Over 200 key players working in the North American HVAC&R market assembled in Washington D.C. to discuss the Business Case for Natural Refrigerants at shecco’s ATMOsphere America 2012 conference and workshop. shecco would like to thank all the sponsors for their support, the speakers for their insightful presentations and the very engaged audience for making this event a success! Below you can find a summary of the key messages and trends.
From 12-13 June, decision makers from the supplier, end user and policy side came together for many fruitful discussions about market trends, technical innovations as well as regulations and training. After 2 days of presentations, workshops and discussions it can be concluded that recent policy and market developments in the US and Canada indicate that the North American market is ready to embrace natural refrigerants in several applications.
The end user sessions
Among the highlights were the two end user sessions, one bringing together leading supermarket chains, including Supervalu, Sobeys, Whole Foods and others, and the other bringing together multinational consumer brands such as Coca Cola, PepsiCo or Ben & Jerry’s.
The panel of supermarket executives came to the conclusion that alternative refrigeration systems using natural refrigerants do make sense from a cost and implementation perspective with start-up costs going down (and being partly even better than with other systems) and more and more training programmes and webinars being available. All supermarket representatives confirmed future plans to implement further natural refrigerants in cascade and transcritical systems over the coming months.
The major consumer brands Coca Cola, PepsiCo and Ben and Jerry’s announced an exciting future lies ahead for CO2 and hydrocarbons in their bottle coolers, ice cream freezers or cooling plants. PepsiCo for example, reconfirmed that all new equipment uses hydrocarbons or CO2 and Ben & Jerry’s is rolling out 700 hydrocarbons freezers this year alone.
Innovative Technology case studies
Powerful arguments for investing also in ammonia refrigeration systems combined with CO2 in the retail sector were presented in innovative projects that demonstrate good efficiency savings, and high levels of safety in the first technology case study session. These presentations were followed by case studies from Emerson, Johnson Controls and Isotherm who showed that ammonia industrial refrigeration is a major technology that enables energy and cost savings, as well as water savings in the case of food processing.
In the second technology case study session companies including Star Refrigeration, Danfoss, Embraco, and others, presented their recent projects, specifically:
Workshop discussions and session on regulations, standards, and training
One key element of the ATMOsphere events is the workshop discussion in round tables. At ATMOsphere America lively discussions were held around the three main barriers for natural refrigerants: industry know how & training, markets & awareness as well as codes & standards.
A lack of standardised technician training and the resulting varying levels of technician education is a key problem. Raising the profile and quality of HVAC&R apprenticeships would be one way to solve this problem.
The US Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of State and the Department of Energy as well as Underwriter’s Laboratrory (UL) also presented their views and latest developments to accelerate the use of natural refrigerants.
shecco would like to thank all speakers and participants as well as our sponsor for supporting us to organize a unique event!
ATMOsphere America 2012 Sponsors: Hill PHOENIX, Mayekawa, CSC, Danfoss, Bitzer, Carnot Refrigeration, Emerson, SCM Frigo, Linde, Dorin, EcoThermics, Parker/Sporlan, Temprite, Star Refrigeration, GEA, Alfa Laval, RSES, Robert’s Oxygen and Obrist Technologies.