US government teams up with private sector to accelerate commercialisation of HFC-free equipment

By Klara Skačanová, Sep 19, 2014, 14:12 4 minute reading

In an announcement released by the White House on 16 September, several end-users and manufacturers in the US pledged their voluntary commitments to reduce use of HFCs while advancing development and uptake of HFC-free technology. To complement these commitments, the Obama Administration has initiated several actions to promote the use of HFC alternatives.

Ahead of the UN Climate Summit to be held on 23 September in New York City, the US government has partnered up with several private companies to announce a voluntary agreement towards reducing HFC emissions. Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Target, Hillphoenix, Carrier, Emerson Climate Technologies, Danfoss, Johnson Controls, and True Manufacturing are amongst those taking part in the initiative. The new agreement is aimed at reducing the cumulative global consumption of these gases by 700 million tonnes of CO2 by 2025. “Unless we act now, US HFC emissions are expected to nearly double by 2020 and triple by 2030,” reads the press release.

Hillphoenix’s CO2 booster system viable for all climates

As one of the frontrunners for CO2 transcritical technology in the US, Hillphoenix has announced commercialisation of a CO2 booster system that is viable for all climate regions. In addition, Hillphoenix is also introducing a self-contained hydrocarbon refrigerated case with doors and a recently re-engineered service called “Close the Case” that utilises the company’s door technology to retrofit existing open display cases.

Target plans two new CO2 stores in 2015

According to the White House press release, Target has five stores that use CO2 refrigeration systems and has committed to expanding this technology to two additional sites in 2015. In addition, the retailer has recently opened two new cold storage facilities designed with ammonia. Target is also working with the manufacturer of beverage coolers to test HFC-free solutions this fall.

Another large US retailer, Kroger, has announced its partnership with the US EPA’s GreenChill programme and commitment to using advanced refrigeration technologies in new and remodelled stores where feasible.

Carrier’s HFC-free transport refrigeration to be commercially available by 2020

Building on its expertise with CO2 commercial refrigeration systems in Europe and the experience with CO2-based container refrigeration, Carrier has committed to commercialisation of HFC-free transport refrigeration by 2020.

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Red Bull confirm their commitments to go HFC-free in the US

As part of the new initiative and in line with its long-term sustainability policy, The Coca-Cola Company said that all its newly purchased cold drink equipment will be HFC-free. In the US the company has already bought around 20,000 HFC-free units in 2014, while globally there are more than 1 million HFC-free pieces of equipment already in use.

PepsiCo has committed to purchase only HFC-free coolers, vending machines and fountain dispensers in the US by 2020, starting in 2015. Beyond the US, PepsiCo has already put in place over 290,000 HFC-free units since 2009.

Red Bull, in line with its commitment to procure hydrocarbon-based ECO-Coolers where technically and legally feasible, has announced that for 2015 it would order 32,000 HFC-free ECO-Coolers using hydrocarbons in the US. In addition, Red Bull plans to focus on technician training, especially with respect to repair and proper equipment disposal, in partnership with six companies.

True Manufacturing, an industry leader in self-contained commercial refrigeration for over 65 years that has already developed a series of plug-in refrigerating equipment operating with the use of natural refrigerant R290, has announced that it would only use climate-friendly and low-GWP refrigerants in all future refrigeration product development. The manufacturer has committed to develop low-GWP replacements for its existing products over the next 5 years. These improvements are expected to reduce the emissions of HFCs by over 200,000 million tCO2eq.

Government actions to promote HFC emission reductions

In addition to actions driven by the private sector, the US government will seek to promote the use of low-GWP refrigerants and encourage development of such technologies through a number of initiatives, including:
  • Enhancing public procurement of equipment using safe alternatives to HFCs: The Administration will review the Federal acquisition regulations to promote the use of safer alternatives to HFCs by service and vendor contractors.
  • Evaluating sustainable technologies in Federal buildings: Technology manufacturers and industry stakeholders, including those that offer alternatives to HFCs, are invited to submit information on innovative and transformational building technologies that can be used in Federal buildings. Technologies will be evaluated within the Green Proving Ground programme and results will be used to inform both the public and private sector, and enable them to make an informed decision and accelerate commercialisation of the technology.
  • Expanding the list of alternatives under the Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) Programme: The EPA is currently working on a proposal to list additional hydrocarbon refrigerants in six refrigeration and air conditioning applications.
  • Providing funding for R&D of technologies using alternative refrigerants: The Department of Energy (DoE) has announced new funding that will encourage development of energy efficient technologies that use alternative refrigerants to HFCs in heating, refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump applications


By Klara Skačanová

Sep 19, 2014, 14:12

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