Low GWP Refrigerants, LCCP, Transport, Unitary, Chillers
Societal demands to control climate change are driving the development of many Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) tools to understand how to minimize the total environmental impacts of HVAC&R products and technology. The LCCP models can be extremely detailed, accounting for all CO2 contributions from “cradle” (refrigerant and product manufacturing), through use (including servicing and potential leak rates by type of product), to “grave” (recycling and disposal) for a product. LCCP tools have been developed for a number of HVAC&R product segments and continue to grow in number. However, there are few studies into understanding how the results from these various tools compare to each other against the latest available lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) next generation refrigerant technology. Because global regulatory discussions currently are focusing on reducing direct GWP contributions of refrigerants and for the most part are ignoring their impact on indirect GWP contributions as refrigerant choices are considered, there is potential for regulators to reduce the available refrigerant choices that would allow manufacturers to minimize the total environmental impact (lowest LCCP) through maximum efficiency. This paper will provide an overall assessment of using the latest available refrigerants technology with four LCCP tools. LCCP tools for the stationary refrigeration, transport refrigeration, chiller, and unitary product segments will be compared to understand the impact of reducing the direct GWP of a refrigerant given the latest refrigerant technology. This paper will suggest appropriate GWP limits for refrigerants by application, since direct GWP limits may need to be defined by application type based on the available refrigerant technology to minimize environmental impacts.