Springtime means many different things to many different people: Love in the air; baseball, golf, and grilling; shorts and sunscreen; a rebirth; a triumph of the dogged determination of life to begin anew after winter. Or, for those in the refrigeration industry, spring of 2017 means just three more cooling seasons until the only R-22 on the market will be what’s available through reclaimers or in individual inventories (a.k.a. stockpiles).
New ice rinks generally use ammonia as a refrigerant, but R-22 was the choice for many years, and the ice making systems in older rinks can contain several thousand pounds of R-22. In the approaching cold, hard reality of a post-R-22 world, how will rinks keep their ice cold and hard?
Alternative to R-22 and R-404A approved under SNAP program
January 3, 2017
Arkema’s Forane® 449B (R-449B) refrigerant has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in multiple refrigeration applications under the agency’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.
Factors include more supermarkets, new refrigerant, and efficiency regs
January 3, 2017
Demand for commercial refrigeration equipment in the United States is forecast to rise 3.1 percent per year through 2020 to $11.3 billion, according to a report by Reportbuyer. According to the report, US Commercial Refrigeration Industry, the growth between now and 2020 will be moderating somewhat compared to the 2010-2015 period, when growth was bolstered by a rebound in sales after the economic recession.
In October 2014, the EPA announced its final phasedown schedule regarding the production and importation of HCFC-22. The order called for an immediate drop from 51 million pounds allowed in 2014 to 22 million pounds in 2015, 18 million pounds in 2016, 13 million pounds in 2017, 9 million pounds in 2018, and 4 million pounds in 2019. No new or imported R-22 will be allowed in the U.S. on or after Jan. 1, 2020.
In many ways, refrigerant recovery and reclamation is an example of human ingenuity at its best. An innovative and essential product is created, and then a way is devised to prolong its usefulness by collecting it after years of service, purifying it, and using it again.
The ongoing phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), such as R-22, holds many unknowns for the HVACR industry as 2020 approaches, but at least one sector of the industry anticipates tremendous opportunity: the reclamation sector.
Proactive HVAC contractors have been working to educate their employees and clients on the inevitable phaseout. And, with the price of R-22 already starting to rise in many areas, educated contractors are finding it easier to convince customers to replace aging R-22 units with newer, more efficient models.