Refrigeration Operation

[edit / update model]
This category provides a simple screening method to allow users to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. This methodology follows that from the latest Defra data and advice and is originally based on the methodologies published in association with the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Programme and EPA Climate Leaders initiative.

The calculation method is based on assumptions relating to the type of unit being used, so requires minimal understanding of the complexities of the system being used. The user should enter information on any units running during the time period under consideration. These emissions include contributions from estimated equipment leaks and service losses over the life time of the unit.

Refrigerants differ in their specific physical (particularly thermal) properties and therefore exert a variable effect on atmospheric warming. As such, the absolute quantity of emissions for a given refrigerant type is converted into a standard measure of environmental impact - CO2e: the equivalent quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2) which would produce the same atmospheric warming effect. This conversion is made by multiplying the absolute emissions quantity by the 'global warming potential' (GWP) of the respective refrigerant - a value unique to the gas which represents its warming effect relative to CO2.

How to use this category

Selecting an emissions scenario

Firstly use the drill-down type to select the type of equipment under assessment. This is chosen from the following options.

  • domestic refrigeration
  • stand-alone commercial applications
  • medium and large commercial applications
  • transport refrigeration
  • industrial refrigeration (inc. food processing and cold storage)
  • chillers
  • residential and commercial a/c including heat pumps
  • mobile air conditioning

Specifying activity data

The user must then enter the equipmentChargeCapacity (see the Refrigeration category for more guide values), the numberOfUnits, the timeUsed (years) during the reporting period and the refrigerantType as profile item values. The refrigerantType profile item value calls the relevant global warming potential for that refrigerant from the GWP category. This must be selected from the following list.

  • CO2
  • HFC-23
  • HFC-32
  • HFC-41
  • HFC-125
  • HFC-134
  • HFC-134a
  • HFC-143
  • HFC-143a
  • HFC-152a
  • HFC-227ea
  • HFC-236fa
  • HFC-245fa
  • HFC-4310mee
  • CF4
  • C2F6
  • C3F8
  • C4F8
  • C4F10
  • C5F12
  • C6F14
  • R404a
  • R407c
  • R408a
  • R410a
  • R507
  • R508b
  • CFC-11
  • CFC-12
  • CFC-13
  • CFC-113
  • CFC-114
  • CFC-115
  • HCFC-22
  • HCFC-123
  • HCFC-124
  • HCFC-141b
  • HCFC-142b
  • HCFC-225ca
  • HCFC-225cb
  • R290
  • R600a
  • R406a
  • R409a
  • R502

Results and calculation

The quantities returned represent the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the quantities and refrigerant type specified. The following quantities are returned:

  • absoluteEmissions: absolute quantity of refrigerant emissions
  • CO2e: CO2e emissions (absolute emissions converted using the appropriate global warming potential)
If no refrigerantType is specified then only the absolute quantity of emissions can be calculated and the value for CO2e will be zero.