Industrial refrigeration covers a widely range of applications such as industrial and chemical processing, but the sectors critical to the cold chain are food processing, freezing, and cold storage (frozen and chilled). A wide range of refrigeration system types are used depending on the application and the required temperature. Cold storage for frozen produce can be in the range -18°C to -30°C or even lower. While ammonia is widely used for industrial refrigeration due to it efficiency it has limitations due to its toxicity and material compatibility requirements, the HFCs R-134a and R-404A have been widely used in some applications particularly for medium temperatures. For new systems, depending on the safety requirements and where A2L refrigerants can be used, the HFOs, R-1234yf or le 1234ze(E) having GWPs <1 provide similar energy efficiency to R-134a, while HFC/HFO blends having GWPs less than 150 (R-455A, GWP 148; R-454C, GWP 148) provide improved energy efficiency compared to R-404A.
photo: ©Shutterstock – Cefic
For existing systems using R-134a, lower GWP non-flammable alternatives can be used and include R-450A (GWP 605) and R-513A (GWP 631). For R-404A replacement the options include R-407A, R-407F, R-407H, R-448A, R-449A, and R-452A having GWPs in the range 1387 to 2140.
2018 AFCE Final Report Energy Efficient State of the Art of Available Low-GWP Refrigerants and Systems. This report can be downloaded from the AFCE (Alliance Froid Climatisation Environnement) website at http://www.afce.asso.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Final-rapport-energy-efficiency-GWP-2018.pdf
2018 Assessment Report of the Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee available from the ozone secretariat website https://ozone.unep.org/science/assessment/teap