Chillers And The Environment

I am writing in response to the story that ran in the Nov. 22, 2004, issue of The News and on titled, "York Transitions From HCFC-123."

I'd like to clarify a few points for your readers, particularly R-123 availability, environmental impact, and demand.

Trane believes that there will be more than enough R-123 for the long term. The scheduled phaseout dates for R-123 are many years away -- 2030 in developed countries and 2040 in developing countries. Manufacturers have strongly indicated that they will continue producing at least the same amount of R-123 up to the phaseout dates.

Plus, there is no time limit on the availability and use of stockpiled, reclaimed, or recycled R-123. With nearly 60 percent of all chillers operating today being R-123 chillers, logic and historical information suggest that there will be plenty of recycled R-123 well past the R-123 phaseout dates.

Trane also believes that R-123, when used in our chillers, is the most environmentally beneficial refrigerant option. Trane's R-123 products have both very low global warming potential (GWP), made possible by these products being up to 18 percent more efficient than other large chillers on the market today, and a near-zero impact on the ozone layer.

In fact, if every new non-Trane centrifugal chiller sold in one year had the same efficiency as the average Trane HCFC-123 chiller, annual power plant emissions would be reduced by more than 777 million pounds of CO2. This is equivalent to planting 1.4 million trees for the next 23 years.

Plus, approximately 250,000 pounds of SO2 and 1 million pounds of NOX emissions are avoided. There is comprehensive and credible scientific evidence supporting the fact that global warming and ozone depletion are both environmental imperatives. A focus on only one of these environmental priorities fails to recognize the importance of the other.

Finally, the story quotes York saying, "demand for HCFC-123 chillers is falling globally." Trane continues to see strong demand for our R-123 chillers, which have the highest efficiency of all options on the market.

Although Trane's R-123 chillers are part of a wide portfolio of energy-efficient products and systems that enable our customers to "build green" now and in the future, our R-123 chiller offers the most environmentally beneficial refrigerant choice in large chillers by minimizing both global warming and ozone depletion.

Jim Wolf
Vice President and Chairman
Trane Environmental Policy
Piscataway, N.J.

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Publication date: 12/06/2004