Low-GWP Alternatives

Low-GWP Alternatives in Commercial Refrigeration and A/C

HFC's are the fastest GHGs increasing about 10 - 15% annually. The demand for cool spaces and energy use has more than tripled between 1990 and 2016 (600 TWh to 2,000 TWh).

HFC - Hydrofluorocarbons ●

HCFC - Hydrochlorofluorocarbons ●

GHG - Green House Gases

Refrigeration and A/C are 85% of global HFC Emissions

By the year 2050, the majority of HFC's will be produced by developing countries

GWP - Global Warming Potential ●

A2L - A low-GWP alternative to HFC's ●

TWh - Terawatt-Hour

A. Messe was founded in 1899 long before the first refrigerants of ammonia and hydrocarbons were used in the first electric refigerators invented in 1913.

HCFC-22 Freon refrigerant is used in several applications like chillers, cold storage, retail refrigeration equipment, air conditioners, and industrial process refrigeration. On Jan 1, 2020, USA production and import of HCFC-22 ended.

The goal is to replace high-GWP HFCs with Low-GWP alternatives. Because of HFCs annual growth, regulations should have a significant impact on their production and use. Reducing the use of HFCs will have an impact on global temperature rise.

Some of the new low-GWP alternatives have lower flammability and toxicity and are classified as A2L by ASHRAE.

ASHRAE - American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

Toxicity is classified based on OEL. OEL ≥ 400 ppm by volume is classified as class A.

Around the world, countries like Australia and Japan have had considerable A2L adoption 

AHRI - The Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute

Old refrigerants were A1 or non-flamable but A2Ls are mildly-flammable so updating to equipment, codes and standards are currently in process with a 2025 target date. Local Build Code updates are essential. New A2L OEM systems estimated to enter market around 2023 depending on code updates.

Section 608 regulations state that when retiring an appliance and recovering the refrigerant, record of this must be maintained. Reclaimed refrigerant then can be given to a consolidator (such as a refrigerant manufacturer, supplier, wholesale distributor, or refrigerant recovery company), or potentially to an EPA-certified reclaimer.

Goverment, Associations and Business

EPA SNAP - EPA Significant New Alternatives Policy

Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy

EPA RAD - Responsible Appliance Disposal Program

California Significant New Alternatives Policy

American Innovation & Manufacturing (AIM) Act

The Department of Energy 2023 - Increase of minimum efficiency for residential AC