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The Importance Of Energy Efficiency In The Refrigeration Niche

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There is a great demand for cooling that has been brought about by increased global temperatures as a result of climate change, urbanization and economic growth. Refrigeration systems are used widely in different countries for domestic use such as room AC units or refrigerators and also in industrial and commercial systems such as food processing refrigeration and HVAC systems for large buildings.

A lot of use of refrigeration equipment has created a significant stress on the power systems thus causing a huge demand for electricity, especially in countries with high temperatures. Therefore, there is a huge demand for cooling systems, a lot of countries are dependent on power generation equipment as well as electricity distribution and transmission systems. There should be a notable increase in electricity demands with the predicted growth in the AC niche.

Note that, in countries with high temperatures, sales of AC units are growing tremendously by about 10-15% each year. Note that, a simple AC unit consumes more electricity than a simple fan, by about 10 to 20 times. There might be a few factors that affect energy efficiency in refrigeration. First, there might be leakages of refrigerants especially during operation and maintenance. Also, there might be electricity leakages when the units are in use.

The Montreal Protocol was pushed forward to remove refrigerants such as CFCs and HFCs which caused the ozone depletion. Note that, HFCs, usually found in a lot of cooling systems utilize a lot of energy, especially electricity. Therefore, the introduction of refrigerants with a lower global warming potential will reduce gas emissions thus improving energy efficiency in the long run. Energy efficiency has been at the forefront of the refrigerant phasedown.

All parties present in the Montreal Protocol agreed that improving energy efficiency in the refrigeration niche could also provide numerous benefits that aid in sustainable development such as mitigation of climate change, energy security and public health.  There are also large returns expected from modest expenditures with regard to energy efficiency creating the best savings for both governments and individual consumers. Note that, energy efficiency in this niche also has a few climate benefits.

  1. The End-User Operating Cost Benefits

Whether for commercial or residential use, there are bound to be many positive financial benefits for the end user, thanks to the various energy efficiency improvements advocated for the refrigerant niche. Note that, with previous systems, the cost of maintenance and operation often end up being 5 times more than the initial capital investment but that’s about to change. With the new energy efficient alternatives, there is a lot of financial return expected with time.

  1. Cost Benefits For The National Electricity Infrastructure

Many countries all over the world will accrue a lot of financial benefits by avoiding the cost associated with making investments to upgrade or expand the electricity supply systems. Using energy efficient alternatives for refrigerants will cause a reduced demand for electricity. Thus, nations can avoid any costs associated with building additional electricity transmission or distribution networks as well as additional power stations

  1. Reduced Greenhouse Gases Emissions

With the proposed alternatives with the Montreal Protocol, there will also be reduced GHG emissions because of energy efficiency. Note that, without the emission of those gases, the ozone layer will be saved from depletion and thus prevent climate change issues that we have previously been facing.

What Should Users Do To Guarantee Energy Efficiency In The Refrigeration Niche

Refrigeration equipment should apply the energy efficiency alternatives advocated to enjoy the benefits outlined above and more. However, end-users and designers have their own job to do to maximize the energy efficiency.

  1. a) Take the necessary steps to reduce the need for cooling by applying the required energy efficiency alternatives proposed by the industry leaders.
  2. b) Choosing the right equipment and in the proper size to guarantee high efficiency cycles together with all the components involved.
  3. c) Using the right and appropriate controls that will maximize the efficiency under all the required operating conditions.
  4. d) Finally, there should be good installation measures in place as well as maintenance and overall operation practices to be at part with high efficiency requirements throughout the life span of the refrigeration equipment.

Note that, doing this will guarantee a few benefits after energy efficiency measures have been reiterated. First, the end user will end up saving a lot more money than using the old systems that don’t reiterate energy efficiency. Of course, there is a substantial capital cost required to enact most of these energy efficiency measures but in the end what matters is what the end user will be saving. Therefore, there is a good chance of recovering the extra capital after a while because of the energy savings. Note that, besides a substantial capital investment, there might be some time input as well for some energy efficiency protocols but as mentioned, it all pays in the end.

What Are The Barriers To Achieving Energy Efficiency In The Refrigeration Niche

Although energy efficiency has its own benefits, there are some barriers in place that might prevent it from happening. These include the following.

  • Information barriers where the purchasers and end users don’t have access to all the data to make the best choices regarding the available technology.
  • There will also be financial and market failures where people don’t have enough money to buy the high efficiency equipment as proposed.
  • Also, you should expect some behavioral and misaligned incentives barriers where property developers, especially in the residential front don’t have incentive to invest in the energy efficient refrigeration equipment.
  • Finally, there should be governance barriers where the national government lacks enough resources, expertise and capacity especially in the local level to implement new regulations and policies, regarding energy efficiency in the refrigeration industry.

In conclusion, energy efficiency is useful in all sectors, including the refrigeration industry in an imperfect market. However, to achieve all that and enjoy the benefits outlined above, there should be a way of removing the barriers that will affect the process as mentioned above. That way, everyone can enjoy the benefits effortlessly.

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