More than 420 industry experts attended the 8th ATMOsphere Europe conference in Berlin to discuss progress towards the wider uptake of natural refrigerants. The conference focused on the current trends in mass-market solutions and latest innovations in the HVAC&R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) industry and its expansion to all applications and climate zones.
ECOS Policy Officer Thomas Willson presented standardisation work related to the European F-Gas regulation and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The most relevant standards were introduced and it was described how restricted information, narrow interests from industries and limited stakeholder participation can lead to unsuitable standards. He warned that “if there is limited participation from stakeholders involved with natural refrigerants, we will end up with legacy standards that do not support the uptake of natural refrigerants”. ECOS calls for a greater inclusiveness of stakeholders working with natural refrigerants in the standardisation processes to ensure that standards on natural refrigerants will support their future growth. The participants were urged to get in contact as many of them have something to contribute to the standardisation work. He stressed that “standards are developed as a function of the people who contribute to their development”.
Finally, Thomas introduced the newly started LIFE FRONT, a three-year long EU demonstration project that aims to increase the availability of suitable alternatives to fluorinated refrigerants. LIFE FRONT will address flammable refrigerants in standardisation by reducing safety risks via improvements in system design, engaging in technology capacity building and removing non-technological knowledge barriers.