Business Development Manager - AACS Limited
A key cog in the machine of the global cool chain is refrigeration, it is essential in our modern world. Since 2007 with the introduction of F-Gas regulations, the industry has continued to evolve to ensure compliance with legislation and a shift towards increased environmental awareness for the consumer.
The industry is always looking for new ways to combat climate change, with a move towards lower GWP (Global Warming Potential) alternative refrigerants , such as low GWP A2L refrigerants. It is an important move and it is vital to ensure the sustainability of the industry itself. To help us better understand the environmental impact of F-Gas, we need to consider the key factors and look at each element before we can start to build a sustainable, eco friendly industry for future generations.
Ensuring we think green when choosing new equipment will of course be an influential factor when looking at the future of the industry. Ensuring we consider the overall sustainability and efficiency of running a system over its life. We must look at the overall lifetime cost of the equipment, to do this we need to consider the initial financial cost, as well as ongoing costs whilst also ensuring the environmental impacts are at the forefront of our decision as well. Obviously low GWP refrigerants have less of an impact on the environment, but the energy consumption of that system over its lifetime has a significantly larger impact upon carbon emissions. We must ensure that any new systems not only operate with a low GWP refrigerant but that it is also highly energy efficient too to ensure we achieve a reduction in the lifetime environmental impact of the equipment too.
Obviously low GWP refrigerants have less of an impact on the environment, but the energy consumption of that system over its lifetime has a significantly larger impact on the environment
Low GWP alternatives
Nowadays there are a wide range of low GWP refrigerants and refrigerant blends that serve as potential alternatives to high GWP refrigerants that were so widely used in the past. Consider that fact that high GWP refrigerants are now banned if they fall into the category of greater than 2500 GWP. There is such a large requirement for various alternative options to be available in the market for both retrofit and new equipment.
Currently there are a wide range of new refrigerants and blends with low GWP available on the market. As an industry we must act now to take advantage of these solutions sooner rather than later, with a view to future proofing the industry and working towards a more promising future for our world. We must be forward thinking and ensure the uptake of lower GWP refrigerants continues, as we move toward 2030, a year that will hopefully see a 29% reduction of CO2 tonnes from the base set in 2015. Refrigerant choice will play a massive part in the sustainability of our industry and is one part of the wider goal of reducing CO2 emissions for our planet.
high GWP refrigerants are now banned if they fall into the category of greater than 2500 GWP
Cleaning, maintenance, leaks and lifetime costs
Once you have chosen your new equipment, you are confident it is energy efficient, you may want to consider other ways in which you can actively keep the system working efficiently such as regular cleaning, maintenance and installing leak monitoring technology. AACS Ltd offer maintenance for a wide range of refrigeration systems, from one-off call outs to a full planned preventative maintenance package, we can be on hand to help you when you need it and ensure that your system runs efficiently and effectively throughout its lifetime.
It is important to consider not just the initial financial costs of a system but also how much it will cost during its lifetime, this is important as we move forward with F-Gas. New low GWP refrigerants that have better energy efficiency than traditional HFC refrigerants, this grouped with a lower environment impact if they leak, can in turn help reduce overall CO2 emissions for that business.
Another potential consideration are hidden future costs of purchasing a system that runs on older technology. As refrigerants are phased out, the price tends to rise and as new refrigerants are adopted, they tend to reduce in price. Any investment should be planned in detail to ensure total costs are reviewed, refrigeration systems are no exception to this, but they do have an added requirement of needing to consider the environmental impact too.
It is vital to be able to detect leaks in thermodynamic systems as quickly as possible, for the following reasons:
Recently there have been significant developments in refrigerant leak detection technology, with a good part of this down to the increased emphasis on considering the full lifecycle performance and overall cost of a system. More and more we see new technologies developing which are making it easier than ever to form better choices on system types and their overall lifetime cost.
Maintenance, done properly
Maintenance is key to ensuring a system runs effectively and efficiently over its lifetime, we know this already, however effective maintenance is another thing altogether. Effective maintenance programmes ensure that a system continues to operate at its optimum level throughout its lifespan.
For the end user, there is a definite value in having routine maintenance carried out on a system, rather than opting for a reactive approach that may incur more damage to a system over time, nipping it in the bud before it is a problem is always easier than cleaning up an ever increasing mess.
Not regularly monitoring a system can prove much more costly in the long run as equipment downtime and inefficiencies can prove expensive from both a maintenance and productivity point of view.
Oil changes, regular ones, should form part of an effective maintenance regime as it will ensure the compressor and all of its moving parts are lubricated to their ideal level, avoiding unnecessary wear. Regular cleaning also plays a massive part in practicing overall good system maintenance, regular cleaning supports the efficient operation of systems.
a well maintained and cleaned system can help prevent contamination, remove build up and odours whilst increasing the longevity by continuous optimum performance and energy efficiency as well as ensuring breakdowns and potential leaks are kept to a minimum.
With over 30 years experience, AACS Limited are well rehearsed in maintenance, this includes full PPM schedules for HVAC/R systems critical to business needs for some of the North Easts biggest players. From industries including Manufacturing, Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical, Commercial and Offices, there is no job too big or small and our experienced engineers can cover sites from Central Scotland down to Yorkshire including the North West and of course, the North East of England. Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Heating covered, we are here to help.
The world around us is changing and evolving every day. As individuals, businesses and an industry as a whole, it is vital we continue to advance our ways of working.
The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning industry will always be an essential part of our modern world, but it is our role to make sure we contribute to the ongoing climate emergency our world is currently experiencing. This coupled with the experience and background knowledge will help us future proof our industry for generations to come.