Interview with Nick Janssens and Johan van Acker - kreon
Build? Renovate? Manage Real estate? A lot of decisions are involved. Decisions that are made with different factors in mind: comfort, design, budget, timing, regulations, just to name a few. Regional, federal and even European regulations define what is required and what is allowed. Nick Janssens and Johan Van Acker will elaborate on the ban on refrigerants. Nick and Johan are two experts at KREON and responsible for Vektron Ceiling Solutions, the department within Kreon that specialises in metal ceiling systems with integrated technologies. “Due to the upcoming ban on refrigerants on which many traditional cooling installations run, we are focussing on new and greener ways of cooling. . Without compromising on the quality of the indoor climate and at the same time being a lot more environmentally friendly!”
European regulations severely restrict the production and use of synthetic refrigerants. In Belgium alone, thousands of companies use cooling installations filled with synthetic refrigerants. They are the driving force behind many refrigeration installations, but are also extremely harmful to the environment. As greenhouse gases, they contribute to global warming.
“The production and use of the synthetic refrigerants will be phased out in several stages. This movement has already started. To give you an idea: in 2020 the total production of synthetic refrigerants have decreased by approximately 40%. By 2030, only 20% of the currently produced synthetic refrigerants will be allowed to be put on the market. It is expected that all synthetic refrigerants will be banned in Europe in the long term”, explains Nick Janssens, operations executive of Vektron Ceiling Solutions at KREON.
“The whole INDUSTRY is forced to think about alternative and more environmentally friendly ways of controlling the indoor climate.”
Johan Van Acker, the commercial executive of vektron ceiling solutions BENELUX adds: “The whole industry is forced to think about alternative and more environmentally friendly ways to control the indoor climate. The consequences are usually not so catastrophic for individuals. For companies on the other hand, they can’t disassemble entire installations overnight and install a new one. The costs would be enormous.”
Hence the phase-out scenario. “We do need to make a side note. Yes, it is correct that there are temporary arrangements providing the existing installations to continue to operate. But given that less synthetic refrigerants will be available in the near future, the price will rise perceptibly. There may even be shortages of certain types of refrigerants.”
“Large installations can be converted to cool with natural refrigerants such as CO2, butane or ammonia. This way, existing installations can continue to operate for years, admittedly with less efficiency but without needing an initial high investment.”, explains Nick Janssens.
“Today there is a particular opportunity for those who are starting a new construction or those planning a major renovation.”
“Today there is a particular opportunity for those who are building, renovating or where the cooling installation needs to be replaced.”
“Market research companies, engineers, developers,… you notice the whole industry striving for more energy efficient buildings. The compulsory search for cooling alternatives is, of course, also an opportunity. This was also the case with lighting, when halogen lamps and incandescent lamps had to be phased out. When an entire sector is forced to rethink, that is where innovative solutions emerge”, according to Johan Van Acker.
“When an entire sector is forced to rethink, that is where innovative solutions emerge.”
“In the end, the client only benefits from choosing a green installation. The energy bill will not skyrocket and you do not want to install a system that will be completely outdated within a few years.
Radiation systems such as vektron climate ceilings are particularly interesting alternatives. They completely fit into the green picture. It is a radiation system that can both cool and heat with water. No harmful gasses are involved here.”