A3.2.5 Food Processing, Cold Storage, and Other Industrial Refrigeration Equipment
Owing to their long lifetime, three out of four CFC systems are still in use
in cold storage and food processing. The main non-CFC refrigerants used are
ammonia, HCFC-22, HFC-134a, HFC blends, and hydrocarbons, with significant regional
differences (see Section A3.4).
In the industrial sub-sector all types of refrigerants are used, with HCFCs
and ammonia currently representing the majority of the refrigerant volume. Hydrocarbons
hold a significant market share in industrial sub-sectors that handle flammable
fluids. Since industrial refrigeration does not pose risks to the public, efficient
ammonia and hydrocarbon systems are often used. The majority of the larger CFC
systems used for cold storage and food processing are still in operation and
may keep operating until 2010 to 2015.
Ammonia has traditionally been used in the cold storage sector because of its
low cost and high efficiency. It has increased its importance in Europe and
Australia. In the USA it is estimated to have a 90% market share in systems
of 100kW cooling capacity and above; however, the market share of ammonia in
industrial systems is much lower. In the developing countries, ammonia and HCFC-22
are expected to remain the most important alternatives. Unfortunately, many
of these systems exhibit low efficiency due to poor system design.
A3.2.6 Transport Refrigeration
HFC-134a has not been used much since the use of CFC-12 was traditionally small
relative to HCFC-22. R-404A and R-507 are currently the most commonly used HFCs
in these sub-sectors. However, their efficiencies are low compared to ammonia
and HCFC-22 if the equipment is not very well designed. R-410A is well suited
for industrial applications, with an insignificant market share at present,
but it is estimated to grow significantly during the next decade (UNEP, 1998a).
The HFCs are currently used in about 10% of new systems in Europe and in 20%
in other developed countries. The demand for HFCs is expected to grow by about
40% between 2000 and 2010. It is expected that recovery and re-use will be cost
effective in this sector. Rough estimates are that the emission rates are currently
6% per annum for new HFC systems, and are expected to decrease further over
the next decade.
Transport refrigeration relates to reefer ships, containers, railcars, and
road transport. The majority of reefer ships currently use HCFC-22; the vast
majority of new containers are equipped with HFC-134a or R-404A, and also R-410A.
For road transport, new equipment uses HFC-134a, R-404A, and still a considerable
amount (estimated 25%) of HCFC-22. Owing to the mechanically and thermally harsh
operating environment, the emissions estimated from transport refrigeration
are significant and exceed 25% of the charge annually in many applications.
One German manufacturer produces trucks equipped with refrigeration systems
Although the use of ammonia on ships has a reasonable potential, its proliferation
has not been significant. Carbon dioxide has been tested for cooling containers;
however, its future market share is difficult to predict and cost indications
HFC-134a and, in the near future, R-410A are forecast to be the most important
refrigerants for transport refrigeration. It is almost certain that all reefer
ships will utilize R-410A. The fraction of equipment using HFCs in the mid-1990s
was about 15% (UNEP, 1998a) and that fraction is expected to grow, e.g. one
study (Harnisch and Hendriks, 2000) estimates the fraction in Europe to be 70%
by 2010 and 100% by 2030.
In the developing countries, the use of HCFC-22 could continue until phase-out
is required in 2040, after which HFC-134a or other options developed by then
may take over the market.
A3.2.7 Summary of Alternative Refrigerant Use
An overview of the current pattern of refrigerant fluids by sub-sector and
technology is provided in Table A3.5.