Refrigerants Naturally! Upgrading Technology

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Upgrading Technology

With the technology available, climate-friendly cooling and freezing is possible today: Therefore our initiative focuses on replacing fluorinated greenhouse gases in point-of-sales equipment with natural refrigerants. We mainly rely on hydrocarbons (R-600a, R-290, R-1270) and carbon dioxide (R-744). Our units range from beverage coolers, vending machines, ice cream freezers to on deck coolers and freezers in supermarkets.

Experience shows that natural refrigerant-based equipment works more energy-efficiently than the HFC and HCFC units it has replaced. As a result, it lowers operating costs and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions related to the use of energy. This makes natural refrigerant technologies a viable alternative to synthetic refrigerants also from an economic point of view.

Because of its benefits regarding sustainability, we are working actively towards making natural refrigerants the standard technology for point-of-sales cooling and freezing units. We focus on the following topics:

 

Availability of Technology

  • Choosing Technology: Companies can choose from a range of different natural refrigerants available on the market for their equipment, e.g. hydrocarbons or CO2. Our member companies invest in Research & Development in order to continuously improve safety aspects, the level of energy efficiency and to reduce life cycle costs of natural refrigerant technologies.
  • Field Testing: Our member companies and their suppliers have extensive experience in developing, testing and placing on the market equipment using natural refrigerants. We conduct field testing also in countries with challenging external conditions, such as hot ambient temperatures. This helps to develop energy efficient and reliable equipment for climates with hot ambient temperatures.
  • Servicing and trainings: Advancements in technology requires a change to new servicing procedures. Refrigeration technicians need up-to-date know-how in order to carry out professional performances. Our member companies exchange experience on how to offer and conduct regular re-trainings in order to ensure an overall high quality of installation, service and maintenance of equipment.
  • Creating a component market: Hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide technology are very safe when using the right components. In some countries though, sourcing the right components can be challenging. Refrigerants, Naturally! member companies invest in such technologies on a large scale, which accordingly leads to an increased demand worldwide. Long-term supply agreements enable suppliers to scale up their production.

Backing laws and standards that support the use of natural refrigerants

  • Regulatory Framework: Rules and regulations governing the use of natural refrigerants sometimes lag behind the latest safety engineering of climate-friendly technology. For example, some companies could in the past not replace their units with hydrocarbon technology due to legislation concerning flammability, even though the technology has been proven to be perfectly safe for humans and the environment over the last years.
  • US SNAP Programme:We have participated in field trials of hydrocarbon units in the USA. This led to their approval by the Environmental Protection Agency through the Significant New Alternatives Policy programme.  
  • Standards: Change for introducing greener technologies is possible, if companies stand up for it: Refrigerants, Naturally! raises its united voice for consistent standards. We are supporting a positive regulatory and political framework that fosters investment in climate-friendly technologies. We are open to discuss options with policy-makers that could help encourage the emergence of more climate-friendly practices in the future.