Uwajimaya, one of the largest Asian grocers in the Pacific Northwest, has adopted Honeywell’s Solstice N40 (R-448A) lower-GWP refrigerant for its flagship Seattle location to modernize the facility and grow its sustainable practices.

Uwajimaya retrofitted its commercial refrigeration system at the Seattle store with R-448A, replacing high-GWP R-22. The retailer selected R-448A over potential low-GWP alternative CO2 for its ease of conversion and reduced costs.

“Our refrigeration system using R-22 was 20 years old, and we needed to upgrade to a solution that is not only better for the environment but also energy-efficient, reliable, and affordable,” said Miye Moriguchi, real estate and facilities manager at Uwajimaya. “Solstice N40 provided everything we were looking for in an alternative solution. It met our goals for sustainability and energy efficiency and allowed us to design a completely new system that simplified monitoring and control.”

Based on HFO technology, R-448A offers a GWP that is approximately 68% lower than legacy HFC refrigerants like R-404A. When using R-448A, refrigeration systems also consume less energy than their counterparts that cool using HFCs. In U.S. and European supermarket trials, in comparison to R-404A, R-448A demonstrated an average of between 5% to 15% lower energy consumption in refrigeration applications. It can be used in new installations and to retrofit existing systems using high-GWP refrigerants like R-404A and R-22.

Food retailers around the world have adopted R-448A to help them comply with current and proposed regulations, including the internationally adopted Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, with the aim of reducing the use of high-GWP HFCs. Solstice N40 has more than 60,000 installations globally since its release in 2015.

“Solstice N40 is already a leading choice for supermarkets worldwide, and its expanded adoption globally is a sign of growing awareness and action against global warming as customers move away from legacy refrigerants such as R-404A and R-22,” said Ken West, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Fluorine Products. “Switching to this environmentally preferable solution will not only help Uwajimaya with sustainable practices, it will assist in accelerating the industry’s conversion to alternatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Uwajimaya is a family-owned supermarket chain and one of the largest Asian grocery retailers in the Pacific Northwest, with corporate headquarters in Seattle, and locations in Greater Seattle and Oregon. Founded in 1928 in Tacoma, Uwajimaya has evolved beyond providing basic grocery staples to become an information specialist on all aspects of Asian food culture.