It may not appear so to the casual observer, but the typical refrigeration system in a supermarket is a fragile and complicated network of machines that requires a great deal of attention to function properly. Moreover, the refrigerants that drive a refrigeration system — unlike the fuel that propels a car — have a tendency to leak out and evaporate into the atmosphere. Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, which operates more than 200 stores, has a leak rate “well under” the 23% annual average ...

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