3 to 10% more thermodynamically efficient than competitive refrigerants. In combination with its efficiency, it is nowadays one of the most environmentally friendly refrigerants. Tecnofreddo S.r.l provided an exclusive and customized design representing an environmentally friendly and advanced solution able to achieve the requested cooling effect while reducing the long-term operation costs

High technology for total control and efficiency

Chiller and reversible heat pump, in the same plant, provide a capacity of 1600 kW to cool water at a temperature of +11°C (chiller + heat pump in "cooling mode"). In "heating mode" only the reversible heat pump provides 600 kW to heat water at +46 ° C. The two units, chiller and reversible heat pump, were designed according to the BREEAM_NL POL1 specification, which implied the use of ammonia as a refrigerant. The units were also designed according to the BREEAM_NL-POL2 specification that imposes an automatic recovery of ammonia (refrigerant) into a suitable tank in case of leakage of refrigerant. The specification, therefore, required the use of a refrigerant detection device in the machine, which activates the automatic recovery. For this purpose, Tecnofreddo S.r.l has designed and developed a dedicated software for the management of the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) also necessary for the automatic detection and recovery of the refrigerant.

The result: 4 stars for BREEAM sustainability certification

The distribution center today is very advanced in terms of sustainability. Based on several environmental factors, the center was awarded the "EXCELLENT" rating, achieving a score of 73.77% (4 stars) in the category of new building and renovation. “We are proud - CEO of Tecnofreddo says - to have contributed with our solutions to build an innovative centre that is at the forefront of the industry. BREEAM certification is an important recognition that proves the attention of all the partners of this project towards an intelligent, efficient and responsible way of conceiving the building-plant system. Tecnofreddo has always been very keen to reducing the environmental impact: this is our goal and this is what drives development and application of our products”.

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