NASRC Launches Natural Refrigerants Contractor Network

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Despite the advancement of natural refrigerant-based technologies in North America, many end users area still facing challenges when searching for qualified contractors and technicians to install and service the technology. 

That is why the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) is thrilled to announce the launch of our new service network designed to help end users connect contractors and service technicians who are trained to install and service natural refrigerant systems.

The network is free and easy to use for both contractors and end users. The NASRC is optimistic that this will help end users overcome the challenge of finding a qualified contractor or service technician for their system. Read more about the launch here

California Senator Introduces California Cooling Act

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NASRC and EIA are celebrating the introduction of the California Cooling Act, which was introduced by Senator Lara on February 7th. The Act will not only move the California Air Resource Board to proceed with regulations to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, but it also proposes a new incentive program to support California businesses and residents as they adopt low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. Read more about the reactions of NASRC and the EIA here

 

Seminar Highlights Challenges and Successes of Natural Refrigerants

Presenters Keilly Witman, KW RMS and NASRC Board Chair and Danielle Wright, NASRC 

Presenters Keilly Witman, KW RMS and NASRC Board Chair and Danielle Wright, NASRC 

The NASRC held a natural refrigerants seminar focused on both the barriers and case studies of successful projects. The seminar was held in two half-day sessions on July 17th, 2017,  at the DC Engineering offices in Meridian near Boise, Idaho. Over thirty representatives from the supermarket refrigeration industry attended, including retailers, such as Albertsons and Whole Foods, as well as contractors, consultants, utilities and local state agencies.

Keilly Witman, KW RMS, presents a regulatory overview

Keilly Witman, KW RMS, presents a regulatory overview

 

Attendees received an overview of the environmental impacts of supermarket refrigeration, which are largely due to refrigerant leaks. Keilly Witman, formerly of the EPA GreenChill Partnership, presented and the policies and regulations that have been put in place by the government to mitigate these impacts.

Government regulations are just one of many hurdles that supermarkets face when considering natural refrigerant systems and equipment. Danielle Wright, Executive Director of NASRC, provided an overview of the primary barriers such as first costs, availability of service and codes and standards. These are hurdles that NASRC is taking action to overcome. 

Glenn Barrett, DC Engineering, presents a case study

Glenn Barrett, DC Engineering, presents a case study

Case studies were presented by DC Engineering and CTA Group. The projects featured various types of system architectures including CO2 transcritical, CO2/Ammonia cascade and CO2/propane cascade systems. Additionally, a small format store with CO2 transcritical with integrated HVAC for both cooling and heat reclaim. The presentations focused on the energy impacts, design considerations and lessons learned from each project.

Dwain Mayer, Danfoss, showcases the CO2 Mobile Training Unit

Dwain Mayer, Danfoss, showcases the CO2 Mobile Training Unit

Attendees also had the opportunity to view a live demonstration of a transcritical CO2 system provided by Danfoss mobile CO2 training unit. Danfoss also provided a series of 2-day hands-on trainings targeted to service technicians and contractors. 

 

 

To learn more about hosting a natural refrigerants seminar in your area, please contact NASRC at info@nasrc.org.

Why Supermarkets Should Care about the Kigali Amendment

In the wake of the recent decision by the US Federal Appeals Court that questions the EPA's power to regulate non-ozone depleting refrigerants, supermarket retailers are questioning how to move forward. Will the SNAP program have the power to approve refrigerants? Should they continue to plan to replace refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP)? To answer these questions, supermarkets should look to the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

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Almost 30 years since it's signing, the Montreal Protocol is considered one of the most successful international treaties of all time. It has effectively eliminated the production of harmful ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and is in the process of eliminating the production of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) refrigerants. However, this phase-out has effectively traded one environmental disaster for another, as the replacement refrigerants, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), cause global warming.

In 2016, the Kigali Amendment updated the Montreal Protocol to gain global commitment to the phasedown of HFCs. Developed countries, like the United States, will be required to begin reducing HFC production and import of HFCs in 2019. This reduction is expected to correlate to  increased HFC prices, especially those with high GWP.

"We continue to believe that now, as always, the strongest case for natural refrigerants is the business case," said Danielle Wright, Executive Director of NASRC. " It would be an unsound business decision to invest in HFCs for new equipment or retrofits when there are so many low GWP or zero GWP options available."

The Kigali Amendment also sets limits on the carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for several major corporations, including chemical manufacturers. These limits are expected to drive an increase in their manufacture of low-GWP refrigerants and a respective decrease in their manufactured volume of high-GWP refrigerants. Europe has already experienced a price increase of high-GWP refrigerants due to the accelerated phasedown of HFCs by the EU’s F-gas regulations. 

Furthermore, it should be noted that the US Appeals Court decision was not supported by the two largest US refrigerant manufacturers, Chemours and Honeywell. These companies are currently considering pursuing an appeal to have the entire DC Appeals Court  hear their case. These companies’ support of low-GWP refrigerants is another strong indicator of the inevitable phasedown of high GWP refrigerants.

While the Appeal Court decision may temporarily slow the phasedown of high GWP refrigerants, the Kigali Amendment will provide the economic drivers that will ultimately move the market towards low and zero GWP refrigerants. Supermarkets should act now to get ahead of what will surely be an expensive transition.

To learn more about the latest updates to policy and regulations for refrigerants, NASRC members are welcome join the next Quarterly Policy Webinar on August 23rd at 11AM PDT, register here.