Refrigeration used in air conditioning, chilling and freezing consumes around 16% of UK electricity and is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Applications are diverse and the industry is fragmented with 90% of companies being small and micro business. This, combined with low operating margins, makes innovation in air conditioning, chilling and freezing challenging. Innovation is required in advanced materials and techniques to minimize cooling loads, the development of high efficiency cooling technologies, the investigation and application of passive cooling techniques, the integration of bivalent heating and cooling together with better understanding of practices, capabilities and behavioural barriers.
The projects proposed below address these areas of investigation and, in order to give greatest impact, investigations will focus on key applications with large potential carbon emission savings. These include supermarket refrigeration, data centre cooling and transport refrigeration.