‘Ozone2Climate Technology Roadshow’ and industry roundtable organised within the 23rd China Refrigeration Exhibition 2012 on 11-13 April 2012, showcased available ozone and climate-friendly refrigeration and air-conditioning technologies and discussed the options to replace the ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) with alternatives with low global warming potential (GWP).
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction Programme in cooperation with the China Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry Association (CRAA), organised the ‘Ozone2Climate Technology Roadshow’ to showcase industry frontrunners that have developed or adopted climate- and ozone-friendly technology.
Given that China and other developing countries have to begin phasing out ozone-depleting refrigerants (HCFCs) under the Montreal Protocol as of 2013 and reduce their production and consumption by 10% by 1 January 2015, new opportunities for the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry emerge to leapfrog and choose alternatives with zero ozone-depleting potential (ODP) and also low global warming potential (GWP).
The Ozone2Climate Industry Roundtable held on 12 April alongside the Roadshow engaged decision-makers and industry representatives in a discussion on the availability, affordability and need for zero-ODP, zero- or low-GWP alternatives while considering the whole life cycle assessment of the climate impact of the technology.
Speaking during the roundtable, Cindy Newberg from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided an overview of the US policy framework on zero-ODP and low-GWP refrigerants, focusing especially on the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme that evaluates and regulates substitutes for HCFCs. With the recent approval of hydrocarbons in domestic fridges and stand-alone commercial freezers, the programme now lists more than 400 alternatives with around 20 more pending approval.
Selection of refrigerants in China
Stephen Yurek, President of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) spoke about characteristics of low-GWP cooling agents including hydrocarbons highlighting that when choosing an alternative refrigerant many factors have to be considered, while efficiency should be maximised in all situations.
Updating the audience on HCFCs phase-out in China, Mr. Zhang Zhaohui, Secretary General at CRAA said that with the aim of achieving the target of a 10% reduction in the consumption of HCFCs by 2015, the implementation of the HCFCs phase-out management plan (HPMP) was formally initiated in December. With the rapid growth of the Chinese R&AC industry, the demand of refrigerants grows continuously. Therefore the selection of refrigerants will have a much greater impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, Mr. Zhaohui highlighted that when selecting alternatives, not only the requirement of zero-ODP and low GWP values, but also their Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) values should be considered.