Green alternative – natural refrigerants technology set to drive carbon footprint down

Grosvenor Engineering Group (Grosvenor) is the first major technical services company in Australia to introduce a dedicated natural refrigerant technology service for HVAC &R systems, focused on assisting the multi-billion dollar Australian commercial office market reduce its carbon footprint by providing a green alternative.

According to researchandmarkets.com, the global refrigerants market was estimated to be USD$22.9 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD$31 million by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2 per cent between 2018 – 2023. The majority of this growth is attributable to natural refrigerants.

Grosvenor currently employs over 800 staff, 400 of which are HVAC technicians and will train all of them in natural refrigerant technology within the next 12 months. More than 30 technicians will have this specialist accreditation which also includes the safe handling of the HFC refrigerant type R32 by the end of June. The technology will be implemented under the company’s HVAC & R service line.

Nicholas Lianos, Managing Director at Grosvenor Engineering Group, comments, “We have been observing market trends overseas and the exponential growth towards using environmentally friendly HVAC & R solutions which deliver significant energy savings. The technology that underpins the ability to achieve these outcomes is the use of natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons.

“If customers use HVAC & R systems that utilise natural refrigerants they benefit from reduced energy costs, in some cases up to 60 per cent, lower maintenance costs and can sustain a reduced carbon footprint. The business and environmental cases continue to grow stronger. Green assets are also more desirable investments for investors. NABERS and Green Star ratings improve property capital values.”

He added, “It is part of Grosvenor’s DNA to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology used within the built environment. This has been reinforced by the introduction of cyber security for operational technology; indoor air quality monitoring; the continuing development of virtual technicians and building analytics solutions.”

The Montreal Protocol, specifically the Kigali Amendment has mandated the phase down of hydroflurocarbons over the next 30 years. For example, from January 2020, the importation of the R22 refrigerant into Australia was limited to replacement in existing equipment only. By January 2030, it will be totally banned in Australia.
Mr Lianos added, “European equipment sales of natural refrigerants in HVAC & R equipment and a focus on these products at major global trade shows and events, further validates that the natural refrigerants market is in a significant growth phase.

“Market research also highlights that there is a gap in the Australian market for technical people that can properly and safely handle, install and maintain natural refrigerant solutions. We will soon have a dedicated team of highly experienced and accredited staff equipped to implement natural refrigerant technology in commercial buildings.”

Hydrocarbon technology offers significant benefits including reduced energy and maintenance costs; diminished carbon emissions and the solution can be delivered as a service, negating capital expenditure.

Environmentally friendly alternatives are being driven by the need to reduce global warming. With HVAC+R systems being the largest user of energy in the built environment, the use of natural refrigerants are at the forefront of this change.