Star Technical Solutions (STS), the technical advisory service of Scottish OEM Star Refrigeration, has partnered with the U.K. government, the London South Bank University (LSBU) and other industry stakeholders as part of a research project that will investigate decarbonizing the transport, industrial and commercial refrigeration (TICR) sector.
According to a statement from STS, the Net Zero Refrigeration project, which was launched in November 2022, will look at energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from six subsectors of TICR: data centers, food and drink manufacturing, chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, retail, cold storage, and transport refrigeration units.
The aim of the two-year project is to “identify innovation levers to facilitate sector-wide decarbonization and achieve net zero,” said STS.
The company added that due to the amount of energy used within the TICR sector, refrigeration will play a critical part in the U.K.’s net-zero agenda.
To help develop decarbonization strategies and polices for the TICR sector, the project’s participating organizations will produce a number of outputs, including roadmaps, sector-specific guidance, training and a program of events due to take place throughout 2023 and 2024.
In recognition of its “technical expertise in low-carbon refrigeration,” STS will conduct energy surveys across various areas of interest to identify opportunities for improvement, the company explained.
The results of STS’s surveys will feed directly into the development of the project’s roadmaps, guidance and training materials.
“We are proud to work in partnership with the TICR consortium to accelerate the decarbonization process in the temperature-controlled storage, food and drink manufacturing, retail, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors,” said Dermot Cotter, Managing Director of STS.
“Helping customers take further steps to meet net-zero targets has been a fundamental part of our work over the past 10 years,” he added. “This adds an extra layer of experience to the team and will allow us to successfully identify untapped energy and carbon reduction areas.”
The U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is funding the research project to identify trends and innovations that could help decarbonize the country’s TICR sector.
In addition to STS and LSBU, which is leading the consortium of industry experts, project partners include the Carbon Trust, the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Sustainable Cooling and the Institute of Refrigeration.
The U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Department for Transport are also involved in the project.
“Our multidisciplinary consortium will foster long-term collaborations between industry, academia and government [to ensure] that the project outputs are widely disseminated,” said Catarina Marques, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Engineering at LSBU and Director of the TICR consortium.
To ensure input from the private sector, an advisory committee consisting of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board, the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, the Chilled Food Association, the Cold Chain Federation, the Data Centre Trade Association and Food and Drink Federation has also been created.
The project is looking for contributions from industry specialists and businesses that use cooling technologies.
Last year, Star Refrigeration, a major supplier of ammonia/NH3 (R717)-based refrigeration systems, announced its support for the Scottish Energy Advisory Board’s new plan to decarbonize the country’s energy industry and called for the U.K. government to change its policy on electricity charges, making low-carbon technologies like heat pumps more financially viable.