Ever wonder which refrigeration and air-conditioning systems are the better, greener choice for the building that you are designing or constructing? Well, the choice is about to get a little easier.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace have relaunched the Cool Technologies database, which showcases clean cooling technologies as alternatives to the climate-damaging hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) systems used at present.
Conventional refrigeration and air-conditioning systems have relied on the use of F-gases for the past few decades, even though these super greenhouse gases are thousands of times more damaging than carbon dioxide. This, together with the energy used to power current cooling equipment significantly, contributes to both climate change and ozone layer depletion. HFCs, the most recent generation of F-gases, are now being phased down by the Montreal Protocol.
From technology to case studies
The Cool Technologies database features commercially available equipment using natural refrigerants (hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, ammonia, water and air) as well as Not-In-Kind technologies (which do not use vapour compression cycles). In addition, case studies are published of companies using these technologies and enjoying the benefits of the greater energy efficiency that many of these systems boast.
However, the database is not meant to be all-inclusive, nor is the inclusion of any systems an endorsement of the company and its products. It does not have a commercial drive and is not remunerated for any information featured.
“Sustainable cooling is about avoiding obsolete, inefficient technologies which are harmful to the environment. By understanding what cool technologies are available and working well for others, manufacturers and businesses can make the best choice for the future,” says Fionnuala Walravens, senior climate campaigner at EIA.
It is for the developing world
The web-based database is targeted primarily at businesses in the developing world, and is hoped to help raise awareness of and build confidence in HFC-free alternatives for clean cooling worldwide.
“As the global demand for air-conditioning and refrigeration grows, natural refrigerants are emerging as sustainable solutions; saving the planet from billions of tons of greenhouse gases and helping to keep global warming below 1,5°C,” says Paula Tejón Carbajal, global campaign strategist at Greenpeace International.
“Going HFC-free is an opportunity for businesses across the globe to future-proof their investments, clean up the cooling sector and save on energy bills,” adds Walravens.
Discover the new and improved Cool Technologies database at www.cooltechnologies.org.