Air conditioning, is necessary for life comfort and the market continues to grow worldwide. But its impact on the environment is even huge.
The O-Zone layer is the layer in the Earth’s stratosphere which contains a high concentration of O-Zone. O-Zone is a naturally forming molecule that helps to absorb the sun’s UV rays. It was found that Chlorine is a leading contributor to the depletion and forming a hole in the O-Zone layer. A depleted O-Zone would mean more intense UV rays from the sun resulting in Global Warming and a variety of problems including cancers and health ailments. Increased awareness about global warming is of global importance.
Refrigeration and Air-conditioning typically use a refrigerant (Chloro Fluoro Carbons – CFCs ) in a vapor compression cycle to cool and/or dehumidify a substance or space, like a refrigerator cabinet, home, office building, or warehouse. Chlorinated refrigerants (CFCs), and to a lesser extent, Hydro Chloro Fluorocarbons – HCFCs) contribute to the depletion of the O-zone if released into the atmosphere due to equipment leaks or if refrigerants are not properly recovered when disposal of the equipment takes place.
In an attempt to comply with the Montreal protocol, refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturers in many Asian countries are planning to phase-out ozone-depleting, chlorine-based refrigerants in the near future. Common HCFC refrigerants like R-22 will have to shift to HFC refrigerants like R-410A for air conditioning and R-404A for refrigeration to prevent further ozone-depletion.
Manufacture of ACs using R22 will not be allowed from January 2020. The import of Air Conditioners using R22 has been banned in accordance with the accelerated phase-out schedule for developing countries
India had initially proposed a baseline of 2028-2030 and freeze year of 2031. But at Kigali, Rwanda; on 15-Oct Saturday India showed flexibility by proposing a four-year advancement of the baseline to 2024-2026. As far as the choice of alternate refrigerants is concerned, most Indian manufacturers are fine tuning their policy. Daikin has gone ahead full swing with R32 for fixed speed as well as inverter models. Panasonic, Hitachi and Fujitsu General are likely to follow suit. Blue Star is planning a pilot batch with R32. Godrej has been manufacturing models using R290. All the other manufacturers are continuing with R22 for fixed speed models, and R410A for inverter models.
It’s time we as consumers do our bit to save the world for our children. Open your eyes to new learnings !