Thanks to Epta refrigeration technology, Edeka Schneider opens one of the lowest energy consuming stores in Germany Interview to the store owner Dominik Steffen Schneider

For the construction of his fourth Edeka store in the Palatinate, Germany, the operator Dominik Steffen Schneider once again chooses Epta as the sole supplier of refrigeration technology, taking advantage of low energy consumption thanks to new closed cabinets. The store is idyllically situated next to a small vineyard, within direct view of Hambach Castle, landmark of the German democracy movement. These regional references have been recognized in the supermarket, for example, with a depiction of the castle on the wall above the checkout area, where a large local assortment is presented.

Only closed refrigeration units

An area of around 1.500 square metres, about 18.000 products, 35 metres of dairy products, packaged sausage and cheese: these are the figures of the newly built Edeka Schneider in Hambach. “The sloping outer wall allows our customers to look from one side to the other and thus see the entire range” explains Dominik Steffen Schneider. “For this, we decided on the high, closed SkyView Plus refrigerated display from Bonnet Névé. In black, it looks classy and the doors don’t bother anyone anymore, on the contrary, they actually only have advantages.” When the merchant talks about advantages, he is not only referring to the more pleasant climate in the salesroom created by the closed equipment, but also to the lower energy costs for cooling. And at 40 per cent, these now account for a considerable part of a store’s total energy costs.

Modular refrigeration system

For the interconnected system, the choice fell on Eco2Middle, Epta’s latest CO2 refrigeration system, for supermarkets with medium-sized sales areas. The benefits lie in its modular design: with a depth of 80 cm and a height of 200 cm, it fits through all standard doors and can also be integrated into small technical rooms because of its compact design. It operates here with three normal refrigeration compressors with an output of 45 kW and three deep- freeze compressors with an output of 20 kW.

More efficiency with FTE

To make the best possible use of the energy used, the plant is connected to a heat recovery system. In addition, Epta’s Full-Transcritical-Efficiency (FTE) system ensures that the efficiency of the refrigeration system is improved: FTE operates at an increased evaporating temperature all year round, regardless of the outside temperatures. This works because the refrigeration points with normal cooling are operated with so-called flooded evaporators. This means that there’s no need to overheat the components and the resulting better utilisation of the evaporator surface makes it possible to raise the evaporation temperature. “The store in Hambach is my largest and at the same time the one with the lowest energy consumption.” states the merchant.

Saving time behind the meat counter

A visual highlight of the refrigeration technology is located in the department for meat, sausage, cheese and fish: the Bistrot service counter of the Epta brand Eurocryor. The individually produced counter extends over a good 17 metres and is equipped with glazed lifting panes. The wooden decor in oak harmonises with the entire market furnishings and looks very natural. Two rondels and a self-service unit for packaged cheese interrupt the glass front. “We deliberately integrated the self-service counter because customers like to take something from here – whether they have to wait longer at the service counter or if they have forgotten something there and don’t want to stand in the queue again,” reveals the store manager. “We use the two rondels to present seasonal dishes and antipasti. They are eye- catchers and very practical for the staff behind the counter: because the plate in them can be rotated, they can reach everywhere very easily.” The 3,75-metre-long meat counter is equipped with the Dynamic System and a night blind. This keeps the humidity constantly above 90 per cent, even without a humidifier. Meat and sausage products no longer have to be cleared out in the evening and can remain in the counter overnight – a real labour-saver. “The employees only have to take the meat out at the weekend to clean the furniture. That really saves time”. He is also enthusiastic about the cleaning of the counter: “You can really clean the tub with water, because the fans are installed in such a way that they are completely protected.

Presenting fish more flexibly

Edeka Schneider also offers its customers fresh fish in a Bistrot counter. Here, the ice tubs with flake ice can be used for whole, fresh fish and prepared fish. Since most customers tend to buy fresh fish at the weekend, the range is being expanded. “With the smaller ice tubs, we are more flexible in terms of presentation, which I like very much.” says the store manager.

Refrigerated units with push lids

In front of the service counters, four frozen food islands, each 6,25 metres long, are lined up next to each other. Dominik Steffen Schneider chose the Cosmos Perform furniture from the Epta brand Bonnet Névé and created a very transparent area, because he relies exclusively on horizontal presentation. The freezer island with a wood finish in oak has push lids that open to the back. This allows two customers to serve themselves comfortably without getting in each other’s way with the lid. “For self-service meat and sausages, I also chose a refrigerated island with a push lid; I find it enormously practical.” he explains. With the open, fully glazed Latitude presenter, Dominik Steffen Schneider wants to encourage customers to buy special offers. For example, he presents freshly chilled pizzas and antipasti in the 2,50- metre-long island. Latitude is also used in the fruit and vegetable department: in the half- height version with wooden décor, mainly packaged fruit is presented.

Remote monitoring a big plus

To ensure that the refrigeration system and refrigerated cabinets work around the clock, Epta can access the system remotely via a telemonitoring system. Mr. Schneider concludes: “I am very satisfied with the cooperation. When a technician has to come, he knows exactly what to do, although it doesn’t happen that often, because many parameters of the refrigeration system can be controlled remotely from the control centre. Epta has become a reliable partner for me.”