Refrigerant Compliance Includes Calculating Carbon Emissions
Calculating carbon emissions is a complex process. The different types of emissions need to be identified and collected company wide. In addition, tracking methods need to show the daily use of refrigerant gas. The end result will show the global warming potential for each facility with a refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) system or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
If you manage a facility using a refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) system or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC-R) system, it's time to comply with federal and state environmental laws regarding carbon emissions. To help reduce greenhouse gases, the law requires calculating carbon emissions. This means monitoring, collecting data and performing extensive reporting of CO2 sources.
Refrigerant systems use high levels of greenhouse gases, so the EPA established the Climate Registry Protocol for calculating carbon emissions on a regular basis. The international equivalent of this requirement is outlined in the Montreal Protocol and Kyoto Protocol. The main purpose for calculating carbon emissions is to begin reducing the damaging effects that refrigerant gas has on the environment.
Commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems operate on refrigerant gas, which is made up of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). When broken down, these substances contain carbon, chlorine, fluorine and hydrogen.
These gases are major ozone depleting substances. By calculating carbon emissions, government environmental agencies will be able to better understand the situation. Companies who fail to report their carbon emissions will be issued a substantial fine.
Information about reducing greenhouse gases by calculating carbon emissions is contained in EPA, ISO, World Resource Institute and Climate Registry protocols. In summary, the mandatory regulations require facilities using refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to collect, organize, calculate and report carbon emissions.
Some volume of carbon is released into the environment by any company with a refrigerant system. Trying to determine how much carbon is emitted is an intricate process. Conducting a carbon audit or a carbon footprint across an organization begins with collecting data related to each location, the assets being used, and identifying high global warming potential gases. From there, a determination on how much of each gas is released must be made. Then various reports that include tracking methods need to be completed and submitted.
Refrigerant management programs can best handle the tedious process of calculating carbon emissions. Across a distributed organization or one with more than a couple of locations and a few HVAC-R systems, a web-based or database driven refrigerant management solution is more effective and less prone to error as are paper log books. A refrigerant management program that includes a solution for refrigerant gas tracking and an automated way to calculate carbon emissions is important. Solutions like this make is easier to handle calculating carbon emissions for all AC/HVAC systems operated by a company.
Many research studies and much scientific debate lead international agencies the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to mandate that organizations to monitor, track, and calculate carbon emission for annual reports. It is an important step to define your organizational boundaries, where you do business, and to identify the refrigerants you own or other sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Equally important is to establish a tracking mechanism for determining how much harmful gases are released at any given time. The information will be used to improve air quality with measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
By calculating carbon emissions, companies will be able to recognize the extent of their carbon footprint. For companies with multiple locations using refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, the task becomes even more critical.
But there is help to address this challenging issue. Emerging software provided by clean-tech development firms track carbon dioxide gas emissions across all sites so companies can do their part to ensure a healthy environment for years to come.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Stouffer is a Product Manager at Verisae, Inc. They have web-based software that makes it easy to monitor, manage, and report not only refrigerant gas usage but also carbon emissions . Stay in compliance with government regulations. Learn about Verisae's solutions a... http://www.Refrigerant-Tracker.com