Sunday, 13th March, 2016
Air-conditioning has not only become a requirement for warmer countries, but also for those living and working in cooler, more moderate climates. As a result, there has been a growing demand for efficient, environmentally-friendly solutions to cater to the increase in standards of living around the globe.
The most recent trend in air-conditioning is the use of natural refrigerants such as ammonia and hydrocarbons, which offer a more sustainable, yet still effective alternative. Not only are these refrigerants cheaper and more widely available, but can be obtained at short notice to be used in a wide number of refrigeration applications. Furthermore, as they have very low direct global warming potential (GWP), they pose no harm to the environment and do not come under the European Union’s F-Gases Regulation.
Whilst many industries are already making use of these substances, they have yet to be fully introduced into the air-conditioning sector. There have also been recent talks about the potential of incorporating natural refrigerants in mobile air-conditioning. This comes after the use of controversial refrigerant R1234yf in approximately 460,000 cars air-conditioning systems in Germany in August last year.
So why are natural refrigerants not being used at higher levels if they offer such a variety of benefits to the air-conditioning industry? The main drawback has been down to the higher cost of investment and shorter payback periods. Therefore, if air-conditioning systems are to improve and evolve in this way, major changes will need to be made to reduce the system costs associated with standardising the productions and installation conditions.
Globally there also needs to be a change to ensure environmental awareness and sustainability is that the forefront of each society and economy.Back to News