The Blue Angel for Stationary Room Air Conditioners – market analysis, technical developments and regulatory framework for criteria development

The Blue Angel for Stationary Room Air Conditioners – market analysis, technical developments and regulatory framework for criteria development

Authors:

Tobias Schleicher, Ran Liu, Jens Gröger, Jonathan Heubes, and Pascal Radermacher on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt)
Resource type:
Reports, Case Studies & Assessments
Publishing year:
2018

The purpose of this study is to analyse the technical, economic, legislative and environmental background of the product group room air conditioners in order to derive award criteria for the German ecolabel “The Blue Angel” including international cooperation activities with China, Thailand, India and South Korea. Besides a first focus on the definition and scope of the product group, it provides a comprehensive market overview looking into the global demand and supply situation as well as the detailed picture of the above mentioned countries. The results show that Germany’s relatively small market for air conditioners is characterised by an almost complete import situation. On the other hand, this is reflected by large exports by countries like China and Thailand. The analysis of the technology trends mostly focusses on the use of refrigerants and energy efficiency. Currently various trends are observed: European countries focus on natural refrigerants (e.g. hydrocarbons) with a global warming potential (GWP) ≤ 5 while some Asian countries focus on the refrigerant R-32 (GWP 675). Furthermore, this study shows that air conditioners operating with R-290 (Propane) can reach a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 7 under the current European standards. The comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of this study shows that single-split air conditioners operating in a moderate climate zone that make use of natural refrigerants such as R-290 can typically save up to 30% Greenhouse Gas Emissions as compared to devices that use conventional hydrofluorocarbons) HFCs such as R-410A. In tropical climate zones this GHG saving typically amounts up to almost 50%. The study closes with the derivation of award criteria for the Blue Angel ecolabel.

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