A successful ATMOsphere network Paris organised on 17 July as a side event to the Montreal Protocol meeting brought together around 50 international climate negotiators and industry representatives. The event provided an exclusive update on the conversion of a production line for residential AC to hydrocarbons in China by a representative of the Chinese Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO). In addition, shecco was proud to announce that Sidi Menad Si Ahmed, Former UNIDO Director of the Montreal Protocol Branch, is now working with shecco as the company’s International Chief Advisor.
“Today we are facing a new challenge, which is the phase out of HCFCs, but also HFCs. We heard a few days ago that probably there are no solutions for each and every application, but there are in fact many solutions for those applications where it is believed that there are none, including for high ambient temperature countries. We should not fear the adoption of an HFC amendment because alternatives do exist for a wide range of applications currently covered by HFCs,” said Si Ahmed, shecco’s International Chief Advisor who chaired the ATMOsphere Network Paris side-event to the 34th Open Ended Working Group meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.
Six types of R290 room AC already certified for Chinese market
Hydrocarbons represent one of the aforementioned available solutions, envisaged as a key solution to the phase out of HCFCs by the Chinese industry. According to Zhong Zhifeng of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO) at the Ministry of Environmental Protection propane was selected due to its zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) and very low global warming potential (GWP), but also following the results of a comprehensive risk assessment which evaluated that the explosion possibilities for an R290 room AC are extremely low and that safe use can be guaranteed through implementation of certain safety measures.
In China, progress on the conversion of production lines for room AC and compressor lines from R22 to R290 is made almost every day and new production lines have been founded. Almost all manufacturers have submitted applications for certification of R290 AC and already at least 6 types of propane room ACs have been approved and certified, which means that these can be sold in the Chinese market.
According to Zhifeng, the Chinese manufacturing designs and production lines are likely suitable for different regions, given the energy efficiency and the strict production standards adhered to. These include the national safety standard that allows the use of flammable refrigerants in room AC published in May 2013, and other standards concerning production line safety, transportation safety, installation and servicing, already adapted or to be published soon.
To encourage manufacturers to promote R290 as soon and as much as possible when the production is ready, the FECO, in partnership with an association of manufacturers, has established a market promotion subsidy scheme.
Speaking more generally, Zhifeng also noted that China tries its best to promote natural refrigerants and that organisations such as shecco play an important role in promoting efforts to protect the environment.
Mayekawa, Advansor, AHT, and shecco present on market trends for natural refrigerants
Besides the update on the Chinese room AC sector, the ATMOsphere Network Paris included presentations on market trends for natural refrigerants in industrial refrigeration from Mayekawa, in commercial refrigeration from Advansor, and in light commercial refrigeration from AHT. shecco outlined some of the recent regulatory updates in Europe, Japan and North America while pointing out how ambitious policy actions in these regions drive innovation and lead to increased availability of natural refrigerant solutions. The presentations triggered fruitful discussion and interest mainly from developing countries.
For more than a decade market development expert shecco has been active in helping bring climate friendly technologies faster to market. shecco supports over 100+ partners worldwide in the HVAC&R sector, where the focus is on sustainable refrigeration, heating & cooling technologies using natural refrigerants. shecco offers a variety of services in three areas: 1) media & publications, including online industry platforms and a catalogue of dedicated research reports; 2) business development, including market research, consultancy and public affairs services, as well as special international projects; and 3) events, including international conferences and national workshops.
Publisher / Managing Director
Sidi Menad Si Ahmed
International Chief Advisor
Janaina Topley Lira
Press release: ATMOsphere Network Paris provides update on room AC conversion to R290 in China (102 KB)