How to Reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) Emissions with Refrigerant Gas Tracking
Explained, at a high-level, are a few of the emerging carbon emissions reporting protocols. There are dozens CO2 reporting requirements under development Worldwide. As of early 2009, The Climate Registry's reporting protocol is leading the way in the United States. The EPA, ISO 14064, and World Resources Institute also have documented carbon emissions reporting protocols worth reviewing.
Carbon emissions reporting, a new monitoring and tracking method based upon requirements to limit Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) from being released into the atmosphere, requires detailed tracking, maintenance of systems, and record keeping of CO2 sources. Greenhouse Gases that occur through various industrial and commercial processes are often referred as the "6 Kyoto Gases" are under tight control.
Carbon (CO2) Emissions Reporting: It's the law.
In many countries, carbon emissions are required by law to be reported across an organization's entire footprint; hence the common term now in widespread use Carbon Footprinting. Carbon data and detailed records of energy, fuel, and refrigerant gas consumption fall under regulatory compliance rules and must be reported in paper, and increasingly, electronic format.
Similar forms of mandatory monitoring, tracking, and reporting of air, water and soil pollutants fall under the Montreal Protocol (refrigerants gases), The U.S. Clean Air Act (many pollutants), and The Kyoto Protocol (6 GHG gases).
EPA and State Regulatory Compliance
Air, water and soil pollutants resulting from emissions that go beyond the property line or are in excess of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and/or state compliance regulations must be reported in order to maintain a safe and healthy environments. In addition, there is a very high likelihood that the United States will follow suite with many other countries to mandate economy wide carbon emission reporting. Submission of carbon emissions reports help identify main sources of GHG (greenhouse gases) and track the volume emitted into the atmosphere so that these volumes may be ratcheted down over time.
HCFC Refrigerants -- The cause of depleted Ozone and increases of GHG emissions.
This is the main basis and high-level background for carbon emissions reporting. Refrigerants gases add higher levels of carbon into the air due to the composition CFCs and HCFCs. The refrigerants used in commercial heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) or regular air conditioning (AC) units include Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and perfluorocarbon (PFC).
Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are a collection of commonly used refrigerant and aerosol gasses with a wide variety of other commercial applications. The common Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) in use today are hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These substances are organic compounds which consist of clorine, fluorine, carbon and hydrogen and are controlled under the rules set forth in Section 608 of the US Clean Air Act.
The U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documented that increased GHG emissions is the result of misuse of HCFC refrigerants. As a result of conclusion, the EPA has implemented protocols requiring owner or operators of refrigerant systems to accurately track their refrigerant usage. Refrigerants, referenced as fugitive emissions, make up one of the four main scopes of carbon emissions.
Carbon Emissions Protocols - Get to know these intimately (scope by scope).
The Climate Registry Protocol was written in preparation of mandatory monitoring and tracking or mobile (vehicle emissions), stationary (electricity production), and fugitive emissions (refrigerant gases). These possible sources of emissions are defined below as noted in The Climate Registry, the ISO standards, the EPA protocols, and the World Resource Institute requirements.
Mobile emissions are those which emanate from transport vehicles. Most commonly, these are emissions from the combustion of fuels in transportation sources and emissions from non-road equipment such as equipment used in construction, agriculture, and forestry.
Stationary emissions are those which come from a regular source but do not disperse over greater areas, rather remaining in concentrations in the specific source area. These are emissions from the combustion of fuels to produce electricity, steam, heat, or power using in a fixed location.
Fugitive emissions are those which may occur as a result of inefficient control equipment or control equipment that is obsolete. Examples include releases of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) from electrical equipment, hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) releases during the use of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, process equipment leaks, etc.
The EPA, ISO, World Resource Institute, and Climate Registry all have reporting protocols which outline, in a systematic way methods for collecting, calculating, and reporting carbon emissions. All protocols are available. There is not a single reporting protocol as of early 2009. The current carbon emission protocols being drafted, reviewed, and supported by businesses and various government agencies all dictate detailed reporting requirements. EPA rules put in place mandatory CO2 emissions reporting regulations. Companies must spend time getting to know the protocols to remain in compliance.
Critical Heads Up - Organizations must organize, manage,and (eventually) report carbon emissions or face tough consequences.
Where refrigerant gases prevail heavily in multiple sources, refrigerant reporting as well as refrigerant tracking will lead to a better phasing in of mandatory carbon reporting. Legal carbon emissions reporting pave the way for lasting reductions in carbon emissions and improved management of company assets. Measure reduction in CO2 emissions. The bigger picture is a healthier environment, a reduction refrigerant venting, and better managed organization.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Stouffer is a Product Manager for Refrigerant Tracker. This web-based software makes it easy to monitor, manage, and report refrigerant gas usage. Stay in compliance with refrigerant management regulations. Learn about Verisae's Refrigerant Tracker at -- http://www.Refrigerant-Tracker.com