By Professor Toby Peters, CEO, Dearman Engine
Booming demand for cooling, particularly in the developing world, poses serious challenges around energy and the environment. But it also presents a massive opportunity. Innovative clean cold technologies are now being developed that promise both to make cooling far more sustainable and create a new global market.
Cooling has been much ignored in the energy debate so far, but is a pillar of modern civilization. We need cold chains of refrigerated storage and vehicles to preserve food from farm to fork and protect vaccines. We need to cool the data centres that enable the online economy. We need air conditioning to make buildings comfortable places to live and work wherever they are. But there is an economic and environmental price to pay for cooling – or the lack of it.
New pan European research shows the bad impact of unregulated transport refrigeration units.
One million refrigeration units creates an environmental and health impact equivalent to approximately 56 million diesel cars.
Analysis undertaken by Dearman, the clean cold and power technology company, has highlighted the damaging economic, health and environmental impact that cooling of refrigerated vehicles is having across Europe.
Will Hawkins interviews Thermo King Marketing Director, Laurent Debias on this question and other differences between transport refrigeration and static refrigeration applications.
What impact is environmental legislation having on your business?
F-Gas legislation not only influenced the static refrigeration but the transport industry too. The overall EU target is to reduce the potential impact of F-Gas by 79% by 2030. Within the rules of the F-Gas, they set a Global Warming Potential (GWP) limit of 2,500 of it by 2020. But, and this is a high 'But' in transport is that is applies to systems above 40 tonne refrigerant charge equivalent.
If you have R404A, all systems with more than 10KG will fall under the new F-Gas legislation. For other parts of the GWP level, in transport, we were let off on this one, because most of the systems in the field today are below 10KG of refrigerant.
In a sense, the transport industry was not impacted by the GWP level of HFC. But, having said that, F-Gas is not only looking at the GWP level, it is also looking at how you handle HFC. So, if you service a system, you need to register what you are recovering from the system, and you need to register the new charge you put in the system. There is a full aspect on the service side and our Thermo King dealers will need to register all of their HFC movement. In addition, they will have to perform a yearly leak check on all systems.
We are impacted for part of the F-Gas but not for the time being (I am sure this will change), but not on the GWP level of the F-Gas. Having said that, at Thermo King and Ingersoll Rand we have our own commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, which includes the efficiency of the system, for our products by 50% by 2020.
We are also looking at how we produce our products. We aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2020.