14 September 2011

NATURAL REFRIGERANTS IN HEAT PUMPS – A STUDY OF MARKET AND POLICY TRENDS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND NORTH AMERICA


The natural refrigerants carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrocarbons are gaining
traction in the global heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry. However, although acknowledged as a viable alternative to hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in different applications, a range of
barriers impede their more widespread use. At the international workshop “ATMOsphere 2010” representatives from the heat pump sector, non-governmental organisations, as well as legislators identified a range of concrete national/international barriers and solutions, covering the areas of technology & safety, legislation & standards, training & know-how, markets & marketing, funding & support, supply & availability, as well as psychology.

Building on these results, a global survey among industry experts was launched in February 2011 to verify barriers for natural refrigerants in HVAC&R sector. Preliminary results show (status: 31 March 2011) that the information level about natural refrigerants is unevenly distributed among the industry, and that training and psychology pose major barriers to a wider consideration of non-HFC refrigerant solutions. By August 2011, this data will result in a “guide to natural refrigerants” to provide quantitative and qualitative data about market shares, projections and scenarios, expectations from the industry and an evaluation of policy measures regarding their potential to support or delay the introduction of non-HFC solutions in heat pumps and beyond.