Natural refrigerant technology is a green alternative that will help reduce the carbon footprints of buildings.
HVAC and refrigeration systems are the largest users of energy in the built environment; natural refrigerants are at the forefront of the change to environmentally friendly alternatives. The majority of growth in the global refrigerants market – estimated by researchandmarkets.com to be worth US$22.9 billion in 2018 and tipped to hit US$31 billion by 2023 – is attributable to natural refrigerants.
Grosvenor Engineering Group is introducing a dedicated natural refrigerant technology service for HVAC and refrigeration (HVAC and R) systems, focused on helping the billion-dollar Australian commercial office market reduce its carbon footprint by providing a green alternative.
Grosvenor currently employs more than 800 staff, 400 of which are HVAC technicians who will train the other half of the workforce in natural refrigerant technology within the next 12 months. More than 30 technicians will have specialist accreditation that covers the safe handling of the R32 refrigerant type by the end of June 2021. The new technology will be implemented under the company’s HVAC and R service line.
Grosvenor has observed market trends overseas, recognising the exponential growth towards environmentally-friendly HVAC and R solutions that deliver significant energy savings.
“The technology that underpins the ability to achieve these outcomes is the use of natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons,” says Nicholas Lianos, managing director at Grosvenor.
“If customers use HVAC and R systems that utilise natural refrigerants, they benefit from reduced energy costs (in some cases up to 60 percent) and lower maintenance costs, and can sustain a reduced carbon footprint. The business and environmental cases continue to grow stronger. Green assets are also more desirable investments for investors. National Australian Build Environment Rating System (NABERS) and Green Star ratings improve property capital values,” Lianos adds.
The Montreal Protocol, specifically the Kigali Amendment, has mandated the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons over the next 30 years. For example, since January 2020, the importation of the R22 refrigerant into Australia has been limited to replacement in existing equipment only. By January 2030, it will be totally banned in Australia.
“European equipment sales of natural refrigerants in HVAC and R equipment, and a focus on these products at major global trade shows and events, further validates that the natural refrigerants market is in a significant growth phase,” says Lianos. “Market research also highlights that there is a gap in the Australian market for technical people that can properly and safely handle, install and maintain natural refrigerant solutions. We will soon have a dedicated team of highly experienced and accredited staff equipped to implement natural refrigerant technology in commercial buildings.”
Hydrocarbon technology offers significant benefits, including reduced energy and maintenance costs and diminished carbon emissions. The solution also can be delivered as a service, negating capital expenditure.