By Elke Milner, Dec 19, 2014, 17:39 • 10 minute reading
2014 has been an exciting year for natural refrigerants, especially CO2. R744.com summarises the key developments of “everything R744” in 2014.
The journalists of R744.com like to wind down the year just like anyone else – we hang our stockings by the chimney with care, we count all the things for which we’re thankful, we set new goals for ourselves for the coming year, and naturally – pun intended – we reminisce about the highlights of R744 refrigerant news from the year, from policy developments to exciting events to technology advancements pushing the CO2 equator further south. Of course, at R744.com we believe efficiency is key, so we’ve summarised the high points relating to everything R744 in 2014.
Progress was achieved at the 26th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol held on 17-21 November in Paris with close to 200 countries able to agree to hold informal discussions on HFCs in a structured manner. In addition, an agreement was made to hold an extraordinary meeting in April 2015 together with a workshop to discuss the management of HFCs.
After months of talks, the presidents of the United States and China reached agreement on an ambitious joint plan to curb carbon emissions in a watershed moment on Wednesday, 12 November. But what does this pact entail for the future of the HVAC&R industry?
At the UN Climate Summit held in New York on 23 September, the Canadian Environment Minister announced that the government would soon publish a Notice of Intent to regulate HFCs in-line with the proposals recently published by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
July Montreal Protocol meeting: are countries going to move towards a global HFC phase down?
The Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol met for the 34th time on 14-18 July, in Paris to deliberate on a climate agenda focusing on whether HFCs should be included within the scope of the Montreal Protocol. Despite a growing number of countries supporting a formal discussion on this issue the absence of consensus stalled further progress.
R134a would be prohibited in mobile air conditioning (MAC) of new vehicles as of 2021, and new stand-alone retail food refrigeration and vending machines as of 2016, according to a proposal issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additional proposed restrictions could mean an end to certain high-GWP HFCs in applications where safer, more climate-friendly substitutes such as R744 exist.
On 12 March 2014, the European Parliament’s plenary formally adopted the compromise text of the new EU F-Gas Regulation that had been agreed among the EU institutions in December 2013. The attention now turns to EU Member States represented in the Council of the EU, which also needs to officially endorse the informal agreement before the legislative process is finalised and new rules apply, as of 2015.
The controversy surrounding the implementation of refrigerant R1234yf in new vehicles in compliance with the European Union MAC Directive is on-going. As the deadline for required conversion to low-GWP refrigerants in all new fleets is quickly approaching, R744.com looks at how things stand.
2014 events give more attention to naturals than ever before!
In the words of Frank Sinatra’s old time classic “New York, New York”, it’s time to “Start spreading the news”: CO2 technologies are vying to become “Top of the list, head of the heap, king of the hill”, in the HVAC&R sector, with a number of high-end, innovative solutions on show at the 2014 AHR Expo. R744.com was on site to talk to those companies getting a head start in US CO2 market.
California coolin’ – R744 technologies make big splash in San Francisco
ATMOsphere America 2014 moved to the West coast this year, organised from the 18 – 19 June in San Francisco, California. Industry experts in the use of CO2 as a refrigerant in commercial and transport refrigeration and heat pumps discussed the current state of play and future trends. Whilst numbers of CO2 cascade and transcritical refrigeration installations continue to rise in both the US and Canada, expected to reach 600,000 globally by 2018, North American CO2 heat pump water heater tests have shown an Energy Factor (EF) of 3.35 compared to 2.4 EF of an HFC system.
Chillventa 2014: largest collection of natural refrigerant products in one place
Out of the 984 exhibiting companies at Chillventa 2014, one of the world’s largest trade fairs for refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation and heat pumps, over 125 companies exhibited natural refrigerant products and solutions, one of the largest collections of solutions using ammonia, CO2, hydrocarbons and water as refrigerants. For CO2 there was a wide range of systems, compressors, controls, valves, separators, sensors and more, on show, a clear indication of continued growth in the market for natural refrigerant solutions, and the ever growing demand for environmentally benign refrigerants such as R744.
Gustav Lorentzen 2014: what will be the next big thing for CO2?
A wealth of new research and technological developments on CO2 as a refrigerant in centralised commercial refrigeration, heat pumps, glass door merchandisers and data centre cooling was presented at the 11th biennial Gustav Lorentzen conference on natural refrigerants. The event provided valuable insight into current and upcoming technology trends for all alternative refrigerants. Whilst CO2 stole the show, R744 research continues to focus on improving system efficiency, which begs the question: what will be the next big thing for CO2? The R744.com article series below summarises key findings and conclusions from the conference.
EuroShop 2014: Most ever CO2 commercial refrigeration products on show
From 16 – 20 February, more than 109,000 trade visitors, representing 110 nations, attended EuroShop 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. R744.com’s on site reporters were impressed by the massive presence of natural refrigerant solutions as compared to EuroShop 2011, and suggest this could be the highest concentration of CO2 commercial refrigeration and heating technology at any specialised trade show. In part 1, R744.com looks at innovations among CO2 system suppliers.
SMTS 2014: New suppliers coming to Japanese market in 2014
More than 81,000 visitors came to Tokyo Big Sight last week for the annual leading international trade show targeting buyers from the supermarket sector. R744.com attended Supermarket Trade Show 2014 (SMTS 2014) to report on the latest developments in the commercial refrigeration market in Japan. Besides market leader Panasonic, new suppliers of CO2 technology such as Nihon Netsugen Systems, Fukushima Industries and Okamura showcased their solutions for the very first time.
Adding to the growing knowledge base on ejectors in CO2 transcritical refrigeration systems, research presented by SINTEF at the Gustav Lorentzen 2014 conference (GL 2014) shows that a CO2 ejector refrigeration system with parallel compression can achieve around 25% energy savings compared to a standard R404A system in warm climates. SINTEF also analysed an integrated energy system with CO2 refrigeration installed in Norway, demonstrating a 30% reduction in energy consumption.
Hillphoenix to unveil first warm-climate CO2 transcritical installation at Sprouts Farmers Market, Georgia
Scheduled to open 18 July 2014, in Dunwoody, Georgia, the Sprouts Farmers Market® will be the most southern transcritical CO2 booster system in North America, with the second closest located in Indianapolis, IN. Presented for the first time at ATMOsphere America 2014, Jeff Newel, Director of Research and Development at Hillphoenix, discussed the company’s pioneering CO2 booster technology by Advansor with 4 medium temperature (MT) compressors and 3 low temperature (LT) compressors, as well as an adiabatic gas cooler by BAC.
Despite the warm Southern Spanish climate, the Carrefour Alzira hypermarket in Valencia has been equipped with a transcritical CO2 booster system following its refurbishment in November 2013. The system is 35% more energy efficient and saves 90% more CO2 than cooling systems using synthetic coolants. In part 1 of this story we look at the details of the Alzira project.
Carrefour to roll out at least 10 CO2 transcritical supermarkets in Italy in 2014
After recently opening the first CO2 transcritical stores in warm regions, Romania and Spain, retail giant Carrefour plans to trial the system in other European regions with warm climates, with at least 10 new CO2 transcritical installations planned in Italy in 2014. R744.com has talked with Carrefour, enEX and Dorin about these exciting projects to find out their views on the rollout of CO2 transcritical technology in higher temperature regions.
On 29 October 2014, the new CO2 Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market store opened its doors in Carol Stream, Illinois. Hillphoenix was the company engaged by the supermarket chain for the entire project, which entailed the installation of a state-of-the-art CO2 transcritical system in its 300,000 ft2 (28,000 m2) combined warehouse, commissary and retail store.
DSI CO2 Freezers Installed in Fishing Vessel with New Compact CO2 Refrigeration System
A new transcritical CO2 refrigeration system has been installed in a fishing vessel in Norway, which combines four DSI V3/26/100 freezers and one DSI V3/12/100, all using CO2 as the refrigerant. The new system allows DSI freezers to increase their capacity by 20-30%. Other vessels are in-line for the tests results of this first installation to replace their current R22 systems.
One of the first and largest CO2 transcritical refrigeration systems in Lithuania and the Baltics has been successfully completed at new RIMI Hypermarket in Vilnius in March 2014. Compared to a typical HFC system, the CO2 technology uses around 30% less energy. At least four new CO2-only stores will be open in the Baltic States by the end of 2014.
Natural refrigerant solutions for retailers in Southern climates were one of the most widely discussed topics at the last ATMOsphere Europe. During this conference R744.com took the opportunity to sit down with Amad Hafez, Equipment Manager of the Modelo Continente Hipermercados, the biggest retailer in Portugal, to talk about Modelo’s first CO2 store in Portugal and the possibilities for CO2 to become the technology of choice in Southern Europe.
In November 2013, the first transcritical Carrefour hypermarket was installed in Galati, Romania. Frigo-Consulting Ltd. was responsible for engineering, designing and the execution consulting of the project, whilst Frigotehnica comissioned, installed and will maintain the entire installation over the next decade. The system, supplied by Advansor, uses parallel compression that allows for better energy performance in high ambient region of Romania. 2014 will see several other CO2 transcritical high ambient installations in Europe and beyond.
Roundy's, grocer in the Midwest of the US opened its first CO2 transcritical store, the Pick 'n Save supermarket in Menomonee Falls, on 14 January 2014. The store is one of the nation’s greenest supermarkets. Its Hillphoenix Advansor CO2 booster system is expected to yield a total carbon footprint reduction of around 11,793 tonnes over 10 years.