SPR 2018

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D anfoss recently held its 30th EnVisioneering Symposium — Refrigerants2Sustainability — in Orlando, Florida, to explore the forces and ideas driving commercial refrigeration strategy. HFC refrigerants were a technological advancement that helped roll back risk to the ozone layer but at the expense of unsustainable climate impact. Delisting HFCs now means exploring flammable re- frigerants for a large role in the overall refrigerant regime. The symposium convened leaders from across stakeholder communities to discuss the probabilities, possibilities, timelines and new lights by which market players can gain greater clarity, build effective collaborations and know better what action paths will best meet goals on both business and societal objectives. Since U.S. regulatory strat- egy has focused on transform- ing the refrigerant regime for its GWP impact, industry stakeholders have been explor- ing new directions and end- game solutions on refrigerants. But when the courts recently placed a question mark over U.S. EPA's SNAP regulations, the issue shifted — this time to questions like how far the country would move, what new investments would be genuine- ly necessary and whether the basic strategic issues for refrig- erants had again been put on ice. Such questions now form the framework within which industry refrigerant strategy will move forward. "There is a great deal of un- certainty today regarding regu- lations that has an overwhelm- ing impact on equipment manufacturers, end users and contractors," said Lisa Tryson, director of corporate commu- nications, Danfoss, in her open- ing remarks. "The industry is looking for the end game in how systems will be designed, installed and maintained." This uncertainty is causing states, refrigeration equipment manufacturers and end users to take individual actions to move toward low-GWP and energy- efficient technologies that stand to future-proof business and benefit the bottom line today. For example, the Califor- nia Air Resources Board has already taken action to reduce HFC refrigerants by putting sales restrictions on very high- GWP refrigerants, prohibiting high-GWP refrigerants in new stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, and providing (to-be-funded) financial incentives for new low-GWP systems. Likewise, retailer Target has set a goal of becoming HFC- free in food distribution centers and stand-alone refrigerated display cases by 2020, is ex- panding its use of hydrocarbon R-290 and is continuing to use a CO2 cascade and HFO-blend self-contained application in small-format new stores. At the same time, supermar- ket chain Giant Eagle is refo- cusing priorities to emphasize improvements in technology that can quickly yield positive energy savings, tighter tem- perature control and improved food safety without dramati- cally changing its refrigerant strategy. During the symposium, a roundtable discussion took a closer look at regulations, safety, climate and consumer expectations and was led by presentations from: > Mark Menzer, director of public affairs, Danfoss. Menzer discussed the recent court rul- ing on SNAP regulations. > Pamela Gupta, manager, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy Section, California Air Resource Board. Gupta provided an overview on HFC emission reduction measures for California. > Xudong Wang, director of research, Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Insti- tute. Wang provided the status of AHRI's efforts on codes and standards for mildly flammable refrigerants. > Peter Dee, sales director, Danfoss. Dee examined various existing technologies to reduce emissions, including CO2. > Paul Anderson, senior group manager of engineering, Target Corporation. Anderson highlighted Target's solutions for lowering emissions. > Brad Morris, senior manager of engineering and energy, Giant Eagle Inc. Morris showed the lifecycle cost savings possible with case control technology. > Dr. Marcel Christians, chief technology officer, Ice Energy. Christians discussed ice storage solutions. FINANCING THE PARADIGM SHIFT Population growth, the growth in retail food outlets (despite online food shopping), an aging grid and less appetite for build- ing new generation capacity all point to energy-use contain- ment. And generally speaking, utilities are capitalized to fi- nance the shift. Some progress has been made to bring utilities and commercial refrigeration together to plot a common path — but not nearly enough. Court-imposed ambiguity, uncertain standards and codes and a diversity of technological options (and risks) compli- cate the relevant questions. But the overarching facts are clear enough: there is ample convergence of interest to sup- port a strategic dialogue. Global refrigerant trends suggest it should begin sooner rather than later. Symposium explores the conditions of business strategy in commercial refrigeration FUTURE- FOCUSED ADISA/DREAMSTIME HVACPproducts.com HVAC & Plumbing Product News \ Spring 2018 18

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