Natural refrigerants down-under: a call to arms!

By Robert Davidson, Nov 19, 2014, 17:01 2 minute reading

The Australian Refrigeration Association (ARA), Engas and Hychill have released a joint press release about the natural refrigerants market and its evolving DNA. It contains facts regarding the role of hydrocarbons and natural refrigerants within the Australian economy together with reflections on the future of refrigerants, which is looking more and more natural.

The press release informs readers of the history behind the refrigerants debate as well as putting the case forward for natural refrigerants; especially hydrocarbons –the second most used refrigerant in mobile air conditioning in Australia. It also provides information about the status of other natural refrigerants in light of the growing concerns over the future of fluorocarbons.
History of the refrigerants market
ARA, Engas and Hychill explain that after three generations of synthetic refrigerants, all of which have now been deemed “unacceptable” due to their damage upon the ozone layer or contribution to global warming; that cynicism with regards to fluorinated refrigerants is growing. 
The proposed fourth generation also has issues with reported dangers such as  flammability and toxicity, which were discovered by Germany’s Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing. These on-going problems have led to an increase in the use of natural refrigerants, which is gradually eroding the monopoly previously held by synthetic refrigerants. Is this the start of a return to natural refrigerants? If so, what are their advantages and disadvantages? 
The case for hydrocarbons
The most pertinent advantage is that hydrocarbons (and other natural refrigerants) are environmentally friendly and don’t create the negative externalities that fluorocarbon refrigerants engender. In addition, they are generally between 10-40% more energy efficient than fluorocarbons. 
Like fluorocarbons, hydrocarbons are flammable. However, the press release asserts that as they have been used extensively in Australia for the last 20 years, that adequate procedures and standards have been developed and adopted to ensure their safe use in the full range of HVACR applications. 
The case for other natural refrigerants
As harmful refrigerants continue to be phased out via the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols - with more legislation on the way within the EU and other areas of the world, the case for other natural refrigerants is becoming stronger. As with hydrocarbons; ammonia, CO2 and water are environmentally friendly. The press release makes it clear that due to their low global warming potential (GWP) and zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) that they should be promoted by both Australian governments and those across the world.

Click here to read the full press release
About HyChill
HyChill is the leading Australian manufacturer and supplier of hydrocarbon refrigerants. They pride themselves on their state-of-the-art manufacturing and quality control systems.
About Engas
Engas are an Australian environmental and energy efficiency company based in Perth. They have been in operation for more than a decade and are experts in the field of hydrocarbon refrigerant technology.
About ARA
ARA is a non-profit association that advocates commercially and environmentally preferable refrigeration and air conditioning technology. 


By Robert Davidson

Nov 19, 2014, 17:01

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