Events // 45
Bringing NatRefs home Meanwhile, a ban on using HFCs with a GWP above 150 in portable air-conditioning systems from 2020 is beginning to have an effect. At Mostra, Accelerate Europe noted seven companies, including Midea Gro u p, TCL C o r p o ratio n , Gre e Electric, Kaysun, Olimpia Splendid, Blaupunk t and Innova , that exhibited propane -based portable air-conditioning systems. This marks a big change over previous years when as little as two companies were using propane in portable air conditioners, according to research by sheccoBase, the market development arm of Accelerate publisher shecco. German firm Blaupunkt is confident its new portable air conditioner will prove a market success. “This is what the market is demanding now,” said Jet Chen Chuang of Blaupunkt.
Despite the promising success of natural refrigerants on the portable front, they are finding it harder to penetrate the split system market. Split systems (ductless and ducted) have the largest share of the global air-conditioning market (>85m units sold per year in 2014), according to German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) research. For split units, an EU F-Gas Regulation ban on using refrigerants with a GWP below 700 will come into effect in 2025. This leaves the door open for the flammable HFC R32 with its high GWP of 675. Many split-system manufacturers at Mostra were showcasing products using R32. From an environmental point of view this is a concern. Dichloromethane (a feedstock in the production of R32) – also known as methylene chloride – could delay the healing of the ozone layer for 30 years
as its use is increasing, particularly in the solvent industry. This is according to 2017 research by Dr. Ryan Hossaini, a geoscientist at Lancaster University in the UK. Hossaini cites research by Dr. Emma Leedham Elvidge, senior research associate at the School of Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia, UK and colleagues suggesting that the recent growth in dichloromethane emissions may also stem from production leaks or deliberate venting when manufacturing R32 or difluoromethane from dichloromethane. A key manufacturer making inroads into split R290 market is Midea (see page 46). Adding to the good news for residential applications, Emerson launched heat pump components designed for R290 residential space heating at Mostra. “Emerson is presenting […] a complete range of propane products and solutions designed for residential heat pumps,” Pascal Wilmot, product manager at Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions, told Accelerate Europe. The company started developing propane products in 2015 for residential heating, launching its first fixed speed compressor that year. It is currently marketing a 46cc variablespeed compressor with an optimised inverter drive, along with a controller, electronic expansion valve and sensor, all of which are optimised for R290-based residential heat pumps. “This compressor will give more or less 16 kW heating capacity at full-speed operating conditions,” Wilmot said. The company is targeting heat pump manufacturers who are looking for a better thermodynamic option for this particular application. “The second reason is that the transition to low-GWP refrigerants, which is driven by the [EU] F-Gas Regulation, is making propane a really attractive candidate for system manufacturers,” Wilmot added. The manufacturers mentioned above will play crucial roles in developing the market for natural refrigerants in HVAC applications, by producing technology that is environmentally sound and energy efficient.
Summer 2018 // Accelerate Europe
HEINEKEN: CHEERS TO A GREENER WORLD!