On 15 October, Johnson Controls joined a White House round table discussion on actions toward a phase down of high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants.
In its first 12 months of a three-year commitment, the company reaffirmed its $50 million investment to developing and expanding its existing low-GWP product portfolio.
Since last year, the firm has invested $15 million in the research and development of low-GWP refrigerants and component technology for scroll, screw and centrifugal compressor-based products.
Over the past decade, Johnson Controls’ product innovations have reduced refrigerant charge in equipment by nearly 30 per cent while improving efficiency over 40 per cent, which has a major impact on reducing greenhouse gas. Other R&D focus areas have included efforts to reduce the potential for leaks, as well as improved maintenance practices and service training.
Laura Wand, vice president, global chiller solutions at Johnson Controls’ buildings business, said: “A building’s heating and cooling systems account for approximately 40 per cent of its yearly CO2 emissions. We can make an impact by improving the energy efficiency of the system to reduce power consumption as well as increasing the use of low-GWP refrigerants.”
“Today’s [15 October] commitment reaffirms our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a comprehensive approach providing safe, economical and available options for our customers.”
In addition to the investment disclosed at a round table meeting last October, Johnson Controls has announced that over the next 12 months it will develop high-efficiency, low-GWP refrigerant options in its commercial air-conditioning and industrial refrigeration product portfolio; offer equipment that can be readily retrofitted with low-GWP options for customers concerned that they will not receive the full value over the entire life of their equipment; and develop aftermarket retrofit services for customers who desire to convert their existing equipment to low-GWP refrigerants.
In addition, the company will donate up to $100,000 toward independent, third-party, peer reviewed research to support the development safety standards related to the use of mildly flammable, low-GWP refrigerants. The company also plans to support and participate in an industry effort to develop and standardise service technician and operator training for the safe use of these same refrigerants.
“In the end, we want to choose refrigerants for our products that will best fit the needs of our customers and the environment, based on safety and efficiency, as well as reliability, availability and cost,” said Ms Wand.
Pictured above: (L) Laura Wand with Gina McCarthy, US Environmental Protection Agency administrator