Keeping cool in a warming world just became a little easier, thanks to the Cool Technologies sustainable cooling database.
As temperatures rise, refrigeration and air-conditioning systems are vital to help keep people cool and products chilled or frozen. Yet it is ironic that refrigerant gases and the energy used in current cooling equipment are significant contributors to two global crises – climate change and ozone layer depletion.
To help combat these, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace have relaunched Cool Technologies [www.cooltechnologies.org], a database showcasing clean cooling technologies as alternatives to the climate-damaging hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) systems used at present.
Cool Technologies features commercially available equipment using natural refrigerants (hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, ammonia, water and air) as well as Not-In-Kind technologies (which do not use vapour compression cycles). It also features case studies of companies deploying these technologies and enjoying the benefits of the greater energy efficiency that many of these systems boast.
«Sustainable cooling is about avoiding obsolete, inefficient technologies which are harmful to the environment. By understanding what Cool Technologies are available and working well for others, manufacturers and businesses can make the best choice for the future». said Fionnuala Walravens, Senior Climate Campaigner at EIA.
The website, targeted primarily at business in the developing world, will also help raise awareness of and build confidence in HFC-free alternatives for clean cooling worldwide. It is being relaunched to coincide with the 31st Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Rome, Italy
«As the global demand for air-conditioning and refrigeration grows, natural refrigerants are emerging as sustainable solutions; saving the planet from billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases and helping to keep global warming below 1.5°C» said Paula Tejón Carbajal, Global Campaign Strategist at Greenpeace International.
Conventional refrigeration and air-conditioning systems have relied on the use of F-gases for the past few decades. F-gases are super greenhouse gases, thousands of times more damaging than carbon dioxide. HFCs, the most recent generation of F-gases, are now being phased out by the Montreal Protocol.
«Going HFC-free is an opportunity for businesses across the globe to future proof their investments, clean up the cooling sector and save on energy bills» added Walravens.