The Business Case for natural refrigerants in North America - ATMOsphere 2012 

By Sabine Lobnig, Jun 18, 2012, 16:20 2 minute reading

From 12-13 June, 200 experts assembled in Washington D.C. to discuss the business case for natural refrigerants in North America. Technology case studies alternated with policy and end-user panel discussions. reports live from the event and summarises key messages and trends.

Recent policy and market developments in the US and Canada, seem to indicate that the North American market is ready to embrace natural refrigerants in selected applications. 200 key players in the North American market evaluated and discussed this prospect during a two days conference in Washington D.C.

Find below an overview of published articles:
  • US EPA may allow HC venting from stand-alone refrigeratorsThe US EPA anticipates to have new listings this summer under its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program for more refrigerant alternatives without use conditions, and later this year proposed rules in a couple of more sectors, according to a presentation at the ‘ATMOsphere America 2012’ conference in Washington DC. The EPA hinted that it will also be determining whether or not venting of hydrocarbons from refrigerators and stand-alone retail equipment will be permitted.
  • HC charge limit divergence in UL household equipment standards called into question: A test group within Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is examining the suitability of the 57g HC charge limit for household refrigerators, according to a presentation by the organisation last week at ATMOsphere America 2012 in Washington DC. In post-presentation discussions the restrictive nature of the limit was in focus, a limit currently not consistent with the 1kg hydrocarbon limit for household room ACs .
  • US HVAC&R technicians lack knowledge of naturals – standardised training needed: It is critical that the US technician population develop a better understanding of natural refrigerants, according to presentations and roundtable discussions held at the ATMOsphere America 2012 conference in Washington DC in June 2012. With technicians assessed as having a weak grasp of refrigerant fundamentals, “it is going to be an interesting world as we transition” towards using flammable refrigerants, where skills become ever more important.

All presentations of ATMOsphere America are now available from


By Sabine Lobnig

Jun 18, 2012, 16:20

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