I recently returned from AHR in Dallas enthused about the industry’s continuing adoption of lower GWP synthetic and natural refrigerants.
I was particularly impressed that at least 10 major system manufacturers and component suppliers offered CO2 (R744) solutions for various applications, from commercial refrigeration to hot water heating and air conditioning. I’d like to see this number double for the 2014 show.
With a GWP of approximately one, CO2 is a great choice for specific companies in specific situations. That’s part of the reason why Emerson introduced a line of new transcritical compressors at the AHR show that uses CO2 as its refrigerant.
At Emerson, we believe in a holistic approach when it comes to selecting refrigerants based upon Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP).
LCCP takes into account both the direct (leak rate, charge amount, refrigerant GWP) and indirect global warming effects (energy consumed, source of energy).
As a homeowner, you wouldn’t want to simply replace your older windows with newer, more energy efficient ones. If you truly want to reduce your total energy consumption, you’ll need to: make sure you turn off the lights when you aren’t occupying a room; don’t let the water run the entire time you’re brushing your teeth; set your thermostat at reasonable levels when you’re not at home; make sure your heat pump is well maintained and operating efficiently, etc. LCCP is the same way – taking into consideration both the energy and GWP impact of your refrigerant choice to do what’s best for the environment.
Maintenance is another key to reducing your carbon footprint and becoming more “green.” A low-GWP refrigerant is a good start, but if your systems are operating inefficiently you may be consuming more energy than necessary to operate them.
If you’d like to learn more about refrigerant selection, my recent presentation at AHR, Refrigerant Options: Making sense of the emerging role of new refrigerants, is available for review by clicking here.
We’d like to know what your company is doing with regards to natural refrigerants, energy reduction or efficiency improvements. Use the comment box below to keep the conversation going.
Rajan Rajendran, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering Services and Sustainability
Emerson Climate Technologies