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ASHRAE, UN Environment Programme Announce Lower GWP Award Selections

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  • 06 Nov 2019
  • Awards
  • Atlanta, GA

ASHRAE, UN Environment Programme Announce Lower GWP Award Selections

Media Contact:
Sherri Simmons

ATLANTA (Nov. 6, 2019) – ASHRAE and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have announced the project selections for the 2019 ASHRAE-UNEP OzonAction Lower-GWP Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Innovation Awards. The annual international award program promotes innovative design, research and practice by recognizing people who have developed or implemented innovative technological concepts applied in developing countries to promote lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants through refrigeration and air-conditioning applications.

“The projects selected represent long-term, global and energy efficient solutions to lessen the impact of ozone depleting substances,” said ASHRAE Presidential Member and co-chair of the judging committee Sheila J. Hayter, P.E. “We congratulate the selected project teams and look forward to witnessing their innovative concepts set a benchmark for sustainability in developing countries.”

The projects in each category were selected based on delivering innovative solutions to meet refrigeration and air-conditioning needs by using lower-GWP technologies. The selection criteria included:

  • Extent of need;
  • Innovative aspects in transforming conventional practices;
  • Technical replicability to developing countries; and
  • Economy feasibility to developing countries.

“We are living at a watershed moment under the Montreal Protocol when developing countries must find long-term solutions to replace HCFC refrigerants while simultaneously minimizing climate impacts,” said James S. Curlin, Acting Head/Network and Policy Manager OzonAction and co-chair of the judging committee. “It is vital to empower the research community to identify new approaches and alternative refrigerants that work for those countries. UNEP OzonAction is proud to join with ASHRAE to recognize these winners who are proposing approaches that address the ozone, climate and energy dimensions.”

Five projects were selected in two categories: Residential Applications and Commercial/Industrial Applications.

Panelists at an ASHRAE event organized in the margins of MOP 31 at the headquarters of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization described ASHRAE and UNEP programs to help developing countries meet refrigerant transitioning regulations. (Left to right: Steve Gill, Jim Curlin, Jim Wolf, Roberto Peixoto, Paul De Larminat, Omar Abd El Aziz, Anne Fenner and Madi Sakande. Gill (UK), Curlin (UNEP), Wolf (US) and Peixoto (Brazil) served on the judging panel for the ASHRAE UNEP Lower GWP Awards that were presented at the event.

Residential Applications

Low Charge Ammonia Vapor Compression Refrigeration System for Residential Air-Conditioning implemented in India
Project Team: Rajesh Kumar N, D. Mohan Lal and Kamalakannan 

This project was envisaged to develop an ammonia vapor compression refrigeration system of 3 TR capacity for residential air conditioning and to analyze the minimum possible charge in order to reduce leakage hazards associated with the system. Ammonia is an environmentally friendly solution with zero ODP and zero GWP values.

HFC-161 Application Technology Development for High Cooling Capacity Household Air Conditioners implemented in China
Project Team: Zhang Jianjun, Guo Zhikai, Zhang Lei, Zhang Mingjie and Xie Pinzan
The central objective of the project was to develop a household air-conditioning system with a large cooling capacity that replaced the use of HCFC-22 for HFC-161 as a refrigerant. The project provides solutions to the high use of HCFC-22 in China through replacement technologies that meet the latest environmental protection requirements for the domestic household air-conditioning industry. HFC-161, with ODP value of 0 and GWP value of 4, can be one of the solutions to comply with the HCFC phase-out commitments while leapfrog the use of higher GWP alternatives in line with the Kigali Amendment.

Commercial/Industrial Applications

Packaged Chillers with Integrated Air Handling Units Using HFC-32 and HC-290 implemented in Saudi Arabia
Project Team: Samir Hamed Alfetiany, Husam Quedan and Samer Hamed Alfetiany
The main goal for this project is to develop, design, manufacture and test a new large cooling capacity packaged air-conditioner (packaged chiller with integrated air handling unit) with a cooling capacity of 40,70 and 100kW respectively, using low GWP refrigerants (A3 and A2L) at standard and high ambient temperature conditions. The two refrigerants are HFC-32 which is A2L mildly flammable and HC-290 which is A3 highly flammable refrigerant. Also, the main challenge of this research is to address the safety requirement for each prototype and adopt this safe design and components in the prototypes.

The Crocodile Project CO2 Transcritical Refrigeration System for a Hot-and-Humid Region implemented in Thailand
Project Team: Warot Lamlertpongpana, Wallop Lamlertpongpana, Jittakorn Sukjareon and Kittitach Chumnarnwat
The Crocodile Project is a CO2 transcritical refrigeration system developed for high humidity and ambient temperature environments. It mainly consists of 2 parts: refrigeration and extraction. The refrigeration part is or the office building’s air-conditioning system. The system will produce ice in the ice bank only at night, and the chilled water derived from this will be pumped to serve the air-conditioners during the daytime. The benefits of running at night is not only because the electrical demand charge is less, but because the ambient temperature is also lower, hence better system performance.

Low Charge Propane Chiller for a Supermarket Commercial Refrigeration System implemented in Brazil
Project Team: Rogério Marson Rodrigues, Ivair Lucio Soares Junior, Gustavo Galdi Heidinger, Cassio Lucio Simonetti and Edgard Soares Pinto Neto
The goal of this project was to develop a natural refrigerant refrigeration system to use in supermarkets. The propane chiller cools a secondary fluid, glycol, which is then used to cool medium temperature cabinets and cold rooms. For low temperature cabinets and cold rooms, CO2 is condensed by the same glycol (subcritical system).

The judges who reviewed the entries were Nesreene Ghaddar (Lebanon), Stephen Gill (UK), Roberto Peixoto (Brazil) and James Wolf (USA).

The selected projects were announced at the 31st Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in Rome. Projects will also be showcased at respective OzonAction Network meetings and at the ASHRAE Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., USA, February 1-5, 2020.  For more details on the projects and other ASHRAE-UNEP OzonAction activities, visit

Projects selected for 2019 ASHRAE UNEP Lower GWP awards were recognized at an ASHRAE UNEP side event held during the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Rome. Members of the judging committee present for award presentations were (back row left to right) Stephen Gill (UK), Jim Curlin (UNEP OzonAction), Jim Wolf (US), and Roberto Peixoto (Brazil). Certificates were accepted on behalf of winning project teams by National Ozone Unit representatives from regions where projects were implemented.

Founded in 1894, ASHRAE is a global professional society committed to serve humanity by advancing the arts and sciences of heating ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and their allied fields. For more information and to stay up-to-date on ASHRAE, visit and connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. UNEP is an Implementing Agency of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. UNEP serves 147 developing countries through the OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme.