ASHRAE and UNEP Select Projects for Lower GWP Awards

ASHRAE and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have announced the project selections for the 2019 ASHRAE-UNEP OzonAction Lower-GWP Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Innovation Awards. The annual international award program promotes innovative design, research and practice by recognizing people who have developed or implemented innovative technological concepts applied in developing countries to promote lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants through refrigeration and air-conditioning applications.

“The projects selected represent long-term, global and energy efficient solutions to lessen the impact of ozone depleting substances,” says ASHRAE Presidential Member and Co-chair of the judging committee Sheila J. Hayter, P.E. “We congratulate the selected project teams and look forward to witnessing their innovative concepts set a benchmark for sustainability in developing countries.”

The projects in each category were selected based on delivering solutions to meet refrigeration and air-conditioning needs by using lower-GWP technologies.

The selection criteria included:

  • Extent of need
  • Innovative aspects in transforming conventional practices
  • Technical replicability to developing countries
  • Economy feasibility to developing countries.

“We are living at a watershed moment under the Montreal Protocol when developing countries must find long-term solutions to replace HCFC refrigerants while simultaneously minimizing climate impacts,” says James S. Curlin, acting head/network and policy manager OzonAction and co-chair of the judging committee. “It is vital to empower the research community to identify new approaches and alternative refrigerants that work for those countries. UNEP OzonAction is proud to join with ASHRAE to recognize these winners who are proposing approaches that address the ozone, climate and energy dimensions.”

Five projects were selected in two categories: Residential Applications and Commercial/Industrial Applications.

Residential Applications

Low Charge Ammonia Vapor Compression Refrigeration System for Residential Air-Conditioning implemented in India

Project Team: Rajesh Kumar N, D. Mohan Lal and Kamalakannan 

This project was envisaged to develop an ammonia vapor compression refrigeration system of 3 TR capacity for residential air conditioning and to analyze the minimum possible charge in order to reduce leakage hazards associated with the system. Ammonia is an environmentally friendly solution with zero ODP and zero GWP values.

HFC-161 Application Technology Development for High Cooling Capacity Household Air Conditioners implemented in China

Project Team: Zhang Jianjun, Guo Zhikai, Zhang Lei, Zhang Mingjie and Xie Pinzan

The central objective of the project was to develop a household air-conditioning system with a large cooling capacity that replaced the use of HCFC-22 for HFC-161 as a refrigerant. The project provides solutions to the high use of HCFC-22 in China through replacement technologies that meet the latest environmental protection requirements for the domestic household air-conditioning industry. HFC-161, with ODP value of 0 and GWP value of 4, can be one of the solutions to comply with the HCFC phase-out commitments while leapfrog the use of higher GWP alternatives in line with the Kigali Amendment.

Commercial/Industrial Applications

Packaged Chillers with Integrated Air Handling Units Using HFC-32 and HC-290 implemented in Saudi Arabia

Project Team: Samir Hamed Alfetiany, Husam Quedan and Samer Hamed Alfetiany

The main goal for this project was to develop, design, manufacture and test a new large cooling capacity packaged air-conditioner (packaged chiller with integrated air handling unit) with a cooling capacity of 40,70 and 100kW respectively, using low GWP refrigerants (A3 and A2L) at standard and high ambient temperature conditions. The two refrigerants are HFC-32 which is A2L mildly flammable and HC-290 which is A3 highly flammable refrigerant. Also, the main challenge of this research is to address the safety requirement for each prototype and adopt this safe design and components in the prototypes.

The Crocodile Project CO2 Transcritical Refrigeration System for a Hot-and-Humid Region implemented in Thailand

Project Team: Warot Lamlertpongpana, Wallop Lamlertpongpana, Jittakorn Sukjareon and Kittitach Chumnarnwat

The Crocodile Project is a CO2 transcritical refrigeration system developed for high humidity and ambient temperature environments. It mainly consists of 2 parts: refrigeration and extraction. The refrigeration part is for the o?ce building’s air-conditioning system. The system will produce ice in the ice bank only at night, and the chilled water derived from this will be pumped to serve the air-conditioners during the daytime. The benefits of running at night is not only because the electrical demand charge is less, but because the ambient temperature is also lower, hence better system performance.

Low Charge Propane Chiller for a Supermarket Commercial Refrigeration System implemented in Brazil

Project Team: Rogério Marson Rodrigues, Ivair Lucio Soares Junior, Gustavo Galdi Heidinger, Cassio Lucio Simonetti and Edgard Soares Pinto Neto

The goal of this project was to develop a natural refrigerant refrigeration system to use in supermarkets. The propane chiller cools a secondary fluid, glycol, which is then used to cool medium temperature cabinets and cold rooms. For low temperature cabinets and cold rooms, CO2 is condensed by the same glycol (subcritical system).

The judges who reviewed the entries were Nesreene Ghaddar (Lebanon), Stephen Gill (UK), Roberto Peixoto (Brazil) and James Wolf (U.S.).

The selected projects were announced at the 31st Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in Rome. Projects will also be showcased at respective OzonAction Network meetings and at the ASHRAE Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 1-5, 2020.  For more details on the projects and other ASHRAE-UNEP OzonAction activities, visit the website.

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