UNDP supports conversion to non-ozone-depleting refrigerant in demonstration project

Apr 18, 2014

The group, including Jacques van Engels and William Kwan from UNDP HQ Montreal Protocol Unit; Balaji Natarajan from UNDP APRC; and Carsten Germer from UNDP China, observe the new chiller/heat pump model.

Representatives from UNDP headquarters' Montreal Protocol Unit, the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC), and UNDP China visited the Tsinghua Tongfang Company on 18 April 2014. The group observed a small-sized commercial air-source chiller/heat pump, which was developed and demonstrated by the company through financial assistance from the Multilateral Fund. The demonstration project, a joint venture between Tsinghua Tongfang, the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO) of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and UNDP, aimed at producing a new chiller/heat pump which uses R32 technology instead of the R-22 used in previous models.

While the new model is estimated to be 10 percent more expensive than its predecessor, government subsidies in the initial stages will minimize the overall extra cost to consumers. The real benefit from the conversion comes from changes in refrigerant, as R32 is a non-ozone-depleting substance compared to R-22, which has ozone depleting potential (ODP). In addition, R32 has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 675, more than 2.5 times less than R-22’s GWP of 1810. 

During the visit, Mr. Liu, the general manager of Tsinghua Tongfang, explained that the company decided to engage in the demonstration project to align to a greener development path, including increased corporate social responsibility and environmental consciousness. The company is now awaiting the finalization of a set of national standards which will enable it to bring its new product to the market.