Regardless of the business type or industry, commercial refrigerators contribute to a significant portion of total energy use. Fortunately, changes in the types of refrigerants available will work to protect the environment while saving owners money on the lifetime cost of their equipment.
For years, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have been the industry standard for refrigerants. They replaced chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to lessen the negative impact on the ozone layer. While HFCs are non-toxic, non-flammable, and have zero potential for ozone depletion, they’re still dangerous. As greenhouse gases, HFCs contribute to global warming.
Hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants are a viable alternative to HFCs. They’re not just environmentally sound — they’re also energy efficient. The following are three ways HC refrigeration both saves the earth while saving you money.
1. Increased Heat Exchange Capacity
Using HC refrigeration provides greater capacity for heat exchange than HFCs. As a result, appliances can be designed with smaller heat exchangers and compressors.
With less refrigerant needed to function, energy consumption is reduced. Compressors that use less energy create cost savings on your electric bill.
2. Environmentally Friendly
Chemicals used in refrigerants are measured by their Global Warming Potential, or GWP. HFC chemical refrigerants have a GWP rating in the thousands, ranging from 1,400 to nearly 11,000. By comparison, HC refrigerants have a GWP rating of 3.
HC systems reduce damaging greenhouse gases thanks to their low GWP rating. This can result in reducing annual gas emissions by many tons in some commercial settings. For example, supermarkets typically vent 5-10% of total refrigerants into the atmosphere. Switching to HCs ensures that vented refrigerants don’t damage the environment.
3. Ease of Implementation
When switching to HC refrigeration, you won’t have to worry about costly replacements and system upgrades. They operate with the same refrigeration cycle as their predecessors.
This means your current refrigeration technology is already equipped to safely transition to HC refrigerants. Since there’s no need for overhauls or redesigns, you won’t lose time or money moving away from HFC refrigerants.
Changing Market Conditions
Hydrocarbon refrigerants have been common throughout Europe for decades. They’ve produced proven results in lowering both operating costs and global warming potential.
Europe, the United States, China, and other countries have worked to phase out harmful chemical refrigerants. In fact, 2016 and 2017 saw the ban of HFCs in retrofit and supermarket systems. As the EPA and Department of Energy continue to implement new policies and restrictions, hydrocarbon refrigeration will only grow in popularity and use.
At Imbera, our line of commercial refrigerators are designed for optimal efficiency and performance. Their cyclopentane blowing agent contains neither CFCs nor HFCs, meaning it doesn’t damage the ozone layer or emit greenhouse gasses.
To learn more about our innovative products, contact Imbera at 678-504-6835.