As with all human activities, refrigeration and air conditioning applications have an impact upon the environment, contributing to ozone depletion and global warming.
There are two main areas of environmental impact:
Direct: The leakage of refrigerant gases into the atmosphere which can cause ozone depletion and contribute to global warming.
Indirect: Refrigeration and air conditioning systems consume energy, which raises CO2 emissions and contributes to global warming.
There are many ways to reduce your environmental impact. Linde can support you in many of these aspects.
1. Reduce Direct Impact
a) Use a refrigerant gas with lower environmental impact: Look to use a refrigerant gas with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and low global warming potential (GWP). Linde has produced a summary list of refrigerant gases and their environmental impact.
b) Lower the leak rates of your system: Refrigerants only create direct emissions when they leak to atmosphere. Therefore Linde recommend that you ensure that your system is leak-tight, consider fitting leak-detection systems and follow a regular maintenance schedule.
c) Ensure correct end-of-life treatment of refrigerant gases: Ensure that you recover and dispose of refrigerant gas correctly when maintaining, upgrading or decommissioning a system.
2. Reduce Indirect Emissions
a) Minimise the power consumption of your refrigeration or air conditioning system: For existing systems, ensure that you are regularly maintaining the system and using the correct refrigerant gas. Installing new systems may offer substantial energy savings, via modern technology using next generation refrigerants, including HFOs and natural refrigerants.
b) Use your refrigeration or air conditioning system less often: Improve insulation, install doors on commercial refrigerators, freezers and display cases, and change the temperature set-points for air conditioning.
Linde can support you with advice and practical services on many of the aspects detailed above, especially regarding the choice of refrigerant, leak detection and correct end of life gas treatment.