GUIDE China: A much larger role for hydrocarbons predicted 

By Caixia Mao, Jun 08, 2015, 10:04 3 minute reading

In shecco’s newly launched GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in China – State of the Industry 2015 – presented in cooperation with the Chinese Association of Refrigeration, provided an exclusive analysis of the market, from the largest ever Chinese industry survey on natural refrigerants, primary market data and interviews with more than 20 policy and industry experts. The report concludes that there is a much larger role for hydrocarbon refrigerants to play in applications such as

The ‘GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in China – State of the Industry 2015‘ shows the dominating role hydrocarbons are already playing in domestic refrigeration, where nearly 100% of new products use hydrocarbons.  The industry survey with 1,098 respondents shows that 71.9% of respondents are either “familiar” or “very familiar” with hydrocarbons and over 26% already use/provide products with hydrocarbons.  John Sears from Unilever confirms that,
“In our rollout of hydrocarbon-based equipment, we no longer see any barriers to the use of natural refrigerants in China.”
Fast development for hydrocarbons today 
Since the introduction of hydrocarbons in domestic refrigeration by a local manufacturer in China, the technology expanded rapidly among other manufacturers. Today, close to 100% of new domestic refrigeration products use hydrocarbons as the refrigerant. The demand continues to grow as the standard of living in China continues to raise.
In light commercial applications, the commitment of global consumer brands such as Unilever, Nestle, Red Bull and PepsiCo to HFC-free equipment has driven the market growth. As seen in direct data collection from system manufacturers, there are more than 720,000 units of equipment using hydrocarbons for light commercial refrigeration in the Chinese market today. 
Room air conditioning (RAC) using R290 has made significant progress in recent years by the support of the international community in addition to the Chinese government’s support. Currently converted production lines with R290 already reach an annual production capacity of 400,000 units. Nevertheless, the level of technological advancement does not necessarily lead to fast market penetration. The survey reveals that R290 in RAC is not necessarily viewed as the application with the best market climate compared to other applications. In addition to government’s completion of regulations and standards, more investment in training of engineers and increased public awareness, is the key for the correct understanding of the technology. 
Exclusive interviews reveal more important role for tomorrow 

The GUIDE introduces interviews with key academia, industry leaders, end users and government representatives to predict the future of hydrocarbon technology. According to Professor Shi Lin from Tsinghua University,
“Hydrocarbons still have a dominant position in domestic fridges and its application in small volume RAC is ready to be promoted on the market. Already, key technical standards and related regulations have been developed and are ready for the market.”
As the global dominating supplier for domestic refrigeration and room air conditioning appliances, the next step China takes will have a significant impact on the global market. 

Pedro Olalla from Huayi Compressors expressed his confidence in hydrocarbons in the light commercial sector:
“I’m convinced that hydrocarbons will become the main refrigerant for light commercial refrigeration in China by 2020. Between all the options we have considered, we believe that propane (R290) will be selected as the main refrigerant. We can already see an important number of manufacturers going in this direction i.e. developing new projects using hydrocarbons to replace HFCs and HCFCs.” 
For the market in China tomorrow, important tasks remain to help the market penetration of hydrocarbon technology. Nevertheless, Chinese industry is already aware of the challenges and is preparing with the help of different stakeholders. High-energy efficiency of hydrocarbons is to be more and more acknowledged by end users and manufacturers, in order to expand its potential in the future. 

Available for free - Chinese edition coming soon
In the near future the Chinese Association of Refrigeration (CAR) will be helping shecco to make a Chinese language version the ‘GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in China – State of the Industry 2015’ available for free on shecco's publications page.


By Caixia Mao

Jun 08, 2015, 10:04

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