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HomeTechIs propane a solution for more sustainable air conditioning?

Is propane a solution for more sustainable air conditioning?


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Present extreme heatwaves that may probably improve in severity and frequency sooner or later are driving an increase in using air conditioners, threatening the setting with their excessive power consumption and refrigerants with excessive warming potential. A brand new research finds that switching to propane as a refrigerant might reduce the worldwide temperature improve from house cooling.

We spend monumental quantities of power on combating off the warmth in the summertime, or all through the entire yr at decrease latitudes—about one-tenth of the overall worldwide electrical energy provide. If present temperature developments proceed, the power calls for of space-coolers will greater than triple by 2050. Other than the rise in energy consumption, space-coolers additionally threaten the environment in numerous methods: by utilizing halogenated refrigerants with excessive global warming potential.

Break up-air conditioners (Break up ACs) that use an indoor and an out of doors air unit linked by pipes are the commonest home equipment used for space-cooling. They principally make the most of HCFC-22 and HFC-410 as refrigerants, each of them characterised by a really excessive international warming potential rating, as much as 2,256—which means that they lure as much as 2,256 instances extra warmth than carbon dioxide over 100 years. Urged by the Kigali Modification to the Montreal Protocol, many producers are on the lookout for various refrigerants with decrease international warming potential scores, similar to HFC-32. Nonetheless, with a worldwide warming potential rating of 771, HFC-32 nonetheless poses a major local weather hazard.

A research led by IIASA researcher Pallav Purohit in collaboration with researchers from the United Nations Surroundings Program and the University of Leeds, confirmed that by switching to propane, an alternate low (

Within the research revealed in Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences, researchers used the IIASA Greenhouse Gas—Air Air pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) mannequin to check the baseline halogenated refrigerant emission eventualities with eventualities of switching to HFC-32 or propane. Whereas the swap to HFC-32 additionally lessened the worldwide temperature improve (0.03°C by the top of the century), propane proved to be the superior resolution by way of sustainability.

“Propane exhibits significant environmental advantages through good energy performance and a global warming potential of less than 1. In split-ACs up to 7 kW, propane can be classified as a technically valid alternative to HFC-driven split-ACs,” says Purohit.

Vitality-efficient split-ACs utilizing propane are already accessible commercially within the Chinese language and Indian markets. Regardless of performing equally to split-ACs utilizing HFC-32, and even higher than the at the moment widespread home equipment utilizing HFC-410A and HCFC-22, some nationwide rules prohibit their use, primarily on account of requirements and codes limiting using refrigerants with greater flammability, hindering their wider adoption.

“To achieve the EU’s ambitious 2050 climate neutrality targets, early and aggressive action is needed. In the short term, converting new air-conditioning systems to more environmentally-friendly refrigerants can reduce their climate impact significantly, underlining the urgency of updating standards for policymakers,” concludes Purohit.


Cutting HFCs to cool the Earth


Extra info:
Pallav Purohit et al, The important thing position of propane in a sustainable cooling sector, Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2206131119

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Is propane an answer for extra sustainable air con? (2022, August 16)
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