Hydrocarbons in Refrigeration

Any solution to reduce energy consumed by refrigeration equipment is welcome but one that can also benefit the environment has a real advantage. Refrigerants - the cooling fluid used in refrigeration systems - can have a direct or indirect impact on the environment.
The TEWI (Total Equivalent Warming Impact) is a measure of the total impact of refrigeration in a system on global warming. Refrigeration systems can contribute twice to global warming:

  • Directly through emissions of those refrigerants which are greenhouse gases
  • Indirectly through the use of energy generated by burning fossil fuels - causing carbon dioxide emissions.

TEWI can be reduced by:

  • Using a refrigerant which has a global warming potential as low as possible
  • Reducing emissions of refrigerants (leaks etc.)
  • Improving the energy efficiency of a system by using efficient refrigerants as well as implementing generic energy efficiency techniques and technologies.

Different refrigerants have different Global Warming Potentials (GWP). A refrigerant that can offer the least direct and indirect impact obviously offers the best solution. As demands for refrigerants to minimise their GWP and energy usage increase, more ‘environmentally-friendly’ alternatives have been introduced.
One such refrigerant type is Hydrocarbon, which virtually eliminates the direct effect because of its very low GWP and also reduces its indirect effect by improving energy efficiency. Hydrocarbon is increasingly becoming the acceptable standard in European domestic refrigeration for these reasons, with leading domestic brands Bosch, Whirlpool and Elstar having already made the change.

All Foster fridge, freezer and chiller products now come with Hydrocarbon Refrigerant as standard to ensure we continue to lead the way in energy efficient, environmentally friendly commercial refrigeration.

The Benefits of Hydrocarbons

Reducing your costs:

  • Hydrocarbons can reduce energy consumption by up to 15%
  • Hydrocarbons are a less ‘aggressive’ material that work at a lower pressure - causing less stress on the system and reducing compressor running time, this extends the life span of your compressor, which in turn increases the life span of the machine
  • Improved ‘pull down times’ to operating temperature when doors are closed means more efficient recovery, meaning lower running costs

Reducing the cost to the environment:

  • Hydrocarbons are more energy efficient than other HFC refrigerants reducing energy consumption, therefore helping to reduce the Total Global Warming Impact.
  • A lower compressor operating temperature means less heat is emitted into the kitchen.
  • A lower kitchen noise level is achieved due to less noise emanating from the compressor. This is excellent news in any kitchen, but combined with the reduced heat factor, really makes a difference in a large room with several cabinets.

Hydrocarbons offer zero ozone depletion potential and very low global warming potential, unlike other standard refrigerants.

For more detailed information on Hydrocarbons within Foster units see our Hydrocarbon in Refrigeration pdf

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