IIR Working Party on Refrigerant Charge Reduction in Refrigerating Systems: Join Us!

Suitable design of refrigerating systems has several benefits in terms of limitation of the environmental impact thanks to a reduction in the energy consumption and the limitation of refrigerant emissions. The direct greenhouse effect accounts for 20% of the total effect, which clearly shows that addressing refrigerant charge reduction or refrigerant emissions alone would leave 80% of the problem intact. Refrigerant charge reduction in systems is an important issue because it falls within environmental policy regarding refrigerants' contributions to the greenhouse effect. In addition, this subject receives little coverage at an international level. A year ago, it was proposed to the Science and Technology Council of the IIR to set up a working party dealing with reduction in the refrigerant charge used in refrigerating plants. Today this has been achieved. The main objectives of this WP are to add new results to currently applied design knowledge regarding refrigerant charge reduction in refrigerating systems and to help improve these new findings by mutual exchange of know-how. The WP also intends to deal with various aspects of the reduction of the environmental impact of refrigerating systems achieved by reduction in the refrigerant charge. This working party could initiate a work dynamic leading for instance to new rules on refrigerating plant design. One activity of the group will consist in evaluating the possible application fields of charge reduction: fields in which considerable savings could be achieved (for instance: commercial refrigeration, air conditioning), fields in which some benefits are possible, fields with very few potential benefits (applications using very compact systems). Later, the focus would be on the fields where the benefits are the greatest. Regulatory aspects related to refrigerant charge will also be discussed. The kick-off meeting of this WP took place at Cemagref, Antony (near Paris) on April 10, 2008 and brought together 14 experts, researchers and engineers from 6 countries. During the recent 8th IIR-Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids in Copenhagen, a key activity of this WP was announced: the organization of the 1st International Workshop on Charge Reduction; it is scheduled to take place in Paris early April 2009.* We renew here our call to everyone interested: researchers, technical centres, industrial firms, institutional stakeholders… to take part in this WP and its activities. Commissions B1 (Thermodynamics and transfer processes) and B2 (Refrigerating equipment) are especially concerned by activities of this WP which also remains open to other commissions such as D1, D2, E1 and E2. Information provided by Mohammed Youbi-Idrissi. *: For more information, please contact Hélène Macchi-Tejeda (the Chairman of the WP): helene.macchi@cemagref.frorJacques Guilpart: jacques.guilpart@cemagref.fr The photo shows: Mini-channel heat exchangers allow minimization of refrigerant charge