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Energy Efficiency in HFC-free Supermarket Refrigeration

Commercial refrigeration is estimated to globally produce annual GHG emissions in the range of 1-1.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, out of which direct emissions (from the refrigerant) range between 0.35- 0.46 GtCO 2 e and indirect emissions (those associated with electricity use) range between 0.65-0.85 GtCO 2 e. It is therefore clear that tackling the climate impact of refrigerants must be coupled with addressing energy efficiency and energy sources of refrigeration systems.

Given the relatively long lifespan of cooling systems in supermarkets, decisions being made now will impact the climate (and the bottom line for end users) for decades to come. To reap the highest rewards from investment in HFC-free technology, a rigorous integrated approach to equipment design and selection considering the entire needs of the store should be taken. This briefing is based on a review of technical options for energy efficient HFC-free commercial refrigeration undertaken by shecco. Food retailers should use the opportunity of the global HFC phase-down to simultaneously improve the energy efficiency of their refrigeration systems.

Members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) are key stakeholders in ensuring market demand for energy efficient HFC-free technology, encouraging development of new technology and system controls, sharing case studies and maintaining pressure on industry and policymakers to ensure the success of the HFC phase-down. Decisions concerning refrigeration systems must take into account the total life cycle cost (not just the initial upfront cost) and the full environmental impact. Making the right choices in terms of refrigerant, system design and maintenance practices will reap significant economic and environmental benefits in the future.

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Recent Blog Posts

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09/17/2018
HFCs used in cooling were a hot topic at the Global Climate Action Summit last week in San Francisco. With momentum building for subnational actors like cities, states, and businesses to drive action forward on climate, we have the opportunity to tackle the issue of how we keep cool without warming the planet - by phasing down superpollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and identifying new approaches to maximize energy efficiency as global demand for cooling increases.
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China has identified illegal production and use of CFC-11 as part of ongoing investigations following the July publication of an EIA report, Blowing It, that revealed Chinese companies using CFC-11 – a banned ozone-destroying chemical – in blowing agents used for producing foam insulation.

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Search, Reuse, and Destroy: How States Can Take the Lead on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem
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Preventing emissions of fluorinated refrigerants such as HFCs from “F-gas banks” is the single biggest near-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. The IPCC special report on limiting global warming to within 1.5˚C also underlined need for faster and deeper HFC emission reductions beyond those anticipated under full implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
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Recent Press Releases

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This week California’s legislature approved a 2019-2020 budget providing $1 million to create an incentive program for reducing emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Established by the California Cooling Act (SB1013) passed last year, the program will incentivize adoption of climate-friendly refrigerant technologies, with a mandate to also consider other co-benefits such as energy efficiency and opportunities for increasing recovery, reclamation, and destruction of refrigerants at end-of-life.
New Atmospheric Study Pinpoints Large-scale CFC-11 Emissions in Eastern China
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New Atmospheric Study Pinpoints Large-scale CFC-11 Emissions in Eastern China

Recent Videos

Blowing It
07/08/2018
Information obtained by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) demonstrates conclusively that the use of CFC-11 in China’s rigid polyurethane (PU) foam insulation sector, in particular in the building and construction subsector, is widespread and pervasive. CFC-11 is used as a foam blowing agent for the manufacture of molded foam panels and spray foam used for insulation purposes
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What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge
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