Project Info

Project Title 
Next Generation Low-GWP Refrigeration Systems; Tools Assessment and Market Impacts
Project Number 
Investor Owned Utilities 
Process Loads
Project Year(s) 

Research existing modeling tools used for estimating refrigeration system performance for supermarkets. Once the background study is completed, assemble and review results. Then recommend which tools are publicly accessible and recommend modifications to allow tool to estimate performance of systems utilizing natural refrigerants.

Project Results 

Achieving California’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require replacing traditional refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP) options in supermarket systems. The study assessed current market conditions, using stakeholder feedback, and reported penetration of new and drop-in refrigerants and systems. This identified what factors might help drive adoption of these systems and meet CA’s aggressive CO2 reduction goals.

Major industry stakeholders were surveyed to determine the state of existing California supermarket systems and plans for new and retrofit stores. Those data were used to develop a model of the CA refrigeration stock in grocery stores, and to project turnover of those systems. The GWP impacts of both direct emissions (GWP of leaking refrigerants) and indirect emissions (emissions from resulting energy use) were included in the evaluation of projected results.

The annual rate of supermarket system conversions to low-GWP refrigerants would have to double to meet CA’s CO2 reduction goals. This rate can be lessened by reducing leakage rates in supermarkets.

Four (4) refrigeration system computer modeling tools were also assessed for ease of use, capabilities, and technical gaps. Only one of these tools had the ability to model most of the proposed low-GWP systems, and none of the tools model those systems while also accounting for interactive effects with HVAC systems.


Keywords: Supermarket, refrigeration, global warming potential (GWP)

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