Global warming continues R290 air-conditioning marketization has entered a critical period


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Over the past three million years, global sea levels have risen by at least six meters many times. Based on this, the HCFC-22 replacement for room air conditioners in the room air conditioner industry co-sponsored by the Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the German International Cooperation Agency and the China Household Electrical Appliances Association on October 22 At the technical international exchange meeting, Dr. Volkmar Hasse from the German International Cooperation Agency shared these two sets of predictive geographic pictures. From them, it can be seen that if the sea level rises by six meters again, most of the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Yellow River Delta The region and Jiangsu Province will be overwhelmed! This data aroused great concern and anxious discussions among the participants.

Global sea level rise crisis warning:
Time for the industry to enter the Kigali Amendment

Due to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, the increase in global temperature, the increase in sea temperature, thermal expansion, and the melting of glaciers, the sea level rise has reached 10-20 cm since the 20th century. Yes, the accelerated rise of sea levels has become or will become a major disaster in the coastal zone. If no protective measures are taken, the sea level will rise by 1 meter in 100 years. By then, many world-famous cities such as New York, London, Amsterdam, Venice, Sydney, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou will be submerged. So, in such a severe situation, what can consumers do? What can we do in the home appliance industry? In fact, each has its own responsibilities. Consumers should try to buy low-carbon and environmentally friendly home appliances. There is a lot to do, and it is necessary to phase out HFC, HCFC and other HFCs. The Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol will be mentioned here.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which came into effect on January 1, 2019, aims to phase out the “super pollutant” with high global warming potential-HFC. Studies have shown that by 2100, the phasing out of HFC alone can avoid a global temperature rise of 0.4°C, and speed up the phasing out, and even avoid higher temperature rises. At present, 87 countries have joined the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Li Xiaoyan, a project officer of the Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, revealed when introducing the HPMP progress and arrangements in the room air conditioner industry that China will approve its membership next year at the latest The amendment.

According to the HFC reduction schedule in the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol, China’s average production/consumption of HFC and 65% of the baseline level of HCFC production/consumption will be frozen by 2024, and by 2029 Achieve a reduction rate of 10%, and a reduction rate of more than 80% by 2045. This is a great project conducive to global sustainable development, but it is also full of challenges.

Alternative refrigerant technology options:
The only bestness of R290

Faced with the dual pressures of accelerated phase-out of HCFC-22 and global reduction of HFCs, the choice of refrigerant alternative technology is particularly critical. From an environmental and performance point of view, there is no dispute, R290 represents the best choice. Xiong Kang, deputy chief economist of the Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said that 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.

Xiong Kang, Deputy Chief Economist, Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center, Ministry of Ecology and Environment

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. But 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, and the production and sales of split units have reached 178,000 units.

In response, Jiang Feng, chairman of the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, said that over the years, the Chinese government, associations, universities, enterprises and other related parties have carried out a large number of R290 alternative technology research and product development work, and carried out risk assessment, application research and development, and standards. We have accumulated a lot of valuable experience in the application of R290 alternative technology through activities such as system revision, production line transformation, and technical exchanges. After the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol came into effect, the choice of R290 to replace R22 became firmer. 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 this round of refrigerant substitution, and we would have to face the second refrigerant. This conversion will cause immeasurable huge economic losses to our industry."

Jiang Feng, Chairman of China Household Electrical Appliances Association

The marketization of R290 products is related to China's performance goals, the protection of the ozone layer, the response to climate change, and the long-term development of enterprises. Therefore, both industries and enterprises are duty-bound. Jiang Feng hopes that room air conditioner companies can rise to the challenge, work hand in hand with relevant parties, accelerate the application research of R290 alternative technology, actively promote the marketization of R290 air conditioners, and make contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment.

Reach the consensus of the international community:
Accelerate the marketization of R290 air conditioners

There is no doubt that energy conservation, emission reduction, elimination of backward technologies, and green and sustainable development are the only way for China's manufacturing industry to enhance its competitiveness and further internationalize. What is gratifying is that, after more than a year of hard work, most companies in the room air conditioner industry have identified their goals, united and actively mobilized resources from all parties to promote the production and listing of R290 air conditioners. In this technical seminar, five major institutions, including the Foreign Cooperation and Exchange Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, China Household Electrical Appliances Association, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, and German International Cooperation Agency, are Companies that play a leading role are commended. Among them are Oaks Air Conditioning Co., Ltd., TCL Air Conditioner (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd., Sichuan Changhong Air Conditioning Co., Ltd., which won the 2019 Low-Carbon and Environmental Protection Advanced Award; Qingdao Haier Air Conditioning Co., Ltd., which won the 2019 Low-Carbon and Environmental Protection Excellence Award, and Guangdong Midea Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd. won the 2019 Low-Carbon Environmental Protection Leadership Award.

At the meeting, experts from relevant international institutions, universities, scientific research institutions, and technicians from the room air conditioner and compressor manufacturers made wonderful sharing of their achievements in R290 technology research and development, standards, and policies. . Director Ole Nielsen from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization shared and exchanged research on the existing and potential international markets of R290 air-conditioning products. He said that R410A and R32, the two main HFC refrigerants currently sold, will follow the Kigali Amendment. The implementation has entered the reduction list. In addition, Ole Nielsen expressed his expectations for the marketization of R290 in China and the international expectations for R290 products in the description of "visible" and "accessible". He hopes that while China will do a good job in the internal organization of the R290 product, it will also do a good job in external publicity and take the initiative to assume a leading role to guide the transformation.

"Although the marketization of R290 is 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." Li Xiaoyan said, from 2019 Beginning on August 31, 2010, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment will make the third subsidy adjustment to the sales of R290 air conditioners, breaking the upper limit of subsidies for enterprises, encouraging first-come, first-served, and domestic sales of first-level inverter R290 air-conditioners will receive 600 yuan per unit Funding 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.

Volkmar Hasse 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 now shifted its policy focus to R290, starting on January 1, 2019. Control the production, consumption and import of HFC and other HFCs.

When Dr. Li Tingxun from Sun Yat-sen University shared the progress of the revision of the IEC60335-2-40 standard, he reviewed the revisions made by himself, the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, and China’s air-conditioning companies to the relevant IEC standards for the R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant in the past ten years. And the difficult process of application. He said that it is not easy for R290 to make a certain degree of progress in the current IEC standards at the level of charge and other aspects. Based on this, he believes that understanding the procedures and rules of international standard revisions will help reduce resistance. Therefore, Chinese companies are advised to dare , Dare to participate in the formulation of international standards.
Julia Kleinschmidt, Ӧko-Recherche Academy of Sciences, Germany
In addition, Julia Kleinschmidt from the German Ӧko-Recherche Academy of Sciences shared the challenges of EU F-Gas regulations; Alexander Fisher from the German International Cooperation Agency asked his representatives to exchange views on the progress of climate change and global response to Sino-German climate change cooperation ;Professor He Guogeng of Huazhong University of Science and Technology made the R290 air conditioner safety risk assessment report; Fan Mingjing of Qingdao Haier Air Conditioner Co., Ltd. shared a report on the performance of the R290 split air conditioner; Professor Wu Jianhua from Xi’an Jiaotong University shared the R290 low temperature air source heat pump And its compressor performance and reliability research; Gao Bin of GMCC & Welling shared the global refrigerant substitution requirements and the progress of GMCC research and development; Li Li of Xi’an Qing'an Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd. shared the oil and gas separation flow field of the rotary compressor Dynamic simulation research of R290; Joe Karnaz of Ruifu Chemical (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. shared and exchanged the concept of effective lubricants for next-generation refrigerants; Liu Zhongmin of Hisense Home Appliances Group Co., Ltd. conducted a report on the improvement of heating performance of R290 air conditioners Sharing; Zhao Dongfang of Qingdao Hisense Hitachi Air Conditioning System Co., Ltd. shared a research report on the application of air supplement technology in transcritical CO2 heat pump water heaters; Yang Chun of Emerson Environmental Optimization Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. provided R290 variable frequency air source heat pumps in cold areas. Report sharing on thermal operating characteristics research was conducted; Li Ming from Rheinland Testing and Certification Services (China) Co., Ltd. shared and exchanged on the overall safety assessment and certification of combustible refrigerant products such as R290.
Whether it is the outstanding leading companies mentioned above, or the exchanges and sharing of experts and scholars at the conference, it can be seen that although there is still a big gap between the sales scale and production capacity of R290 air conditioners in China, the marketization work is still a heavy task. However, experts at home and abroad at the meeting expressed strong determination and confidence in the current marketization of R290, and reached a series of international community consensus on the firm promotion of R290 air-conditioning marketization at the meeting. It is believed that international organizations, government departments, and industry With the great attention and joint efforts of the association and manufacturers, the marketization of R290 air conditioners in China will make further breakthroughs.

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