Philip Yu  PhilipYu w
Director, Asia Pacific, Environmental and Applications Engineering
Trane Pacific
Sustainability of a Commercial Chiller

Session Description:

Environmental, green, and nowadays sustainable… these are different terms being used in different time with different focus either in facility management or building operation as well design practice. The refrigerant selection for air-conditioning equipment such as chillers has been a hot topic since the stratospheric Ozone Depletion science came to light in the late 1980s. Environmental or “green” refrigerants were simply defined by a single parameter, that is the Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) while the chillers using such refrigerants are claimed “green”. Now that the consequence of Climate Change and its far-reaching impact is more aware of today, the zero ODP “long-term solution” such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are being phased out or phased down due to Global Warming Potential (GWP). Hence, those so called “green” chillers become questionable. This paper provides an overview of the historical development of the refrigerants and the related chiller technologies as they evolved through different generations with different focus. The global environmental issues are driving the environmental policies and control measures around world. For instance, European Union has phased out high GWP HFC refrigerants in mobile air-conditioning; Australia has introduced a carbon tax scheme and an “equivalent carbon price” (ECP) is applied through existing legislation, the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act. Besides, the green building or in general sustainability movement is changing the conventional practice in construction industry. Not only that the energy efficiency or carbon emission is a major focus of combating the global warming but also the environmental assessment of refrigerant selection for HVAC system has been changed from ozone depletion focus to an integrated approach that considers life-cycle impact of both ozone depletion and global warming. These are all driving the technology development of the next gen chillers as well as the new refrigerants being available for use in the near future. Obviously, refrigerant is not the only parameter to measure the sustainability of a chiller. Some documented parameters are discussed, which should be considered together with an integrated approach when defining the next gen chiller for a sustainable future.


Speaker Profile:

Dr. Philip Yu, environmental & applications engineering director of TRANE, is currently based in Hong Kong. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) field in Asia Pacific. He has been qualified as a Chartered Engineer (CEng, UK) since 1996, a Registered Professional Engineer (RPE, HK) since 1999, and a visiting professor of Chongqing University in Mainland China since 2006.

Devoting most of his effort to energy efficiency especially for green buildings, Philip was appointed as Committee Member of China GBC (Green Building Council) in March 2008 and became Committee Member of China GBC Hong Kong branch in May 2010. In the same area of interest, Philip has attained LEED-AP (accredited professional for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) of U.S. GBC in 2009 and GBL-Manager (eligible green expert for Green Building Label certification program) of China GBC in 2011. His other areas of interest include chiller technology, refrigerant piping design, and applications engineering for various air-conditioning systems such as low-temperature-low-flow, ice storage, geothermal heat pump, etc. He has given public presentations and talks in many countries including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and of course Greater China (i.e. Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan). His publications include technical papers, application guides, books and engineering articles.

Philip is an active member of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers). He has served as the President of Hong Kong Chapter 1996-97, Regional Vice-Chair of Chapter Programs 1998-2001, Co-Chair of 2003 Asia Paicific Conference on Built Environment, General Chair for Chapters Regional Conference 2005, Governor of Hong Kong Chapter 2001-05, Chairman of the Technical Working Group for Energy 2006-10 with key contribution to local government’s initiative in mandatory implementation of building energy code (i.e. Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance, Cap. 610). Recently, he led a special task group of 25 members and successfully published in 2011 the Chapter’s first book “COOL Hong Kong” documenting the HVAC&R development in Hong Kong. This effort has been well recognized by the Society in light of 2012 ASHRAE Lou Flagg Award.

Upon graduation from Building Services Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1988, Philip received BSc(Hon) in Economics and Management from University of London in 1995. He obtained his doctor of philosophy (PhD) in 2001 also from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.