Sydney, 8 May 2018 – The global HFC phasedown is already pushing Australia and New Zealand’s HVAC&R sector away from HFCs towards natural refrigerants, shecco’s Caroline Rham told a seminar at the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Building Services Exhibition (ARBS 2018) at the ICC in Sydney’s Darling Harbour today.
“Legislation is driving the industry away from high-GWP refrigerants,” said Caroline Rham, business development manager for shecco in Australia and New Zealand.
“This is an opportunity for natural refrigerants,” Rham said.
In industrial refrigeration, low-charge ammonia is making inroads into the Australian market, with over 100 systems currently in operation. Rham argued that the potential for further growth is enormous, citing Australia’s estimated 100,000 refrigerated warehouses – “the vast majority of which are using HFC systems and are in need of conversion”.
The subsequent Q&A revealed the depth of feeling over how to define low-charge ammonia, with varied opinions from leading HVAC&R stakeholders in the room revealing that industry is yet to reach a consensus in this regard. During the debate, shecco COO Alvaro De Oña highlighted the company’s efforts to contribute to the debate in an upcoming ‘World Guide to Low Charge Ammonia’.
He suggested this could lead to recommendations to create several categories such as reduced charge, low charge and ultra-low charge.
Australia’s uniquely remote landscape and strong agricultural sector are well suited to large-scale industrial plants using ammonia, Rham argued.
Under the spotlight: natural refrigerant trends
Rham presented data from sheccoBase, shecco’s market development arm, indicating that the number of CO2 transcritical supermarkets worldwide is growing rapidly.
Europe currently leads the way with over 14,000 CO2 transcritical stores, while there are 3,100+ in Japan, 340+ in the United States, and 210+ in Canada. New Zealand has 41+ while Australia has 20+ (March 2018 data).
Yet Australia and New Zealand are posting the second and third most impressive growth rates after the United States, said Rham, with the number of CO2 transcritical stores having increased by 400% (Australia) and 356% (New Zealand) from 2015 to February 2018.
“CO2 transcritical has proven to be efficient in Australia’s high ambient temperatures,” said Rham.
Yet currently there are more CO2 transcritical installations in New Zealand than in Australia. “The main reason for fast adoption of CO2 transcritical in New Zealand is the temperate climate and the emissions trading scheme,” Rham said.