Purpose The design of refrigeration systems must comply with the rules determined by the increasingly stringent international guidelines on the use of refrigerants. Nevertheless, the use of fluorinated gases with low Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the eco-design of a refrigeration system. Indeed, regardless of the restrictions imposed, the compliance to the best practices of eco-design may be considered as a competitive lever in the contemporary market, which is more and more characterized by the sensitivity to the sustainability issue. In this paper the environmental impact associated with the life cycle of a commercial refrigerator system is investigated. The environmental burden caused by the adoption of alternative refrigerants and different use configurations is evaluated and discussed. Methodology/Approach In this study, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the methodology through which the environmental burden introduced by the couple refrigerator-refrigerant is estimated. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) step is conducted through the evaluation of the Carbon Footprint associated with each phase of the life cycle of both refrigerant blend and refrigerator. LCIA results are used as Key Performance Indices (KPI) in the final evaluation of the most sustainable solution. Originality/Value This article shows an extended application of the LCA as a useful tool in the design of a complex product: ecodesign principles are applied in order to identify the best device configuration. Furthermore, one of the main hotspot of this research is represented by the analysed device. Indeed, although the environmental impact of refrigerants is widely investigated, the analysis of the life cycle of a refrigeration system is, as the literature demonstrates, a topic not sufficiently discussed.
Life cycle assessment of a commercial refrigeration system under different use configurations / Cascini, A.; Bortolini, M.; Botti, L.; Gamberi, M.; Graziani, A.; Mora, C.. - In: ...SUMMER SCHOOL FRANCESCO TURCO. PROCEEDINGS. - ISSN 2283-8996. - 11-13-:(2013), pp. 352-357. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 18th Summer School Francesco Turco 2013 tenutosi a Senigallia (AN), ITALIA nel 11-13 settembre 2013.