At a White House Industry Leader Roundtable today, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) was set to provide a progress report on its 2014 pledge to invest $5 billion in HVACR research over the next 10 years.

During the event, AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek reported that the industry spent more than $255 million in 2015 toward a 10-year, $5 billion commitment in research and development and capital expenditures to develop and commercialize low-global warming potential (GWP) technologies. He noted that the $5 billion pledge is in addition to the nearly $2 billion that was spent on such research in the previous five years. The yearly totals are expected to grow as spending moves from research into development and testing of equipment using the new refrigerants.

"Our industry's refrigerant research and equipment development program has made great strides, even since last year's White House event," Yurek said, noting that AHRI is wrapping up the second phase of a major, four-year research project to identify the next generation of refrigerants. "We are now in a position to do two things: one, begin to develop equipment that will use the new refrigerants in specific applications and, two, to begin to focus on another class of promising new refrigerants that are slightly flammable. So, today, AHRI is committing to provide up to $1 million for a collaborative, tightly focused research effort into how to safely use these refrigerants, and we are actively seeking additional sponsors to help fund this important research."  

For more information on AHRI's refrigerant research program, visit AHRI will host a one-day conference to present the results from the Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (AREP) on January 21, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. For more information and registration details, click here.