Iconic channel tunnel’s energy use plummets 33 % with new cooler system

The Channel Tunnel, which connects the UK to France, has seen energy savings of 33 % after its first season of operating a new cooling system, according to the tunnel’s operator Eurotunnel. The operator saved 4.8 GWh and nearly $600,000 in 2017, courtesy of the new cooling system.

The chillers use Honeywell’s Solstice zd refrigerant, which has an ultra-low global warming potential, the company says. It is a non-flammable refrigerant based on Honeywell’s hydrofluoro-olefin (HFO) technology with a GWP of 1, which is 99.9% lower than R-22, the previous refrigerant used in the Channel Tunnel, and lower than any other non-flammable solution in the market, according to Honeywell.

The system contains four Series E CenTraVac large-capacity (2600 kW to 14,000 kW) chillers from Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand. Two of the chillers have been operational in Sangatte, France, since 2016, and the remaining units at Shakespeare Cliff, UK, have been operational since late October 2017.

The Channel Tunnel has received its fifth consecutive certification from the UK’s Carbon Trust Standard for a further 9 % decrease of its carbon footprint in 2015-2016 compared to 2012-2013, Eurotunnel says.