Barriers to the uptake of low-GWP refrigerants


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Barriers to the uptake of low-GWP refrigerants

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Barriers to the uptake of low-GWP refrigerants

  1. 1. UNEP South America Regional Workshop Low-GWP, Energy-Efficient HCFC Replacement Technologies in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Barriers to the uptake of low-GWP Refrigerants 22nd – 23rd April, 2010, Bogota, Columbia Daniel Colbourne RE – PHRIDGE
  2. 2. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Introduction • As part of the “jump-start” project UNEP has initiated a study to look at barriers to the up-take of certain refrigerants in A5 countries – Specifically, low-GWP refrigerants as replacements – Aimed to help accelerate HCFC (R22, etc) phase-out • Focus on A5 countries (although same may apply in non-A5) • Will primarily consider low-GWP refrigerants in new equipment (i.e., not for retrofit/existing systems) • Need to identify the more significant barriers – Develop ways and means to overcome such barriers • General guiding question: – “If I wanted to have a low-GWP system tomorrow, what is stopping me?”
  3. 3. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Process • For this initial stage, intend to follow the process – Describe key natural refrigerants under consideration – Provide overview of typical process for introducing new refrigerant – Summarise main stakeholders that may influence choice and use of refrigerant – Suggest some of the types of barriers – Suggest some of the aspects affecting the type of barrier – Question-and-answer session on barriers • Important to differentiate between actual barriers and causes of barriers or “excuses” or “issues”
  4. 4. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Refrigerants to consider • Refrigerants under consideration, and main differences from HCFCs • R-717 (ammonia) – Higher toxicity, compatibility problems with copper • HCs – R-290 (propane), R-1270 (propylene) – High flammability • R-744 (carbon dioxide) – Very high working pressures, low critical temperature / transcritical cycle at higher ambient temperatures • Unsaturated HFCs – R1234yf, etc – Very new, probably very costly, not widely available yet
  5. 5. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Production development process
  6. 6. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Stakeholder influence
  7. 7. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Types of barriers • Barriers may be classified into several different types – Technical (refrigeration) – Technical (safety) – Commercial (profit) – Market (customer) – Information resources, know-how – Supply and availability of materials and equipment – Regulatory and quasi-regulatory (e.g., standards) – Psychological and sociological aspects (belief, rumour, peer groups, etc)
  8. 8. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Barriers influences • Barriers may be affected by certain aspects – Size of equipment (large, medium, small capacity) – Sector (domestic, commercial, industrial) – Types of equipment (mass-produced appliance, site-installed bespoke system) • Consider “soft” aspects – Factual/actual problems, or perceived/mythical – Personal desire to see barriers or to not see barriers – Availability of incentives
  9. 9. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Example of some barriers • Example 1: – Manufacturers of heat-pumps want to use HCs – Compressor suppliers refuse to supply them for larger charges • Example 2: – Air conditioner manufacturers want to use R290 – National regulation that prohibits use of flammables in buildings • Example 3: – Ammonia chiller for air conditioning a public building – Chief of the department refuses to accept it for no known reason • Example 4: – NOU plans to meet with minister to present ammonia for industrial R – Ammonia accident few days before leads to much bad press
  10. 10. Barriers to low-GWP refrigerants Questions… • For each barrier – Describe what it is – Which refrigerant does it apply to, or all? – What is the cause of the barrier? – Which stakeholder(s) does it directly impact upon? – Can you do anything about it? – If so, what action(s) would it be? – How would you rate the difficulty for you to do this? (easy, viable, impossible) – How to characterise the barrier? (physical, moral, perceived) – If you cannot do anything about it, which stakeholder(s) could? – Is there a way of by-passing the barrier? • Any other remarks?