Headlines丨When the world enters the Kigali amendment, R290 refrigerant is an environmentally friendly alternative


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On October 22, 2019, the annual International Exchange Conference on HCFC-22 (R22) Alternative Technology in the Room Air Conditioner Industry was held in Foshan. At the meeting, international parties clearly stated that refrigerant substitution has entered the "Kigali Amendment" Time, this means that the replacement of R22 will be further accelerated, and at the same time, HFC refrigerants such as R32 and R410A are about to enter the reduction phase at home and abroad, and R290 will become the only viable environmentally friendly alternative in the field of household air conditioning.

But at the same time, although the current hydrocarbon refrigerant R290, which replaces R22, is in line with expectations in terms of production and transformation, the progress of R290 air-conditioning marketization is far from expected, and it will affect China's compliance with the Montreal Protocol. Promoting the replacement of R290 refrigerant has become a consensus of many parties. At this conference, the organizers also commended companies that have played a leading role in the marketization of R290.

    R290 is an alternative to R22

The annual HCFC-22 Alternative Technology International Exchange Conference for the Room Air Conditioner Industry has been increasing year by year. There are about 300 relevant people from all over the world participating in this conference.

Participants include 5 sponsors, the Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the United Nations Environmental Planning, the German International Cooperation Agency, and the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, as well as relevant leaders from major air-conditioning industry chain companies And representatives from major universities and research institutions.

There were nearly 20 speeches in this conference, all focusing on R22's substitution process, technology, standards, training, international developments, etc. As the reduction of R22 is further strengthened, and HFC refrigerants such as R410A enter the reduction stage, the development of R290 is greatly affected. Attention.

In his speech at the conference, Xiong Kang, the Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said that in November 2016, the Montreal Protocol Conference of the Parties passed the Kigali Amendment to control HFC. Among the existing alternative technologies, R290 is the only technology that can meet the requirements of the Kigali Amendment. China's home appliance industry has invested huge resources in the development of R290 technology and the marketization of products. However, as a new technology, the promotion of R290 has not been smooth sailing. China’s air-conditioning companies are faced with the limitations of the old standard system, with significantly higher product costs, high installation and maintenance risks and other multiple difficulties, as well as competition from other excessive alternative technologies. And suppress. Despite the difficulties, under the strong organization of the China Household Electrical Appliances Association and the joint efforts of enterprises in the industry, the marketization of R290 room air conditioners has finally broken the deadlock since 2018, with the production and sales of split units reaching 178,000 units.

Jiang Feng, chairman of the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, said in his speech that although the marketization of R290 air conditioners is relatively difficult. However, after the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol came into effect, it has strengthened our position of choosing R290 as an alternative technology. The HFC-410A and HFC-32 refrigerants currently used by enterprises are under the control of the Kigali Amendment. In the future, HFCs will face the fate of reduction or even elimination. If we did not choose the R290 alternative technology route at the beginning, we would lose the right to speak in the process of this round of refrigerant replacement, and we would have to face the secondary conversion of refrigerants, which would cause an immeasurable impact on our industry. Economic losses.

Entering the time of the Kigali amendment, R290 environmentally friendly air conditioners urgently need to be marketed

Almost all speeches at this conference mentioned the impact of the implementation of the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol on global refrigerant replacement.

Li Xiaoyan from the Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment introduced in a speech on "Refrigerant Substitution Progress and Policies in the Room Air Conditioner Industry" that the Kigali Amendment came into effect on January 1, 2019, and 87 countries have joined. Amendments, China will approve and join the amendments at the latest next year. This means that major developed countries have begun to reduce HFC emissions, and the reduction in 2024 will reach 40% of the baseline year; major developing countries including China will reduce HFC emissions year by year from 2024.

As China, which has 90% of the global domestic air-conditioning production capacity, the implementation of the Kigali Amendment on a global scale also means that from this year, HFC refrigerants have been reduced in export models, not just R22. replace. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization Ole Nielsen made it clear in his speech "R290 Air Conditioning Products Existing and Potential International Markets" that R410A and R32, the two main HFC refrigerants currently sold, have entered into a reduction with the implementation of the Kigali Amendment. List.

With HFC refrigerants destined to be reduced, R290, as a hydrocarbon refrigerant gradually recognized by the parties to the Montreal Protocol, is currently the only alternative to R22. Volkmar Hasse of the German International Cooperation Agency introduced in "R290 Air Conditioning Opportunities in the Global Market" that under the influence of the Kigali Amendment, even Japan, which previously firmly supported R32, has shifted its policy focus to R290.

Dr. Li Tingxun from Sun Yat-Sen University fully reviewed in the "IEC60335-2-40 Standard Revision Progress" that he, the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, and China’s air-conditioning companies, etc., in the past ten years, the R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant in the IEC related standards He said that it is not easy for R290 to make a certain degree of progress in the current IEC standard in terms of charge and other aspects. He suggested that Chinese companies should dare to participate in the designation of international standards. That is the design at the top of the industry chain.

While many experts expressed that R290 air conditioners have made a series of progress in standards, technology, safety testing, training and other aspects at home and abroad, many experts expressed strong determination to the current marketization process of R290.

Li Xiaoyan said that although R290's marketization process was not as expected, it still achieved a leap in sales in 2018. As of August 31, 2019, the total sales of R290 split air conditioners in China reached 178,000 units. Starting from August 31, 2019, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment will carry out a third subsidy adjustment to the sales of R290 air conditioners, breaking the upper limit of subsidy fees for enterprises, encouraging first-come, first-served, domestic sales of first-level inverter R290 air-conditioners will receive 600 yuan /Taiwan subsidies. On this basis, it is planned that the sales target of R290 products in the room air conditioner industry in the refrigeration year of 2020 is no less than 1 million units, of which no less than 330,000 units are split products. This means that starting from the cold year of 2020, China's R290 air conditioners will enter the era of millions of sales.

In order to encourage and further strengthen the marketization of R290 air conditioners, the five organizers of the conference jointly awarded certificates of merit to companies with outstanding performance in the marketization of R290 room air conditioners in the 2019 refrigeration year. Among them, Midea and Haier won the "Low Carbon Environmental Protection Leadership Award" ", TCL, Changhong, and Oaks won the "Low Carbon Environmental Protection Advanced Award".
At this conference, there were also organizations from Germany’s Recheerche Academy of Sciences, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Haier, GMCC&WELLING, Qing’an Refrigeration, Ruifu Chemical, Hisense Home Appliances, Hisense Hitachi, Emerson Environmental Optimization Technology, Rhein Testing and Certification Services, etc. Enterprise representatives took the stage to give speeches, and jointly helped the development of R290 air conditioners.

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