Brazil takes important fast climate action steps forward with new nationwide energy efficient, higher performance, commercial refrigerators planned for all sectors.
In January 2023, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) United for Efficiency (U4E) initiative ran its first ever commercial refrigeration technical study tour, in the framework of the GCF Readiness Programme-funded project, Leapfrogging to Energy-Efficient and Climate Friendly Commercial Refrigerating Appliances in Brazil, spending three days at the Re/genT testing laboratory in the Netherlands.
Brazil has long experience in implementing energy efficiency policies for domestic cooling appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, and has now turned its attention to the commercial refrigeration sector. A sector, made up mainly of wholesalers, retailers (e.g., supermarkets), hotels and restaurants, offering high potential in reducing national energy consumption by implementing higher performance energy efficiency standards and regulations to international norms.
The Leapfrogging to Energy-Efficient and Climate Friendly Commercial Refrigerating Appliances in Brazil project is the first to benefit from U4E’s growing expertise in this sector – underpinned by the publication of the Model Regulation Guidelines for Energy-Efficient and Climate-Friendly Commercial Refrigeration Equipment in November 2021 and the inclusion of commercial refrigeration products in the 2022 update of the U4E country savings assessments. The project aims to help Brazil tackle the high energy use in this sector by making a sustainable transition to energy-efficient and climate friendly commercial refrigerators through the development of Minimum and Higher Energy Performance Standards (MEPS and HEPS) and corresponding energy efficiency labels as well as implementation of effective monitoring verification and enforcement mechanisms based on international testing standards while also enhancing national stakeholder capacity in all these areas.
Having competent national and private testing facilities with the capacity to meet the testing demand of commercial cooling appliances, is fundamental to the monitoring, verification and enforcement activities that underpin the successful implementation of any electrical appliance regulatory programme in order to deliver trusted information. In line with this, the study tour was designed to increase the familiarity of testing laboratory personnel, local manufacturers, national laboratories and key public institutions, with the testing standards that will be used as reference for the upcoming new energy efficiency policies in Brazil: ISO 23953: Refrigerated display cabinets, ISO 22043: Ice-cream freezers, ISO 22044: Beverage coolers. As 95% of the commercial refrigeration market in Brazil is fulfilled by local manufacturers, and as the national energy efficiency regulations include provision for manufacturers to provide a self-declaration of conformity with the regulations using their own laboratories, the study tour had attendees from both the public sphere, such as the Ministry of Mines and Energy as the local implementing authority of the GCF project, as well as from third party national laboratories, including CEPEL, LABELO and SGS, and other key stakeholders from the private sector – including local commercial refrigerators and compressors manufacturers, such as FRICON, ARTICO, METALFRIO and TECUMSEH.
The study tour took place from the 25-27 January 2023 at the Re/genT laboratory in Helmond in The Netherlands. Re/genT is ISO 17025 accredited for testing the energy consumption and performance under the abovementioned standards for commercial refrigerators (ISO 23953: Refrigerated display cabinets, ISO 22043: Ice-cream freezers, ISO 22044: Beverage coolers). Furthermore Re/GenT participates actively in the elaboration process of the European regulations and standards, as well as other European projects related to energy efficiency regulations for commercial refrigerators. Over the three days of training, the participants took part in activities related to:
- Introduction to test procedures according to international standards for energy consumption, volume and display area calculation, climate class, temperature class, half reload test, and cabinet preparation for the different tests – ISO 23953: Refrigerated display cabinets, ISO 22043: Ice-cream freezers, ISO 22044: Beverage coolers
- Laboratory tour and familiarization with measurement equipment, such as climate rooms, sensors and control equipment
- In-house calibration of laboratory equipment and uncertainty calculation
- Practical sessions for conducting various test methods for measurement of commercial refrigerators, especially as regards loading plan preparation, volume and total display area measurement
- Climate room design
- Classification of the different types and sub-types of commercial refrigerators
Furthermore, the training allowed for discussion on different aspects of the standards that are free for interpretation, sharing experience on how each manufacturer and Brazilian laboratories currently handle the testing of commercial refrigerators, as well as some Brazilian particularities where the test standards might need to be adapted for local implementation.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Samira Fernandes de Sousa, General Energy Efficiency Coordinator, said “The training carried out in the Re/genT laboratory was a very valuable experience for everyone involved in the project. The group of participants was very experienced in performance testing of commercial refrigeration equipment, and brought very practical discussions about carrying out the tests, the necessary tools and, especially, on the interpretation of the norms that were the subject of the training. This very practical approach by technicians and coaches brought a wealth of information, both for those who will have to carry out the tests in Brazil, and for the preparation of the regulations themselves like the Ministry of Mines and Energy and INMETRO. We are very grateful to U4E and the GCF for the opportunity to include this training in the project activities.”
Speaking on behalf of SGS, a private Laboratory in Brazil, Maicon Olivera said, “The training was wonderful with complete content for us to discuss internally and begin to get a picture of the regulations for commercial refrigerators in Brazil. For us at SGS, such a training was very important because we have not carried out these tests yet, and through this activity, we were able to get an idea of how the tests are undertaken, being able to prepare ourselves more precisely for a possible investment to meet the requirements of the standard, in addition to understanding that it is always a good practice to align possible interpretations of the norms before putting a regulation into effect.”
To learn more about study tour the Leapfrogging to Energy-Efficient and Climate Friendly Commercial Refrigerating Appliances in Brazil project, please contact U4E’s Roberto Borjabad Roberto.firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to download a copy of the project factsheet.