shecco presents at EPA Webinar: Climate Friendly Refrigerant Markets and Technology Options

By Huiting Jia, Jan 20, 2014, 12:27 3 minute reading

On 10 December 2013, The US Environmental Protection Agency hosted a webinar titled” Climate Friendly Refrigerant Markets and Technology Options”.  Nina Masson from shecco revealed latest market, policy and technology trends for natural refrigerants in the food retail industry worldwide.

In the GreenChill webinar held by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nina Masson, shecco’s Head of Market Research, introduced mostly North American food retailers, component and system suppliers, but also legislators, to technology, market and policy trends from different world regions. The aim of the one-hour long webinar was to provide a perspective on developments outside the USA and Canada. A focus was put on most recent trends from Europe released before the official launch of the “GUIDE 2014: Natural Refrigerants - Continued Growth & Innovation in Europe”, as well as data obtained by shecco through its global network of contacts.  
Natural refrigerants are being increasingly used globally 
According to Masson, retailers worldwide have started to adopt natural refrigerants at a large scale. In shecco’s North American natural refrigerant survey published in the “GUIDE 2013: Natural Refrigerants - Market Growth for North America”, the vast majority of the 500+ survey participants indicated that the global hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) phase-out and the need to replace remaining HCFC installations will be an influential driver for the North American HVAC&R industry to shift to more future-proof refrigerant solutions over the coming years.
According to a shecco’s latest research, 100+ American supermarkets and 80+ Canadian supermarkets deploy secondary, cascade and transcritical refrigeration systems that incorporate natural refrigerant carbon dioxide partly or completely. Compared to 2011, the number of CO2 transcritical supermarkets in Europe has more than doubled, reaching a total number of 2,888 stores by end-2013. Globally, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Norway, France, USA, Brazil and New Zealand are among the top ten countries that have the most CO2-HFC cascade/ secondary systems installations in place. Natural refrigerant solutions are also becoming increasingly available for developing countries as well. 
Latest technology developments will extend natural refrigerants use to more applications
Finding cost-effective solutions for hot climates used to be a key barrier for extending the market for CO2 refrigerant in the food retail sector worldwide. So far, the so-called “efficiency equator” that constantly moved down to Northern Spain and Italy in the last few years, stated that CO2-only solutions above this virtual line would be more energy efficient than HFC-based solutions at all times. Today, different methods have been introduced by European suppliers like Advansor, Carrier, Carel, Enex, Frigo-Consulting, Green & Cool or SCM Frigo to remove this “efficiency equator” through different components and by combining heating and refrigeration in one system layout.
US is making progress in phasing down HFC and updating regulations for natural refrigerants
In the discussion panel, Masson responded to a question from the audience on the availability of financial incentives for the use of natural refrigerants in the USA. While no direct support schemes are currently available  the US has shown initiatives to phase down HFCs in the coming years through bilateral agreements and at the international level. This would put HFC use under scrutiny – a trend that could also be seen in Europe, Japan and Australia. These countries / regions have either introduced HFC tax schemes, strengthened the existing regulations or directly made the use of HFC-free solutions more financially attractive. 
A representative from the EPA confirmed that in the USA there is no certification programme designed specifically for working on CO2 systems. However, EPA is currently considering measures to facilitate the use of CO2 refrigerant.


By Huiting Jia

Jan 20, 2014, 12:27

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below