John Ferguson, chairman of the International Committee of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), told attendees at Refricon 2003 that efforts are under way around the world to conserve energy and reduce equipment owner operating expenses thanks to development of more efficient cooling techniques.
"There is no escaping the conclusion that our industry is performing a very valuable service to society. Because of our efforts, billions of people benefit from improved quality of life," Mr. Ferguson said at a refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment trade show in February that is sponsored bi-annually by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
"Our equipment serves society in many ways," Mr. Ferguson said. "Refrigeration provides food and medicine preservation. Cooling equipment enhances comfort and productivity and, makes possible shipment of food. Controlled environments are essential to modern marvels such as computer chips and surgical suites capable of the most amazing medical care."
With many years of experience in the industry, Mr. Ferguson said he finds that new and innovative products are being constantly developed as new factories employ "more and more people as we extend the delivery of air conditioning and refrigeration to under served parts of the world. With a nod to governments, tax revenues generated from this industry enable them to provide the services you and I enjoy.
To provide equipment solutions – whether it is comfort control in a safe, large building or refrigeration in a food market – our industry relies on safe, reliable, re-useable and energy efficient refrigerants"
He noted that for decades the industry has utilized chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants such as R-12, R-502 and R-22. However, in some parts of the world including the United States, because of an international agreement, CFCs have been phased out of production. By the end of this decade in developed nations, the widely used R-22, will no longer be used in new equipment, although service refrigerant for R-22 equipment will be produced until 2020.
"As a result," he said, "our industry embarked on a massive research and development effort that resulted in thousands of products being redesigned to use alternative refrigerants, especially hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs.
"Many of these systems, because of re-design factors, offer energy savings, sound improvements and/or increased reliability, often at no additional cost to the consumer. This helps the climate by reducing emissions at power plants. And it helps the customer by reducing his operating expenses while adding to his or her quality of life."
Mr. Ferguson said "we should work together to assure that international agreements in the future preserve the use of HFCs as one of the alternative refrigerants that will allow us to continue to serve people throughout the world."
Also presenting at Refricon was Zubin Dastoor, ARI’s director of Certification Programs. He discussed the value of certification; the driving forces behind certification in India; an overview of ARI’s certification programs; and the challenges facing India as it develops its own certification programs.
India is active in many areas pertaining to manufacture of HVACR equipment including adoption of a new energy labeling program and management of its markets to prevent dumping of imported low quality and under priced products. At the same time, he cited India’s wooing of manufacturers through the reshaping of India’s infrastructure to provide better power distribution and roads and government incentives and reductions in manufacturing taxes.
"The current challenges facing India are firstly, the development of Indian HVACR performance standards," Dastoor said. "Secondly, the establishment of a testing laboratory (at present India has no independent testing laboratory for HVACR products), and thirdly, the infrastructure to operate and manage certification programs.
At present there is a growing leadership and support role for such programs from the senior levels of the local manufacturers. Thus, such programs will surely be in place within the next one to two years.”
ARI has offered to assist Indian manufacturers in establishing certification programs including use of its standards and certification program operational manuals to develop Indian standards and certification program operational policies.
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