“Going Natural – the Danish Road to natural refrigerants”

By Janaina Topley Lira, Jul 04, 2012, 14:44 3 minute reading

Switching to natural refrigerants achieves both F-gas reductions and sustainable growth according to a newly released report by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Low GWP Alternatives to HFCs in Refrigeration”.  The introduction of national F-Gas regulation has brought about pioneering CO2, hydrocarbon and ammonia HVAC&R technologies and new business ventures, proving the business case of “Going Natural”.

Accompanied by the leaflet ““Going Natural – the Danish Road to natural refrigerants”, the new report compiles latest results regarding the development of alternative technology and provides an objective update on the different technology options available. It describes in detail the Danish initiatives that have helped reduce the emission of potent greenhouse gases, and an overview of the regulation that spurred the change.
HFC free technology that has been developed and implemented
  • Commercial refrigeration systems: the pioneering company Advansor produces remote refrigeration packs for supermarkets and is now the world’s biggest manufacturer of transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems. Advansor now makes 8 supermarket refrigeration systems a week. Other companies building CO2 transcritical CO2 systems include Knudsen Køling A/S and Carrier. Danfoss offers a full programme for valves and controls for transcritical (and subcritical) CO2 systems, whilst a number of suppliers of compressors exist, including Bitzer, Bock, Copeland, Dorin and Frascold;
  • Commercial refrigerators and freezers:  Vestfrost produces a hydrocarbon bottle cooler and wine cooler using R600a, and has delivered several thousand units to the European market. Hydrocarbon bottle coolers are now becoming a standard product and Carlsberg deploys hydrocarbon coolers whenever it is possible and where educated technicians can service the appliances. Gram Commercial also produces R600a and R290 bottle coolers and professional kitchen equipment, whilst Unilever has installed over 640,000 hydrocarbon ice cream cabinets.
  • Vaccine cooler: Vestfrost introduced the first SolarChill vaccine cooler powered directly by photovoltaic panels and using hydrocarbon refrigerant. It has an ice storage ,which can keep the vaccine cool up to 5 days without any power.
  • Supermarket display cabinet: AHT from Austria produces R290 plug-in cabinets
  • Chillers: Formerly known as Sabroe, Johnson Controls International produces about 200 chillers every year at the site in Denmark. The chillers are placed all over the world with cooling capacities of between 300 kW to 6.5 MW. Moreover, together with Danish company Bundgaard Køleteknik they have started the production of hydrocarbon chillers in the medium to larger range (50 - 400 kW). The two competing companies make about 150 units per year, and most of the units are installed in Denmark;
  • Industrial refrigeration systems: Carlsberg uses ammonia for process cooling in all Carlsberg breweries as it is the most efficient refrigerant according to Group Environmental Manager Mr. Eskild Andersen, Carlsberg Breweries. Nearly all Scandinavian dairies, slaughterhouses, breweries and fishery companies have ammonia refrigeration systems. 
Danish F-gas regulations 
Since 1st of January 2007 a total ban on the use of HFC refrigerants in Denmark in new systems with charges exceeding 10 kg has been in force. In addition to the ban a tax amounting to DKK 195 (app. 26 Euro) per kg is imposed on the most frequently used F-gas refrigerant (HFC- 134a). Accompanying this regulation the Danish EPA established the “HFC free Centre” to provide free advice and assistance on what kind of refrigeration system to choose (up to 5 hours of engineering consultancy).
Key to the quick introduction of natural refrigerant HAVC&R equipment following the introduction of HFC taxes in Denmark was the fruitful co-operation between industry, science and government.


By Janaina Topley Lira

Jul 04, 2012, 14:44

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