The state of refrigerants and the requirements for transitions have been a critical issue for stakeholders within the HVACR industry for many years. These stakeholders include manufacturers, contractors, and end users, especially the owners and managers operating large commercial and industrial refrigeration systems.
The United States along with 108 countries support a planned, orderly phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) on a global warming potential (GWP) weighted basis with the Montreal Protocol as the vehicle of choice to lead the phase-down. While some countries are still opposed to the phase-down, an increasing number of U.S. companies have recognized that the change is inevitable and are anticipating the refrigerant transition by testing environmentally friendly CO2 systems today. Plus, as more companies are being driven by the demand for corporate environmental responsibility, energy savings, and a need for resilient systems, CO2 is becoming an increasingly attractive option for refrigeration systems, and it is beginning to take shape as the next natural refrigerant to challenge the use of HFCs — especially since HFCs have 1,400 to 4,000 times the GWP of CO2.