Fluorocarbons and Refrigeration
Refrigeration is now part of our way of life. It would be inconceivable for it to be any other way. It has even become an essential ingredient and a "sine qua non" in improving our quality of life.
- The cooling chain enables the storage, transport and use of food items in ideal hygienic conditions, reducing losses and waste.
- Refrigeration of essential medical products such as vaccines and blood, is often indispensable for ensuring their preservation.
- Refrigeration of technical equipment such as large computers systems, through to the most sophisticated medical equipment (RMN for example), is also crucial.
Thermal insulation using high-efficiency HFC blown foams reduces energy consumption of the refrigeration installations.
Refrigeration applications vary widely in size and temperature level:
- Domestic refrigerators require 60 to 140 watts of electrical power and contain 40 to 180 grams of refrigerant.
- Industrial and cold storage refrigeration systems have power requirements up to several megawatts and contain thousands of kilograms of refrigerant.
- Refrigeration temperature levels range from +15 to –70 degrees Centigrade.
Potential market size for these equipments may approach EUR 100,000 million annually.
The following table summarizes the various types of refrigeration, and the HFCs used in each application.