Ever wondered how your refrigerator works? Before refrigerators as we know them were invented they used to be a box that was topped up with ice regularly in order to keep food cool. At the beginning of the 20th century Frigidare launched their first electronic fridge for households. They had sold 200,000 models by 1926 and had to build a new factory in order for them to keep up with demand! The bare bones of what a refrigerator does is push hot air outside the unit in order to keep the contents cool. The most common way of doing this is by tubes that are filled which a chemical liquid (refrigerant) which boils when the air pressure is reduced. Once it has boiled it turns into a vapour which then absorbs energy. This is the process that transfers energy from the inside of the fridge to the outside, therefore keeping the contents cold. Continue reading → Renewable Energy and Counterfeit Refrigerant The Guardian has reported that the new environment and energy ministers for the Conservative party bring a reputation of actually opposing renewable energy. Those that have been appointed have reportedly opposed wind and solar farms and are very pro fracking. Michael Hancock is the new energy minister and according to The Guardian he wrote and signed a letter to David Cameron stating, “I support renewable energy but we do need to do it in a way that gives us the most value for money and that does not destroy our natural environment.” He was referring to cutting the costs for onshore wind farms although this letter was dated back in 2012. Continue reading → Environmentally Friendly Refrigerant for Vehicles Which refrigerants that you should and shouldn’t be using in your air conditioning systems have been a hot topic for a while now to ensure that they become environmentally friendly and over the years this is exactly what has happened. DuPont have now announced that they believe there will be 3 million vehicles around the world that will be using the HFO-1234yf refrigerant by the end of this year. The president of DuPont chemicals and fluoroproducts is Thierry F.J.Vanlancker and he has said “The EPA credits alone provide enough incentive to automakers that we expect to see more than 50 per cent of automobiles in the U.S market converted to HFO-1234yf by 2018. “Of course, we expect higher conversions in the European market, driven by the need to comply with the MAC Directive.” Continue reading → Daikin will use the R32 refrigerant next year It has been announced that Daikin will be using the R32 refrigerant in their air conditioning units by the end of next year. However, it is important to know that this refrigerant is slightly flammable, although it does have a lower GWP. Peter Verkempynk is the managing director at Daikin and he has said that the first units with the refrigerant will be launched next year and will go up to 6 kW. In 2016 they will be launching products up to 16 kW. These will not be the only ranges that will be launched either, in 2017, Peter has said, that they plan to launch a third wave of units with the R32 technology in their Altherma heat pumps along with more in the future. Of course there are concerns with the use of a mildly flammable refrigerant in the units, which Peter Verkempynk has responded, “It is our responsibility to make sure that people know how to handle R32. And therefore we will be ensuring that installers are trained appropriately.” Despite the plans for the future they haven’t been holding back this year and have launched the fourth generation of the VRV. It is a heat recovery system which, Daikin are claiming, will provide an extra 28 per cent efficiency compared to its predecessor. Continue reading → F-Gas Regulations on the horizon The F Gas regulations are awaiting a review that can take place any day now and as a result the Climate Center is urging those in the industry to get ahead of the changes. The European Commission are creating new controls to ensure that the use of refrigerants that could have a very high impact on global warming is monitored and constrained. These F-gases can be used in air conditioning systems that are used in offices. It is expected that in there will be new regulations that will be introduced through-out Europe. Robert Franklin is the manager of the refrigeration side of the business at the Climate Center has said, “The final details of the F-Gas regime are currently being worked out, but it is clear that the EU will act to reduce the use of very high GWP refrigerants in the future. Continue reading → Air Conditioning Phrases made Easy When looking for a new air conditioning unit, it can often be daunting having to talk to someone about an area you aren’t particularly sure of. It can also be confusing if a contractor is talking to you and reeling of lists of technical terms and not being 100 per cent sure on what the actual problem is or what needs to be fixed. With this in mind we have put together a summary of some of the key phrases that will be useful to you when the time comes to buy a new unit or when you need one repaired. Continue reading → Volkswagen choose CO2 as a Refrigerant With the world very eco and money conscious at the moment it is no surprise that when it comes to cars everything is looking to reduce their CO2 emissions and their costs. However Volkswagen have come up with an unusual solution to going green. When we think of CO2 we usually associated this with having a negative impact on the environment but Volkswagen have decided that they are now going to use it in their refrigerant in mobile air conditioning systems across all of its vehicles. They reached this decision because the refrigerant known as R744 actually has low global warming potential of just “one”. This figure is 99.3% below what the EU specify which is 150 in MAC (mobile air conditioning) systems. In most MAC systems at the moment the refrigerant used, R134 and according to statistics reported by the US Environmental Protection Agency has a global warming potential of 1,300. Investigations into reducing emissions from MACs have been ongoing since the 1990s. There was nearly a decision for the refrigerant R1234 to be chosen although Daimler found safety issues with it. This was discovered in September of last year through their internal tests so decided against using the refrigerant and BMW and Volkswagen also chose not to. The chosen refrigerant by Volkswagen is CO2 because it is viewed as an A1 refrigerant and is also not flammable with limited amounts of toxicity. It is also the least likely refrigerant to have an impact on the environment. New Refrigerant Causing Controversy When we think of air conditioning we think of the cool air but since a new refrigerant has entered the market, things are starting to heat up! The European Union are pushing for refrigerants in cars made from this year onward to be switched from R-134a to the new R-1234yf. Daimler, the car manufacturer is not happy about this and is standing their ground. DuPont and Honeywell developed the new refrigerant and spent many years and millions of investment creating it as they believe that it is 99.7% more environmentally friendly that the refrigerant that is currently used, the R-134a. It has passed all the protocols enforced by the EU and they like it so much that they have announced all cars made in 2013 should be using it. Daimler is refusing this and is still using the former refrigerant. They have conducted a series of tests using the new refrigerant and they believe it is far more dangerous. The most recent test they conducted was a head on collision with B class at the Sindelfingen track. They conducted 20 tests and from the 20 results the discovered that when the coolant hits the heated engine it catches fire. Also, R-1234yf became hydrogen fluoride in the tests. This is very dangerous to humans especially in high amounts. Apparently the results of the tests showed that there was enough hydrogen fluoride produced to the windshield white. After they had conducted these tests Daimler recalled all the vehicles they had produced with the new refrigerant. A report by Bloomberg also reported that Volkswagen had similar complaints. On top of this there are some fire fighter organisations in Germany and Australia that are protesting against the new refrigerant as well as some testing agencies who are lobbying to get the coolant banned. After the results of the Daimler tests there are also thirteen other car companies that are now conducting their own tests. However, on contrast to this, Toyota completed their own tests and they had no such results and they are currently supporting the new change to the new very eco-friendly refrigerant. Chevrolet and GMC are among others who are also supporting the change. DuPont and Honeywell have announced that the refrigerant is completely safe to be used in vehicles. They claim that a reason why Daimler might be against the new chemical is because it is more expensive than the R-134a.