Epta: ‘Possible to replace HCFC, HFC refrigerants with transcritical CO2 anywhere in the world’
MILAN, Italy, 29 June 2021: Increasingly stringent international regulations are driving a massive transformation in the world of commercial refrigeration – at a European level with the F-gas Regulation and internationally with the Kigali Amendment, commercial refrigeration manufacturer, Epta said through a Press release.
The company said it has already achieved important milestones in the technological development of HFC-free solutions. It added that its Life-C4R (Carbon 4 Retail) Refrigeration project, co-financed by the European Union, confirms the benefits of a natural approach.
Francesco Mastrapasqua, the company’s Institutional Affairs Manager, said: “The three-year Life-C4R – Carbon 4 Retail Refrigeration project was created to sensitise the scientific community, the component suppliers and the retail world’s key players in the use of increasingly efficient solutions. One of the goals is demonstrating how HCFC and HFC refrigerants can be completely replaced with transcritical CO2, anywhere in the world.”
The patented FTE 2.0 Full Transcritical Efficiency and ETE Extreme Temperature Efficiency systems, Epta said, are recognised by the EU as simple and efficient systems and are at the very core of the Life-C4R. “The Life-C4R Plan is essential in validating the FTE and ETE performance in all climatic conditions, in promoting their international diffusion and in certifying both as global and reliable solutions for the future of commercial CO2 refrigeration,” Mastrapasqua said. “The data analysis of the three Italian pilot projects and four replica prototypes in Romania and Spain, installed in collaboration with Epta Iberia and DAAS, will be presented during the Life-C4R Project digital conference, scheduled for July 1.”
The event will be an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on the plan’s innovations, lessons learnt and the advantages of the FTE 2.0 and ETE technologies, using the results collected in store by retailers, Epta said, adding that those interested in attending the conference could do so by registering at https://blog.eptarefrigeration.com/en/life-c4r.
FTE 2.0, Epta said, represents the evolution of its patented FTE Full Transcritical Efficiency system. It is recommended at any temperature and is, therefore, a must for obtaining maximum efficiency above 37 degrees C, it said. Simple, efficient, reliable and industrialised, FTE uses flooded evaporators, it said. They allow for the difference between the evaporation temperature and the cabinet’s internal temperature to be significantly reduced and, therefore, for an energy consumption 10% lower than a traditional CO2 system, it claimed.
This is a simple solution, the company said, where it has mechanically added only a multilevel liquid receiver to the standard configuration. On the one hand, FTE reduces the compressors’ discharge temperature, allowing for smooth functioning at high temperatures, it said. On the other hand, it guarantees their perfect lubrication, favouring a longer life cycle of the component itself, it said. FTE also guarantees up to 20% lower installation and maintenance costs, it added. Finally, the FTE 2.0 version, which is integrated into the rack, takes up less space and reduces installation and start-up times, it further added.
The ETE, Epta said, allows for 100% cooling capacity to be reached even in the hottest climates, both in industrial and commercial refrigeration applications. Recommended at temperatures between 30 degrees C and 40 degrees C, it guarantees maximum savings over 40 degrees C, also in combination with FTE, the company claimed. In this case, the transcritical CO2 system is guaranteed to work perfectly at any latitude, even on non-booster systems and in industrial refrigeration, it said. ETE’s “secret” is contained in the refrigerant temperatures’ reduction before its distribution to end users, it said. As it leaves the air exchanger at a value close to the ambient temperature, the gas is further cooled, it said. The system, it added, allows for an almost total disappearance of “flash-gas”, creating significant energy savings over time and smooth functioning even well above 40 degrees C.
AHRI Board approves decarbonization general position statement
ARLINGTON, Virginia, 18 May 2021: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on May 14 released a General Position Statement on Decarbonization, advancing the association as a resource for states and localities grappling with how to successfully, sustainably and affordably reduce emissions related to the built-environment.
AHRI revealed the paper as noting, “The air conditioning, heating, ventilation, refrigeration, and water heating industry has a long history of providing innovative, high-quality, energy-saving, affordable products that enhance the comfort, safety, health, and productivity of businesses and people around the world”. It expresses AHRI’s support for “the ongoing, science-based transition to a lower carbon society, in which consumer choices for heating, cooling, water heating, and commercial refrigeration are the most energy efficient, environmentally beneficial available anywhere in the world, while maintaining appropriate and adequate levels of safety, health, comfort, and affordability”.
Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI, said: “Our member companies – which have more than 100 years of experience and expertise in product solutions, technology, and innovation – can serve as a valuable resource in helping the nation achieve a lower carbon society.”
The statement, AHRI said, comes on the heels of the success of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, passed by Congress in 2020, which provides authority to the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the production of high-global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons and establishes a national phase down structure for the refrigerants that are widely used in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. That effort, AHRI said, more than 10 years in the making for the industry, is forecast to ultimately result in a 0.5 degree reduction in global temperatures over the next 30 years, even as it creates jobs and helps the industry’s global trade posture.
AHRI, others petition EPA on HFC phase-down rule
ARLINGTON, Virginia, 13 April 2021: The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration institute (AHRI) today joined more than 35 other industry and environmental organizations in petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking uniform national standards for stationary air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment in the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. If promulgated, these standards will result in an additional half billion tons of CO2 reduction, over and above what already is projected to be achieved by implementation of the AIM Act, AHRI said through a Press release.
The federal standards sought by the AHRI petition align with similar standards already in place in nine states. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) submitted similar petitions under the AIM Act, AHRI pointed out.
For new residential and light-commercial central air conditioning equipment, the petition, AHRI said, seeks a regulation requiring that equipment manufacturers use refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of 750 or less in equipment made after January 1, 2025, with the exception of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) equipment, whose deadline would be January 1, 2026. These transition dates would align the country with the dates adopted in December 2020 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and nine additional Climate Alliance states, AHRI said.
For commercial refrigeration and chiller equipment, the petition seeks the GWP limits and transition dates according to the table below:
Through these petitions, AHRI said, a broad variety of stakeholders, including itself, hope to demonstrate that sufficient consensus already exists and that a regular notice and comment rulemaking would adequately represent all material interests, thereby allowing the agency to forego the negotiated rulemaking process it must consider – but is not required to undertake – for such petitions, pursuant to the AIM Act.
AHRI said its petition emphasizes that as a general matter, “the U.S. HVACR industry already is proceeding with the requested transition date as its goal; granting this petition provides order and structure to the market and streamlines industry preparation”.
The transition dates contained in its petition, AHRI said, allow “sufficient time for careful planning and preparation, both to avoid excessive costs that can unduly burden consumers, and to ensure all safety and other associated standards can be met”, according to the petition. “For example, contractors and technicians must receive appropriate training, state and local building codes must be updated and changed, and supply chains and distribution networks must be modified,” AHRI said.
“While AHRI has long believed that an earlier transition would not allow enough time for manufacturers to prepare, we have been equally clear that a later transition date would put long-term compliance with the AIM Act at risk,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI President & CEO. “Aligning these dates also reduces costs for consumers and ensures long-term availability of energy-, environment-, and life-saving refrigerants for climate control and for the cold chain for food, vaccines, and other medicines.”
AHRI, the U.S. Department of Energy, CARB and other stakeholders have invested more than USD 7 million in research into alternative refrigerants in preparation for this transition, AHRI said, These more climate-friendly alternatives, it added, are in use today in Europe, Australia, Japan, Thailand and in more than 90% of new passenger vehicles currently sold in the United States.