EC study on commercial refrigeration recognises HCs

EC study on commercial refrigeration recognises HCs

In the context of the Ecodesign Directive, BIO Intelligence Service has published the first part of a preparatory study that will lay the EC study on commercial refrigeration recognises HCsgrounds for future energy requirements for commercial refrigerating and freezing equipment. Hydrocarbons are described as very good refrigerants that imply few changes from a CFC/HCFC system.

The preparatory study on LOT 1 (commercial refrigerating and freezing equipment) will provide the opportunity for consumer groups, NGOs and other stakeholders to comment on the draft study. This, in turn, will be used by the European Commission to draft future legislation concerning products ranging from walk-in cold rooms to beverage machines.

Reducing the environmental impact of commercial refrigeration

Service cabinets, walk-in cold rooms, chillers, ice-makers dessert, beverage machines, minibars, blast cabinets, water dispensers and wine storage cabinets all fall under the study. The document covers the scope, relevant legislations and test standards related to the commercial refrigerating and freezing equipment. The objective of Task 1 is to present the complete canvas of relevant products, to define and describe these products and to prioritise the products which will undergo further analysis in Tasks 4 to 7.

Cascade systems and increased efficiency

Although direct refrigeration is the most commonly used system according to the study, indirect and cascade systems have gained wider appraisal due to increased energy efficiency. When comparing direct, indirect, distributed and cascade systems, the document states amongst the strengths of cascade and indirect systems that use of natural refrigerants is possible.

Life Cycle Climate Performance indicator

The performance of a system is the result of a balance between its energy efficiency and the choice of the refrigerant. One method used in the document is the Life Cycle Climate Performance indicator (LCCP) expressed in CO2 equivalent. It takes into account production, emissions, and energy use. When comparing some supermarket systems, the document states that secondary loop propane systems are one of the least overall emitting systems available.

Other natural refrigerants

The study also mentions other natural refrigerants such as R744 and ammonia. R744 is regarded in the study as widely used before the 1950’s but superseded by halocarbons and now rediscovered as primary and secondary refrigerant. It adds that R744 represents an interesting prospect for commercial refrigeration. Ammonia is claimed as being used since the birth of refrigeration but described as being toxic and flammable.

Background Task 1 Lot 1

No conclusions as regards which products will be prioritised for Tasks 4-7 have yet been reached. Such decision is to be taken on the basis of quantitative data about market coverage, environmental impact, energy consumption and improvement potential of each product. The scope of the ENTR Lot1 study will also be defined and refined as the study progresses.

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