We have returned from our pilgrimage to the great cathedral of refrigeration that is the Chillventa exhibition in Germany.
The main question from people I met, apart from ‘Didn’t I see you in the Irish Bar?’, was ‘What do you think is going to happen with refrigerants then?’ As the show went on, I realised that there was more than one right answer, depending on who was asking it.
If it was specifically a refrigerant firm, it was likely to be a reference to the heated discussions about HFO1234yf. There is clearly much more talking to be done, but it would surely be disastrous for this industry if all the potential with the yf molecule was to get subsumed by misplaced or even politically- driven concerns.
As you will see in these pages, the F-Gas Review is expected to be published very soon and our representative bodies have been busy working on future strategies for HFCs. The good news is that most industry bodies feel that the review will now take proper account of the importance of energy efficiency and equally, that a ban on HFCs won’t be sought.
However, there is still some concern that the European Commission still doesn’t ‘get’ refrigeration and that some Eurocrats don’t understand why we can’t just dump all those ‘bad’ HFCs now and replace the systems overnight.
What was made clear though was that the final review will probably still contain elements that will not benefit the industry, and that it is crucial to use the window of opportunity to talk to our industry bodies and our MEPs.
And of course, also last month, we held the Cooling Industry Awards. The photos on pages 26-31 give a taste of a tremendous night which celebrated what is great in the industry at the moment – as well as highlighting useful technology to the many end-users in the room. And, amid the serious intent, it was great fun too.