Unilever, Eletrofrio and Embraco are confident that investment in natural refrigerants will pick up in Brazil.
Embraco addressing ATMOsphere Network at FEBRAVA.
Addressing the first ATMOsphere event in Latin America – an ATMOsphere Network conference organised by shecco and hosted by Brazilian multinational Embraco in São Paulo yesterday at the 20th International Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning, Ventilation, Heating and Air Treatment Fair (FEBRAVA) – industry representatives, policymakers, end users and academics made the case for adopting natural refrigerants in Brazil.
With early shoots of growth emerging after several difficult economic years marked by an increase in energy costs, Brazilian industry is slowly starting to invest in new technologies and R&D. Yet for the most part, Brazil’s HVAC&R sector today offers traditional solutions based on R22 or R404A, refrigerants that will be subject to the global phase-down orchestrated by the Montreal Protocol in the coming years.
ATMOsphere Network served as a platform to discuss the opportunity to transition directly to natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons and CO2.
Eletrofrio – a Brazilain supplier of cabinets, cold rooms and racks for supermarkets and cold storage in South America – explained the rapid evolution of the technology in the last years in this country. The first CO2 subcritical systems started in 2012. “We have more than 100 CO2 subcritical systems in Brazil. Natural refrigerants are coming,” said Rogerio Marson, Eletrofrio’s industrial director.
The company has installed CO2 transcritical systems in three stores so far. It also plans to install CO2 transcritical in two more supermarkets next year, Marson told this website.
“Natural refrigerants are coming to Brazil."
– Rogerio Marson, Eletrofrio
Unilever committed to natural refrigerants
Unilever is also committed to natural refrigerants and had installed 2.2 million hydrocarbon-based cabinets worldwide by 2016. Now it is looking for new natural refrigerant technologies that are even more efficient and environmentally friendly. “These solutions are opportunities for us,” said Alessandra Rondinelli, director of environment and safety for Unilever in Brazil.
Freezers are a key part of Unilever’s strategy. The company was looking for a solution that reduced energy consumption whilst also delivering its sustainability agenda. It made the decision to adopt hydrocarbons in 1999 and committed to them in 2000, finding that using propane (R290) saved up to 30% in energy consumption.
“This was an important step for us that added value in the areas of efficiency and environmental protection.”
– Adler Cossovan, supply chain director, Unilever Brazil
Embraco focused exclusively on NatRefs
Embraco, a leading global supplier of hydrocarbon compressors for commercial and light commercial applications, is firmly committed to natural refrigerants too. "Our whole offer at FEBRAVA 2017 in São Paulo is using exclusively natural refrigerants," said Daniel Campos, commercial refrigeration sales director at Embraco.
“At FEBRAVA, the market for hydrocarbons looks set to pick up in Brazil. This could boost the momentum for natural refrigerants throughout the nation.”
– Alvaro de Oña, COO, shecco