ARLINGTON, Va. - The International Council of Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Manufacturers’ Associations (ICARHMA) held its annual meeting Aug. 8-11 in Portland, Ore. The meeting was hosted by the U.S. member to the council, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which is serving as the 2010 secretariat. Attendees included representatives from Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, and Korea.

Following two days of networking tours of Portland and the surrounding area, including the Oregon Coast, Mount Hood, and the Columbia River Gorge, attendees settled in for an intensive day of meetings on topics of mutual concern.

The chief topic of discussion was future refrigerant policy and potential successor refrigerants to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the refrigerants most extensively used worldwide today. Following a briefing about efforts by the United States and other countries to include a phase-down of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, a panel discussion was held, featuring representatives from Johnson Controls, Ingersoll-Rand/Trane, Emerson, Daikin, and Honeywell.

Following the panel session, the president of the Japan Society of Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (JSRAE) gave a presentation on refrigerant management systems and their role in responsible refrigerant use.

The council agreed to develop a refrigerant policy statement and tasked AHRI to lead the effort. The council also tasked AHRI with drafting a proposal for a global research program to evaluate alternative refrigerants modeled after the Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (AREP) that was led by AHRI predecessor ARI following the phaseout of CFC refrigerants.

Following the panel discussion, each participating organization provided updates on developments in their nations that would be of interest to the group as a whole. Topics included refrigerant policy, certification, renewable energy regulations, responsible refrigerant use, technician training, and green building codes.

Later in the day, a representative from JRAIA briefed the council on the concept of developing a new energy performance metric, the annual performance factor (APF). The concept is currently being developed by ISO TC 86, SC 6, WG1 and is intended to apply to three ISO standards that cover testing and rating of ducted, non-ducted, and multi-split systems.

It was the consensus of the council that information regarding the development of this new energy metric is of utmost interest to the members and has many policy implications. The council agreed that the secretariat should provide the members with more information on the subject to allow discussions at policy levels as well in their respective national standards bodies.

ICARHMA members will next meet in conjunction with the AHR Expo in January 2011 in Las Vegas. The Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) will host the next ICARHMA annual meeting, scheduled for fall 2011.

Publication date:09/06/2010