Embraco Position Paper – Light Commercial Refrigeration – USA

In recent years, the refrigeration industry has been discussing and evaluating their environmental impacts, due to the increased concentration of gases causing the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere and new laws and regulations for energy efficiency and use of refrigerant gases, for which the market should be prepared.

Embraco has used natural refrigerants, such as R290 and R600a, as an alternative to reduce the negative effects to the ozone layer as well as to improve the equipment’s energy efficiency rating. One of the company’s goals is to offer the best refrigeration solutions for its customers and educate the market about the importance of adopting alternatives to HFCs gases for the planet’s future.

The use of natural refrigerants is also aligned to the North American standards and regulations. A recent EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) ruling is considering a ban of high GWP refrigerants, such as R134a and R404A, in the next few years in several categories of commercial applications and the California Air Resources Board announced much stronger measures, very similar to the recent EU F-gas regulation, to be published in the next few months. A number of alternative synthetic refrigerants were offered by the chemical industry and more are coming. For this reason Embraco performed a number of activities to assess their potential to replace high GWP refrigerants presently in use.
This position paper will summarize the present testing state of alternatives for both R404A and R134a replacements. Focus will be given to reliability and performances aspects as well as to the related safety legislation evolution.

It is based upon testing activities performed by Embraco Labs and supported by Embraco’s experts, with the final aim to assess the transitory solutions towards low GWP refrigerants and to provide an overview of the main outcomes to customers and stakeholders.

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