Rising temperatures, climate change, and the recent pandemic are among the health and environmental challenges facing many industries. The refrigeration industry is one of the industries affected by these issues through, among other changes, sustainable and stringent refrigerant regulations to protect the environment.
This year, 2021, is a pivotal year for the refrigeration industry when it comes to new regulations. In other parts of the globe, several commercial and industrial spaces have already adopted the use of natural refrigerants in accordance with their respective country’s regulations to help curb the effects of climate change.
In Santiago, Chile, Comersur, a fresh and frozen processing company, is gaining rewards for installing a transcritical CO2. The installation has gained the Chilean food processor a total of US$194,000 annually in electrical energy savings. The CO2 transcritical system also consumed 64% less energy when compared to traditional R507 systems.
A supermarket chain in Curitiba, Brazil is using R-290 (Propane) to save energy in its retail operations with the use of a prone-based remote system. The system is made of an R290/glycol chiller and R290/glycol/CO2 cascade system. The Brazilian supermarket chain has a total energy savings of 30kWh per month due to the system installed.
According to Reports and Data, the global natural refrigerants market is expected to grow USD 2.88 billion by 2027 with the Asia Pacific region as one of the leading consumers for natural refrigerants.
In the U.S., several looming refrigerant regulations from governing bodies like the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are pushing food retailers to adopt the use of natural refrigerants to power retail stores. Whether retailers decide whether to retrofit or build a new one, the choice is critical to avoid future penalties and business losses. The recently approved regulation from CARB on December 10, 2020, which aims to put a cap on the use of refrigerants with high Global Warming Potential (GWP) is just one of the many existing and upcoming refrigerant regulations that will affect the commercial and industrial refrigeration industry soon. These regulations will encourage retailers of all sizes to pivot to the natural refrigerant that would greatly benefit their operations.
Ultimately, the benefits of using natural refrigerants are extensive and universal. Natural refrigerants are expected to help reduce the ill-effects of climate change, promote a sustainable industry, and encourages equipment manufacturers and operators to continue innovating and using technological advancement for the greater good.