While the word “refrigerant” isn’t normally the first thing one thinks of when Thailand is mentioned (can you say “Pad Thai” or “Tom Yum soup”?), interestingly the two intersected at an event.

The pro-HC refrigerant organization Hydrocarbons21 has provided details on the event that took place during the summer.

The Energy Efficiency Summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand, and it was “aiming to address the best practices in achieving energy savings and reducing operating costs while contributing to the environment. It included a presentation on how to achieve energy savings with natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons, and on the development of a Thai hydrocarbons production facility,” according to Hydrocarbons21.

Developments in this regard have significance in North America because there continues to be efforts here to use HC refrigerants in such units as domestic refrigerators and commercial coolers and freezers.

The summit brought together 80 speakers to discuss topics related to improving energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes, and transportation.

The Australia-based Green Cooling Association had a presentation from Brent Hoare, the executive director, called, “Keeping Cool and Saving Cash — Reducing Electricity Bills and Emissions With Natural Refrigerants.”

He cited projects in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean to reduce electricity consumption through retrofit of existing air conditioning systems with hydrocarbon refrigerants and China and Australia where “emerging high-efficiency hydrocarbon air conditioning systems” are being used.

Other projects involve, he said, low-charge ammonia commercial air conditioning systems, energy-efficiency opportunities from absorption air conditioning systems utilizing waste heat, and similar opportunities from the use of natural refrigerants in commercial and industrial refrigeration.

He also reported on development of a pure hydrocarbon facility in Thailand by Asian Green Fluids Co. Ltd.

“Use of hydrocarbon refrigerants in retrofitting existing HCFC-22 air conditioning systems has been widely demonstrated to achieve energy savings of 10 to 25 percent in many applications around the world, and is becoming increasingly popular in Southeast Asia,” said Hoare.

Green Fluids

Another report came from the Centre for Energy Environment Research and Development (CEERD Co. Ltd.). Thierry Lefevre, CEERD director and one of the members of the conference advisory committee, said CEERD endorsed the conference “to promote the need to achieve energy-efficiency gains generally and more specifically to promote awareness of the role hydrocarbons can play.

“We anticipate a large increase in demand for hydrocarbon refrigerants in coming years, and expect the increased use in existing systems will make a major contribution to reducing electricity use in several sectors.”

He also cited the Asian Green Fluids project being developed by CEERD that is currently in the fund-raising phase. He said the pure hydrocarbon plant in that regard is planned to be in full production by early 2013.

Publication date: 10/31/2011