Session 1 - 4. Mr. Stephen Yurek (ICARMA)

Transitioning to Lower GWP Refrigerants:
There’s No Quick, Easy Path
Stephen Yurek
President and CEO
Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute
We Must Get This Right: Refrigerants Are Vital
 Used in Air conditioning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Economics Working
Paper Series
– Vital for personal health, comfort,
and well-being
 Used in Refrigeration
– Prolong life of perishable food
– Keep life-saving medicines safe
 Improve health, productivity, and
 Saves lives
Adapting to Climate Change: The
Remarkable Decline in the
U.S. Temperature-Mortality Relationship
Over the 20th Century
Alan Barreca
Karen Clay Olivier
Deschenes Michael
Greenstone Joseph
S. Shapiro
Working Paper 12-29
December 20, 2012
Room E52-251
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142
This paper can be downloaded without charge from the Social Science Research
Network Paper Collection at
Electronic copy available at:
We Are Not Waiting for Regulators
 We know that we need to transition from high-GWP to
lower-GWP refrigerants
 We are taking action
Challenges Ahead
 There is no “magic” replacement for high GWP HFCs
– Choices and tradeoffs must be made
 U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology
– Conducted comprehensive study of over 100,000,000
compounds to evaluate use as refrigerant
– Only 62 are worth further consideration after screening for
GWP, toxicity, flammability, stability and critical temperature.
– Found that based on current compression technology
“All the candidates are on the table”
GWP is Important, But Not the Only Consideration
 Maintaining refrigerant choice
– Best refrigerant for each application
 Evaluating refrigerant characteristics for informed choices
Balancing efficiency
There Are Limits and Tradeoffs
 Stability
– Low-GWP candidates can be less stable (except HC, CO2, NH3)
 Some candidates contain chlorine
– Impact below any current threshold
 Cost
– More complex molecules will be more costly
 Most refrigerant candidates are at least mildly flammable
– Safety codes are examining wider use of 2L refrigerants
– Hydrocarbons, while widely used in small-charge systems, are not
good candidates for larger systems
– Refrigerant charge:
General rule: 2.5 – 3lbs of refrigerant per ton
Typical U.S. residential unit: 3 tons
That means ~9lbs (4,000g) of refrigerant
Current limit in U.S. for flammable refrigerants is 150g
What is the Timeline?
 Commercial availability
– Refrigerants
– Components (e.g., compressors, valves, electronics) that are
compatible with new refrigerants
 Research and Development
– Time for equipment manufacturers to design and test
equipment with new refrigerants and components
– Time to retool manufacturing lines to produce new equipment
 Regulatory Approvals
– Safety and energy efficiency standards
 Updates to standards and national and local codes to
address the use of A2L and A3 refrigerants
Research on Alternatives – AHRI Low-GWP AREP-Phase I
 38 refrigerants were evaluated in Phase I testing
Submitted Reports
Available to the Public
 All Reports are available at:
 Tests covered the following applications:
– Air conditioners and heat pumps (air-source, water-source, VRF, unitary,
mini-split) (11)
– Chillers (screw (3), centrifugal(1))
– Refrigeration (commercial refrigerator (1), ice machine(2))
– Transport refrigeration (1)
– Bus air conditioning (2)
– Compressors (10)
AHRI Low-GWP AREP-Phase II – Started 2014
 23 new refrigerant candidates
 High Ambient Conditions
Education and Training – Major Global Challenge
 We understand and accept the need to
phase-down use of high GWP refrigerants
 Adequate time needed to:
– Properly research alternatives
– Engineer products that can use alternatives safely
– Develop capacity to manufacture, distribute, and sell
 We have a good record as an industry
– We must continue to work with policy makers
 We must seize the opportunity to approach global issue in a
global, not regional, fashion
– These Roundtables are a good forum to do so