Hvacr industry's challenge: Global warming

August 16, 2000
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — Having triumphed over rising energy conservation standards in the 1970s and the demise of ozone-depleting refrigerants in the 80s, the hvacr industry appears capable of dealing with the newest challenge of global warming.

That was a message brought to attendees at the three-fold compressor, refrigeration, and working fluids conferences here at Purdue University by ASHRAE president James Wolf.

During an address at the closing banquet after a week of paper presentations, Wolf labeled energy conservation, ozone-depletion potential (ODP), and global warming potential (GWP) as “three events that have changed the course of our industry.”

The current state of global warming focuses on six “suspects”: HFCs (which the U.S. hvacr industry has embraced as long-term alternatives to CFCs and HCFCs), carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.

“We don’t know if the six suspects cause global warming,” said Wolf. “But they are released in great quantities.”

The key, Wolf said, is making sure the six suspects continue to be lumped together, so should there be enforcement of a reduction in global warming gases, it can be done in a more balanced way, including the buying and selling of credits.

That message is clouded somewhat by pressure from some European sectors to isolate HFCs and force their total phaseout overseas.

Also, carbon dioxide turned out to be a high-profile possible refrigerant during the Purdue proceedings, from those who want to capture it from non-hvacr sources for use in air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

But Wolf’s main message for the industry was, “Start thinking ‘green’ holistically.”

Value vs. first cost

He urged that buildings be designed and constructed “based on value vs. first cost. Come up with the best equipment regardless of refrigerant; don’t do something crazy, use the best technology that is cost effective.

“The idea is, ‘design them right, install them right, operate them right.’” But, he added, that is sometimes not the case. “Building equipment is not often run the way it was designed.”

He encouraged the involvement of the audience of researchers and scientists.

Noting the depth of the research papers presented throughout the week, Wolf said, “You are the visionaries of the future. Ask yourself, ‘Where will the quality of life be without me? Without my colleagues? Without all of us?’”

Publication date: 08/21/2000

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Peter Powell

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.


NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts


NEWS 04-21-14 cover

2014 April 21

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con