Dean Groff, Food Retail Service Contracts Manager for Danfoss, has over 30 years of experience in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in a variety of functions, including Materials Management, Global Product Management and Program Management.
Groff currently serves on the Technical Committee for the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufactures (NAFEM) and is a member of several AHRI working groups dealing with regulatory issues in commercial refrigeration. Over the past ten years, Groff has represented the industry at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.
Welcome to the debut episode of the Envisioneering Exchange Podcast! In our first episode, host John Sheff, Danfoss’ Director of Public Affairs, and guest Dean Groff, Danfoss Food Retail Services Contractor Manager, discuss the current landscape of refrigerants and the impact of US and Canadian regulations.
- Kigali Agreement adopted by Canada, but not the US
- California has passed SNAP 21, which is much more strict than the rest of the US
- EPA, working under the Clean Air Act, passed Significant New Alternative Program (SNAP) rule 20 and 21 to regulate global warming gases. However, a lawsuit was filed by refrigerant manufacturers Arkema and Mexichem, stating that the EPA lacked authority to regulate global warming gasses, only ozone depleting gases. Courts agreed.
- Due to this issue, the US did not implement SNAP 20 and 21, though some states have, such as California. Additionally, Canada implemented SNAP 20 and 21.
- The Kilgali accord is a multinational agreement to phaseout refrigerants with a high global warming potential (GWP). While many countries have adopted the accord, including Canada, it has not been ratified in the US by congress.
- Due to a lack of action by the US federal government, 24 states and 2 US territories formed the United States Climate Alliance. Led by California, the Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition that has taken up the task of implementing stricter regulations to better control greenhouse gases.
- Despite having already adopted SNAP 20 and 21, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) want to do more combat climate change. As a result, caps to GWP levels at 750 or 150 for units over 50 pounds of charge set have been proposed.
- Some of the best alternatives with low GWP levels are natural refrigerants, such as CO2 or ammonia.
- Additionally, CARB regulates residential A/C, light commercial refrigeration, and process coolers, which are outside the purview of SNAP 20 and 21.
- CARB also wants to include industrial process chillers in the proposed caps, though that may not be possible due to the broad ranges of products cooled and the chiller sizes.
- There are also challenges over what counts as a “retrofit” system: currently under CARB, replacing more than 50% of the cost of a system requires the system to be considered “new.” AHRI has been working with CARB to adjust their definitions, though nothing has been finalized as of yet.
- One challenge with adopting some the new regulations is that standards have not yet caught up. For example, how to properly handle flammable refrigerants, such as propane.
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