Commercial Refrigeration Service And GreenChill Compliance
GreenChill is a partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and food retailers who use refrigerated equipment to reduce refrigerant emissions and thereby decrease the damage they can cause to the ozone layer. As part of this process, retailers are also encouraged to update their refrigerants during commercial refrigeration service to non-ozone depleting substitutes in their refrigerated equipment.
Commercial Refrigeration Service And Refrigerant Conversion
Conversion from older refrigerants in refrigerated equipment like HCFC-22 and other HCFCs is a major part of GreenChill Compliance. HCFC-22 is known to cause significant damage to the ozone layer when it is inadvertently released during commercial refrigeration service. To prevent this in the future the GreenChill Partnership as well as the Montreal Protocol, a treaty signed by the United States, has called for the phase out of HCFC-22 and other damaging HCFCs. This will force the transition to newer, non-ozone depleting refrigerants during commercial refrigeration service.
As of 2015, there will be no import or production of ozone damaging HCFCs except for refrigerated equipment manufactured before 2010. While retailers who own older equipment will still be able to get their refrigerant recharged during commercial refrigeration service, by 2020 two of the most widely used HCFCs (142b and 22) will no longer be imported or produced. By 2030 it is expected that all damaging refrigerants are eliminated in refrigerated equipment in the United States because there will be no import or production of any HCFCs by 2030. At that time, almost all commercial refrigeration service will be done on equipment using non-ozone depleting refrigerants.
Two Main Approaches For Retrofitting Refrigerated Equipment During Commercial Refrigeration Service
The first approach to retrofitting retail refrigerated equipment during commercial refrigeration service involves replacing the refrigerant only. This approach is more cost effective and results in minimal changes to the refrigerated equipment. The second approach involves installing new mechanical systems during commercial refrigeration service which is obviously more costly. In addition to migrating to a non-ozone depleting refrigerant, the commercial refrigeration service could include installing new compressors, condensers, and cases.
Regardless of which approach is undertaken any retrofit should include improving the leak tightness of the refrigerated equipment during the commercial refrigeration service. Emissions of the refrigerant whether old or new is still a large issue because even if they are non-ozone damaging refrigerants newer refrigerants like HFCs are still considered greenhouse gases. So to prevent exchanging one environmental problem for another refrigerated equipment owners need to use the retrofit conversion process during commercial refrigeration service as a way to reduce refrigerant leaks and prevent refrigerant emissions.