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2018 Chillventa Show

The crowded 2018 Chillventa show was a mirror image of what is happening in the HVAC/R market.

The HVAC/R sector continues to grow in volume, influenced by the increase in average temperatures, the growing need for personal well - being and the optimisation of production processes and quality of the food chain.

The consequent rising interest among industrial funds towards the sector and consolidation by industrial groups through mergers and acquisitions has supported and is continuing to support the drive to technological innovation.

We can refer to this as [smart" innovation, given that it concerns connectivity, natural refrigerants, electrification and integration with renewable energy, and simple human - machine interaction; in other words, all areas that contribute to making the undeniable opportunities offered by HVAC/R more accessible and socially acceptable.

In terms of refrigerants, at Chillventa 2018 important developments were seen regarding solutions using R32 and R452B / R454B, useful for reducing the presence of R410A during the transitional period leading up to 2021 and the next important phase down of so called F - Gases. ( The regulation puts in place HFC phase down from 2015 to 2030 by means of a quota system and sectorial bans on high GWP refrigerants ). Even though the R452B / R454B solutions are desirable as a replacement for R410A, more interest was seen in the more economical R32 solution, above all as it is fully compatible with the value chain. However, we should underline the two problems concerning the solutions mentioned. They are in fact category A2L refrigerants, that is, slightly flammable, and therefore require precautions that don`t allow the possibility of pin to pin drop in with R410A. Yet above all they are also HFCs, therefore, even if to a lesser extent, they are also subject to the phase-down that could gradually limit their use starting from 2021.

This is probably one of the reasons why we saw particular interest in natural refrigerants, CO2 and propane, now no longer limited to commercial Air Conditioner refrigeration, but rather already tested or being adopted in HVAC, for example in the following applications:

Active heat recovery
Residential heat pumps and in other niche applications, including medical.

This clearly involves a major effort in terms of design and correct value proposition to the market, as both refrigerants have obstacles that need to be overcome; however this choice allows the most innovative Air Conditioning manufacturers to be ready before the 2021 deadline.
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