Our environment is changing. Harbingers of global warming can already be detected in many places today and are above all a clear indication of one thing: climate change is a global challenge that doesn't stop at national frontiers. Natural refrigerants can make an important contribution to achieving a sustainable, global reduction in CO2 emissions, as they don't play any role in diminishing the ozone layer and have no or only a very slight influence on the greenhouse effect. The use of natural refrigerants therefore offers huge potential for satisfying ever growing cooling requirements without reinforcing the greenhouse effect any further. Together with proven application areas such as industrial refrigeration, new technologies already make it possible today to use natural refrigerants in small and medium capacity ranges, too. The principle objective of eurammon is to inform operators, plant engineers and planners of the ecological and economic advantages of natural refrigerants. Together with 11 partner organisations from all over the world, the European initiative is dedicated to the increased use of natural refrigerants and is constantly working to establish new collaborations. "We are pleased to announce that we have recently concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Association of Ammonia Refrigeration (AAR)", says Monika Witt, Chairwoman of eurammon.
Knowledge as core competence: sharing experience makes the network strong
While special climate conditions have to be taken into account for refrigeration in India, South Africa and Australia, other countries have special statutory regulations relating to the use of refrigerants. It is a great advantage to be aware of the standards prevailing in different regions of the world, and the particular strength of the global network lies in its ability to share this experience quickly with all partners. The affiliated initiatives, associations and institutions harbour a wide range of technical know-how, from expertise in various application areas for natural refrigerants through to the latest academic findings, thus facilitating constant knowledge exchange and mutual support. The partner organisations of eurammon are:
From Europe to Australia: the partners of eurammon
In Europe, eurammon cooperates with national organisations, such as the NVKL in Zoetermeer. The Dutch Association for companies in refrigeration and HVAC is committed to creating regulations and certifications for handling systems that work with ammonia, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons. "Increasing numbers of companies are using natural refrigerants. It is important to know exactly how to use them safely. Therefore, in the Netherlands, only certified employees are allowed to maintain and repair systems with ammonia", says Coen van de Sande from NVKL.
In the USA, eurammon has an important partner in the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR). The institute advocates the increased use of ammonia in particular. "Linking up with partners from other regions of the world and establishing the largest possible pool of knowledge is indispensable in order to draw the necessary global attention to our concerns", explains Bob Port, President of the IIAR.
Operators in many Asian countries mainly use conventional refrigeration applications. India as an emerging country, already strongly advocates using the natural refrigerant ammonia, thus setting standards for the whole continent. "Generally speaking, in India there is already a high degree of awareness that refrigeration applications with ammonia are very environmentally friendly", says P Sudhir Kumar, President, Association of Ammonia Refrigeration (AAR) in Pune, India. Above all, there is a need to lay the groundwork in India and enhance the technical know-how. "One aspect of our work therefore consists in developing regulations and safety standards, and holding training programs to pass on our knowledge to those working with ammonia systems. In this way, we help to expand the use of ammonia and counteract reservations."
The government in Australia is taking a new approach to reducing CO2 emissions in its country. The new tax on imported synthetic refrigerants indirectly promotes the use of environmentally-friendly alternatives, thus putting the focus on natural refrigerants. The Australian Refrigeration Association (ARA) is committed to boosting the use of natural refrigerants and to informing industry, operators and the government of comprehensive sustainability strategies. Tim Edwards, President of ARA, states that "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution with environmentally-friendly applications is a task that we have to tackle together on a global scale".
Into the future with natural refrigerants
"In recent years we have achieved a great deal together with our partner organisations", summarises Monika Witt, Chairwoman of eurammon. The initiative has joined forces with its partners to attend international trade fairs and events, such as Chillventa or the UNIDO Conference 2013 in Vienna. "Our aim is to intensify existing partnerships and further expand our network – particularly in those countries where there is still such a great need for more information about the safe and efficient use of natural refrigerants", says Witt. "For example, we are assisting our new Indian partner AAR with our expertise when it comes to using the refrigerant ammonia. For us, enhancing awareness of environmentally-friendly refrigerating systems in emerging countries constitutes an important step towards improving the carbon footprint in more and more parts of the world. This means not only to show practical refrigeration solutions but also to promote the safe use of natural refrigerants”.