THE FACTS ABOUT HVAC-R AND SUSTAINABILITY

The impact of HVAC-R on the environment is staggering. Bluon TdX 20 is a realistic solution.

hvac sustainability heading

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Summary

Bluon TdX 20 replaces ozone-depleting R-22 refrigerant and cuts HVAC-R energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 5-25%. All other R-22 replacements are less energy efficient, resulting in more emissions. TdX 20 is an extremely cost effective climate change solution.

r22 freon and climate change

Electricity & Climate Change

GREENHOUSE GASES

Climate change is linked to the presence of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) in our atmosphere. There are four major GHGs, of which carbon dioxide (CO2) is by far the most abundant, accounting for 82%.

SOURCES OF GREENHOUSE GASES

It’s commonly assumed that gasoline-burning cars and trucks are the largest source of GHG emissions into our atmosphere, but that’s actually incorrect. Electricity generation is the single largest source of GHG emissions—more than the entire transportation sector combined. Power plants burning coal and fossil fuels are the largest CO2 producers.

TYPES OF GREENHOUSE GASES
U.S. GHG EMISSIONS BY SECTOR

Source: www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/us-greenhouse-gas-inventory-report-1990-2014

electricity greenhouse gas
HVAC-R AND ELECTRICITY

Virtually every building on the planet uses at least one HVAC-R system to provide its heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration needs. These systems consume a surprising amount of energy. In a typical building, the HVAC-R system is responsible for 50% of its energy bill.

In fact, 40% of the planet’s electricity is consumed by HVAC-R.

how much energy hvac uses
hvac co2 emissions vs cars
HVAC-R VS. All Transportation

CO2 emssions (millions of metric tons)

HVAC-R AND CLIMATE CHANGE

It’s easy to see how significantly HVAC-R impacts GHG production. Considering that 30% of GHGs are produced by electricity generation, and 40% of that electricity is used by HVAC-R, then it is directly responsible for 12% of total GHG emissions.

To put that in perspective, HVAC-R is responsible for as much CO2 as 50% of all the cars and trucks on the road!

Refrigerants: The Untold Story

HVAC-R REFRIGERANTS

HVAC-R systems need a refrigerant to work. The tremendous energy consumed by HVAC-R equipment is used to change the refrigerant from a liquid to a gas and back again, absorbing and dispelling heat.

Phase out schedule for R-22

(Pounds Produced Per Year)

GLOBAL REGULATION

The availability of refrigerants is impacted by an international treaty called the Montreal Protocol. The treaty is designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out ozone depleting properties (ODP) that are responsible for ozone depletion.

Under the treaty, early refrigerants with high ODP (called CFCs) have been successfully phased out of use in most of the world. A second class of refrigerants with lower ODP (called HCFCs) is currently on a phaseout timeline. The most common HCFC in use today is R-22, a refrigerant still used in 60% of global HVAC-R equipment.

This treaty is designed to slowly force HVAC-R users to replace their existing R-22 equipment with new equipment based around a refrigerant called R-410A—an HFC with zero ODP, but with a tradeoff of higher Global Warming Potential.

refrigerant greenhouse gases
FROM ODP TO GWP

All modern refrigerants are formulated with zero ODP. However, because these refrigerants are fluorinated gases which can leak into the atmosphere and trap heat, they are a type of greenhouse gas. The term Global Warming Potential (GWP) was developed to allow comparisons of the global warming impacts of different gases.

Today, government and industry officials are focused almost entirely on promoting so-called “Low GWP” refrigerants. While Low GWP is certainly important, it overlooks the most critical part of the GHG and climate change reality: energy efficiency.

THE OTHER SIDE OF GWP

GWP only considers the potential impact of leakage, and virtually all “Low GWP” refrigerants cause the existing HVAC-R systems to operate less efficiently, thereby consuming more electricity and resulting in more GHG emissions in the form of CO2.

Each GHG affects the atmosphere differently. To accurately compare their impact, GHGs are standardized in terms of CO2, thus the climate change impact of each gas is understood in terms of “CO2 equivalence.”

Comparing apples to apples, the impact of CO2 is far more problematic than the impact of fluorinated gas leaks. To put it simply, Low GWP is not necessarily Low GHGs

hvac r22 gwp odp
2014 US GHG emissions in millions of metric tons

(adjusted to CO2 equivalence)

HVAC emissions CO2
GHGs from leaking HVAC-R electricty use vs. fluorinated gas leakage in millions of metric tons

(adjusted to CO2 equivalence)

CO2 + GWP: THE FULL STORY

On an equivalent scale, the leakage of all refrigerants accounts for 5-10% of GHGs associated with HVAC-R, whereas the electricity consumption accounts for 90-95% of the problem. This means a 10% gain in HVAC-R efficiency would be more than enough to offset the entire GWP concern of the all refrigerant leakage, combined.

Regulators are actually making climate change worse by focusing only on Low GWP refrigerants, and ignoring energy efficiency.

The bottom line is that any meaningful climate intervention program surrounding HVAC-R must account for both CO2 from electricity and GWP from leaks, with the emphasis on energy efficiency.

“If Americans made their HVAC-R equipment 10% more efficient, it would do more to fight climate change than taking 20 million cars off the road.”

- Leonardo DiCaprio Bluon Investor & Board Advisor

The Bluon Breakthrough

THE WIN-WIN REFRIGERANT

65% of global HVAC-R systems still use R-22 refrigerants. With global mandates phasing these out, HVAC-R users must install less-efficient refrigerants or replace their entire system with high pressure R-410A equipment, at enormous cost.

We recognized that if we could develop a true R-22 replacement with lower GWP, that could also reduce the electricity consumption of the equipment, it would represent a major environmental breakthrough, and a practical solution to fight climate change.

After many years of R&D, unique scientific discoveries, and real-world testing, we created a new kind of refrigerant to solve these problems. We call it Bluon TdX 20 (R-458A).

r22 vs bluon tdx 20 r-458a
Bluon TdX 20 is a planet-friendly and energy-efficient R-22 replacement.
bluon vs r22 energy savings
Bluon TdX 20 is a planet-friendly and energy-efficient R-22 replacement.

Bluon TdX 20 is a planet-friendly and energy-efficient R-22 replacement.

BLUON TDX 20

TdX 20 works differently than other refrigerants. It’s a unique blend of substances with staggered boiling points, that requires less energy to phase change and works more efficiently with the HVAC-R equipment.

The result is that by replacing the R-22 in an HVAC-R system with TdX 20, the energy consumed by the equipment drops by 5-25%, depending on the system, with an average efficiency gain of 15-18%.

TdX 20 is also cheaper than R-22 and, critically, it means that HVAC-R users worldwide now have an alternative to replacing their entire equipment which is simply not affordable for the vast majority.

Low CO2 + LOW GWP

Bluon TdX 20 has a low GWP and produces a significant reduction in greenhouse gases where it matters most: CO2 emissions via electricity generation.

TdX 20 is a unique environmental achievement, in that it rewards small and large end users with significant and ongoing savings for reducing their carbon footprint.

hvac emissions
Annual GHG emissions from a 10-ton HVAC: R-22 and replacement options
(2250 KwH/ton, 2lbs/ton, 1.53 lb CO2/Kwh)
office hvac sustainability
Office converted to Bluon

Units: 1

Cost: $40,000

CO2 removed: 125+ MT/YR

hvac vs cars cost savings
Electric Vehicles

Units: 25

Cost: $1,000,000

CO2 removed: 125 MT/YR

DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR IMPACT

Bluon TdX 20 has a low GWP and produces a significant reduction in greenhouse gases where it matters most: CO2 emissions via electricity generation.

TdX 20 is a unique environmental achievement, in that it rewards small and large end users with significant and ongoing savings for reducing their carbon footprint.

“For the vast majority, where buying new equipment is not a viable option, Bluon TdX 20 represents a cost effective solution to reduce their electricity consumption and therefore dramatically reduce their carbon footprint.”

- Leonardo DiCaprio Bluon Investor & Board Advisor