Greenfreeze - ozone and climate-friendly refrigerator.
Greenfreeze - From snowball to industrial avalanche
When the dramatic discovery of the ozone hole in 1986 forced the
banning of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the refrigeration industry
switched to hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons
(HFCs). HCFC¹s are also ozone depleting substances but less so than
CFCs. Meanwhile, both HCFCs and HFCs are potent greenhouse gasses.
It was an environmental case of "out of the frying pan and into the
To highlight the madness of switching from disastrous to very
bad, and to show that it is possible to do it right, Greenpeace
initiated the development of an environmentally friendly domestic
refrigerator. We call this technology Greenfreeze, and it avoids
the use of HCFCs and HFCs.
Once the Greenfreeze technology was developed it had to be
marketed. To convince a sceptical industry that there is wide
spread consumer appeal for an environmentally friendly
refrigerator, our supporters pre-ordered nearly 100,000 of them.
The rest is history.
Greenfreeze uses hydrocarbons as the blowing agent for the
insulation foam and for the refrigerant. Hydrocarbons are
completely ozone friendly, and used in refrigeration have minimal
global warming impact.
Hydrocarbon technology is not dependent on patented foaming
agents and refrigerants. The operating costs are lower, and the
maintenance is easier than with HCFC or HFC technology.
Greenfreeze revolutionized the refrigeration industry. Today
there are over 150 million Greenfreeze refrigerators in the world,
produced by all the major European, Chinese, Japanese and Indian
manufacturers. Major European companies, including Bosch/Siemens,
Electrolux, Liebherr, Miele, Quelle, Vestfrost, Whirlpool,
Bauknecht, Foron, and AEG are marketing Greenfreeze. It is now
available in most major markets, with the exception of North
America. Big industry users, most notably Coca Cola, McDonald's
and Unilever are also switching over to HFC free technologies.
In short, Greenfreeze is a triumph of "can do" over "can't be
done", and an encouraging demonstration that there are workable
solutions to climate change.
SolarChill - taking it to the next level
SolarChill will bring the benefits of refrigeration to people
living without reliable supplies of electricity.
The SolarChill project brings Greenpeace together with the World
Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN
Environmental Program (UNEP), GTZ Proklima, the Danish
Technological Institute (DTI) and Program for Appropriate
Technology in Health (PATH).
One of the primary uses of SolarChill will be vaccine storage.
Vaccines need to be kept cold or they spoil - making vaccine
distribution difficult in areas lacking electricity. One
SolarChill unit can serve a population of 50,000 people for
preserving vaccines. It will also be a valuable solution for food
preservation, and for use in emergency relief where electrical
supply has been disrupted by war or natural disaster.
The unique feature of SolarChill is that energy is stored in ice
instead of batteries. An ice compartment keeps the cabinet at
desired temperatures during the night. The key to the technology is
the use of a direct current compressor instead of the standard
alternating current compressor in normal refrigerators. This is the
first ever application of a direct current hydrocarbon compressor
in the world.
SolarChill is currently at the prototype field-testing stage.
There are two models: a chest-type and an upright refrigerator.
They are being field tested in Indonesia, Cuba and Senegal. These
units meet the required specifications for vaccine
More than just another example of how smart use of technology
can help with climate change, the SolarChill project demonstrates
that social and environmental issues are often intertwined.
People in the developing world will suffer a lion's share of the
effects of climate change, but play a much smaller role in causing
it than industrialized countries. At the same time, they lack the
standards in health and food security that people in industrialized
countries take for granted.
However, the impacts of climate change, like the spread of
infectious diseases, do not respect national boundaries.
SolarChill brings practical solutions to health, environment and
development issues, and it demonstrates that large international
organizations can cooperate to meet overlapping challenges.
Discover more about Solar Chill at Solarchill.org.