Energy efficiency must be a key consideration in developing new technologies that do not contribute to ozone depletion, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The society approved an Ozone-Depleting Substances Position Statement and Paper at its 2001 winter meeting held in Atlanta, Jan. 27-31.

The document commits ASHRAE to taking a leading role in addressing ozone depleting substance use of refrigeration and air conditioning, continuing to conduct research on alternative refrigerants and technologies and assisting in the timely transition to new alternatives. The document also describes governmental actions in the United States.

“Counties around the world look to the United States in setting policy regarding global warming and climate change,” ASHRAE president James Wolf said. “As an international organization, ASHRAE provides this information and commits to providing technical information to developing countries related to the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances.”

ASHRAE support overall environmentally balanced solutions to atmospheric concerns. Actions taken at the expense of energy efficiency would not represent a balanced approach, according to the society.

“Energy efficiency is a key issue because the burning of fossil fuels to generate electric power is considered a major greenhouse gas emitter,” Wolf said.

ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 901-1999, “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” is helping to reduce energy use in new and existing buildings. The paper notes that the standard provided an overall building efficiency increase over the 1989 standard.

The ASHRAE Ozone-Depleting Substances Position Statement and Paper commit the society to several initiatives:

  • ASHRAE will continue to conduct research on the development and application of HFCs.
  • ASHRAE urges the implementation of worldwide conservation measures to minimize emissions of all refrigerants employing the latest technology, guidance documents, and standards.
  • ASHRAE urges worldwide compliance with the provisions of the Montreal Protocol including its amendments and adjustments.
  • ASHRAE recommends that in order not to discourage the use of viable alternatives to CFCs, the current phase-out schedules of the Montreal Protocol should not be accelerated.
  • To assist in the timely transition away from ozone depleting substances to new alternatives, ASHRAE has place two key industry on continuous maintenance – permitting incorporation of new technical developments on an accelerated basis.
  • ASHRAE urges code-developing organizations and local code implementing authorities to adopt promptly provision permitting new improved technologies and products.

Several ASHRAE standards and guidelines address ozone depleting substance concerns. Standard 34, “Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants,” and Standard 15, “Safety Code for Mechanical Refrigeration,” provide designers and code officials with procedures on the safe use and handling of refrigerants in buildings.

To help ensure the “proper application” of Standard 15, ASHRAE will publish a user’s manual to assist in the proper installation, use and case or refrigeration systems.

ASHRAE Guideline 3, “Guideline for Reducing Emission of Fully Halogenated Chlorofluorocarbon Refrigerants,” addresses refrigerant emission reduction practices in manufacturing, design, installation, and servicing of equipment.

Copies of the ASHRAE Ozone-Depleting Substances Position Statement and Paper may be downloaded for free at beginning March 2001.