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Carrier Transicold Seeks Natural Refrigerant Technology for Reefer Trucks

October 7, 2015 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: News, Regulations, Technology
Carrier’s NaturaLINE container refrigeration unit is an example of how it has successfully applied CO2 refrigerant in marine transport applications. Carrier’s NaturaLINE container refrigeration unit is an example of how it has successfully applied CO2 refrigerant in marine transport applications.

Carrier Transicold has set its sights on natural refrigerant technology that surpasses current alternatives in terms of reducing environmental impact, voluntarily aligning with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest and more stringent refrigerant change listing for other commercial, non-transport refrigeration systems.

Truck and trailer refrigeration units in North America use R-404A, one of a number of hydrofluorcarbon (HFC) refrigerants for which the EPA, through its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program announcement, established new restrictions in other applications, such as stationary commercial refrigeration systems.

“Carrier Transicold offers customers some of the most environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems,” said David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems. “We are committed to expanding our proven, environmentally responsible natural refrigerant systems for road transport. Specifically, we are building on our expertise with the natural refrigerant carbon dioxide (CO2), which has a significantly lower global warming potential (GWP) than current synthetic refrigerants and their alternates.”

Effective this year, the European Union’s new F-Gas regulation aggressively ramps down the use of high GWP HFC refrigerants. As an option to the HFC R-404A for truck and trailer systems in Europe, Carrier Transicold and other transport refrigeration equipment providers now offer the refrigerant R-452A, a three-component blend that includes a hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) and has a GWP about 45 percent lower than R-404A. However, R-452A is awaiting required SNAP approval by EPA for use in the United States.

R-452A, if approved by EPA, could become an interim option for U.S. truck and trailer customers seeking more environmentally responsible refrigerants.

“Carrier Transicold’s greater goal for transport refrigeration significantly surpasses the benefits of R-452A,” Appel said. “The natural refrigerant CO2 is cost-effective, readily available worldwide and has a GWP of only 1, which is roughly 2,000 times better than R-452A (GWP 2,140) and 4,000 times better than R-404A (GWP 3,922).”

Carrier has successfully applied CO2 refrigerant in both stationary commercial refrigeration and marine transport applications.

To help facilitate greater adoption of CO2 as a refrigerant in the United States, Carrier successfully petitioned the EPA to approve the low global warming refrigerant for transport refrigeration. The agency now lists CO2 as ‘acceptable’ for new transport refrigeration applications.

“With its GWP of 1, CO2 is the basis for calculating the GWP of all other refrigerants,” said Appel. “It serves as the benchmark for environmental sustainability, which is what Carrier Transicold continues to relentlessly pursue.”