Year in Review: The Best of in 2018

Here’s a rundown of the most important news impacting hydrocarbon-based HVAC&R technology in 2018.

As we approach the new year, here’s a list of links to the most important news impacting hydrocarbon-based HVAC&R technology in 2018, as selected by our media teams in New York, Brussels and Tokyo. 

Market, End Users & Technology 


Supermarkets ‘could save millions’ with hydrocarbons over CO2
A study conducted by Emerson and ILK Dresden concludes that integral hydrocarbon display cases are more efficient than remote CO2 transcritical rack systems. 


Propane air conditions METRO store in Italy
Two propane chillers provide cooling power and air conditioning to a METRO superstore in Padova, Northern Italy.


The Rise of Hydrocarbons in Stores 
Will propane take over from CO2 in supermarkets? Stay tuned.

Whirlpool sells Embraco to Nidec
The Nidec Corporation has entered into an agreement to buy compressor manufacturer Embraco from the Whirlpool Corporation for $1.08 billion (€890 million).


Lidl US store gets GreenChill platinum certification 
Public information points to use of self-contained R290 cases at the Kinston, N.C., store.

Godrej plans for increased R290 RAC sales in India over next few years
India-based appliance manufacturer Godrej is expecting significant growth in domestic sales of R290 room air-conditioning (RAC) units in India over the next few years. In cooperation with GIZ, Godrej is supporting the demonstration and training of proper R290 system installation and servicing in a number of countries.


ALDI US, Henningsen, Source, Southern California Edison, Colmac Coil and Lara given Accelerate America awards
ATMOsphere America ceremony recognizes those that have done the most to drive natural refrigerants adoption in North America.

Refrigerants, Naturally! members surpass 7.25 million NatRef units
Refrigerants, Naturally! members Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Red Bull and Unilever have collectively implemented 7.25 million natural refrigerant units, successfully avoiding the emission of around 43.5 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent by transitioning to natural refrigerants.


Heineken adopting hydrocarbons for all new fridges
Heineken is adopting hydrocarbons for all its new beer fridges worldwide. Accelerate Europe reports.

How can retailers save money with natural refrigerants in the long run?
As Europe’s food retail sector strives to improve its energy efficiency, Accelerate Europe compares how CO2 and hydrocarbons are helping to reduce energy consumption in supermarkets.

A sustainable hotel, thanks to hydrocarbons
The Corbie Ring Hotel in Belgium, which officially opened its doors in February 2018, opted for the TripleAqua – a complete heating and cooling system that also stores energy – thanks to its efficiency and environmental credentials.


Teenage student in Philippines invents HFC-free air conditioning system
Maria Yzabell Angel V. Palma, a student in the Philippines, was recognised in April this year for her invention of a Freon-free air conditioning system – using solely air as the refrigerant. The invention comes amid recent efforts to transition the country's air conditioning sector towards the use of more environmentally sustainable refrigerants.

Mahou San Miguel invests €3.3m in propane chiller 
Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel has invested €3.3m in developing a propane-based (R290) chiller for the hospitality sector.


Sales of R290 RAC units hit 600,000, says Godrej 
The company credits the successful rollout to its well-trained technician workforce.

Migros testing propane water-loop systems 
Swiss retailer Migros is using propane water-loop refrigeration systems in some stores. Accelerate Europe reports.

Solar R290 ice machine debuts at R&HVAC Indonesia 2018
A solar-powered ice machine using propane (R290) refrigerant – the result of a collaboration between Germany's GIZ, Indonesia's Directorate-General of New Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, and leading industry technology partners – debuted this morning at the Refrigeration & HVAC Indonesia 2018 Expo.


NETTO opens its first Swedish 100% R290 store
Danish multinational retailer NETTO has opened its first Swedish store to use propane for 100% of its refrigeration needs.

AHT: R290 unit sales have doubled in China
AHT reports growing interest in R290 systems from Chinese local food retail companies, with sales doubling compared to last year


Accelerate Europe 
announces 2018 award winners
METRO AG, Unilever, E.ON Sweden, GEA and Sergio Girotto received awards for advancing natural refrigerant adoption at an ATMOsphere Europe ceremony.

Daikin acquires AHT 
Daikin has announced the acquisition of Austrian commercial refrigeration firm AHT Cooling Systems for €881m  (JPY 114.5 bn).


Tumble dryer harnesses R290 heat pump
Siemens is selling a smart tumble dryer using a propane heat pump.

8 major Chinese RAC makers commit to selling 220k R290 units in 2019
Eight major Chinese room air conditioner (RAC) makers – including Gree, Midea, and Haier – have committed to selling no less than 220,000 propane (R290) split-type RAC units in the domestic Chinese market by mid-2019.

Hussmann debuts self-contained propane cases
OEM’s microDS line, coupled with a water loop, can serve a store’s complete refrigeration footprint. 

Policy, Regulations & Standards


French government facilitates higher charge limit
A new fire safety guide published by the French government has increased the maximum recommended charge limit on hydrocarbons in shops and shopping centres to 1.5 kg per circuit.

U.S. court denies request to rehear HFCs case
Court of Appeals turns down petition by NRDC, Chemours and Honeywell to rehear ruling that blocks EPA from regulating HFCs.


Court orders Energy Department to publish energy standards
DOE has delayed for more than a year acting on Obama Administration standards for portable air conditioners.

Norwegian report assesses HFOs environmental impactKnowledge gaps on TFA toxicity need to be addressed, it says.


Germany awards ecolabel to R290 split AC
Chinese manufacturer Midea received the label for its split air-conditioning systems that use natural refrigerant R290.


U.S. lags in flammable refrigerant safety
ASHRAE Research Project 1807 cites technician training, refrigerant odorization and other requirements in place in other regions.


Home fridge makers push for higher charge for isobutane
AHAM wants EPA to raise limit to 150g from 57g so manufacturers can build larger R600a units in U.S.

HVAC&R firms urge Trump to refer Kigali Amendment to Senate
Letter to president signed by Hillphoenix, Danfoss North America, Emerson, Johnson Controls, Lennox International and Structural Concepts and 26 others.


Eleven states sue EPA for rolling back HFC phasedown
A coalition of Attorneys General challenge EPA's guidance that rescinded its authority to regulate HFCs in response to prior court ruling.


HC charge-limit increase approved in interim IEC vote 
National committees vote 75% yes to 500g for commercial systems – final vote possible by end of ’18.


Indonesia govt: 'We support the installation of hydrocarbon chillers' 
Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is encouraging industry to adopt hydrocarbon-based technology due to its energy efficiency, locally sourced resources and manufacturing, and GHG emission reduction contribution.


Spain approves €1.5m commercial refrigeration subsidy
The Spanish government has approved a new subsidy providing additional support in transitioning to sustainable refrigeration systems.

Report cites 2017 Chemours memo to EPA slamming NatRefs
In request for meeting with Pruitt, chemical company claimed natural refrigerants are being promoted by 'global competitors,' contrary to U.S. interests.

Connecticut joins 3 states in reducing HFCs
Nutmeg State follows California, New York and Maryland, with plans to adopt original EPA SNAP rules.


EPA raises HC charge limit for home fridges
The U.S. SNAP rule would raise the cap for propane, isobutane and R441A to 150g from 57g, in line with new UL standard.

Chinese OEM eager for HC charge-limit rise 
With a 500g limit, more of XingXing's plug-in cabinets would use R290, the company said at ChinaShop 2018.

HC charge-limit vote pushed to mid-March
The IEC’s final vote will determine whether a 500g charge limit is enacted as an international standard.


Kigali surpasses 50 mark with EU, Mexico ratifications
Fifty-three signatories have now ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which aims to phase down HFCs globally.


China/U.S. tariffs may be coming to an end
The two countries agreed a 90-day truce on additional tariffs.

By Charlotte McLaughlin

Dec 18, 2018, 11:30

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