The International Council of Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Manufacturers' Associations (ICARHMA) held its annual meeting Aug. 8-11 in Portland, Ore. The meeting was hosted by the U.S. member to the council, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which serves as the 2010 Secretariat. Attendees included representatives from Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, and Korea, which, with the United States, comprise the council’s membership.

The chief topic of discussion was future refrigerant policy and potential successor refrigerants to the most extensively used worldwide: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Following a briefing about efforts by the United States and other countries to include a phase-down of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, a panel discussion was held, featuring representatives from equipment manufacturers Johnson Controls and Ingersoll-Rand/Trane; component manufacturer Emerson; and refrigerant manufacturers Daikin and Honeywell.

Following the panel session, the president of the Japan Society of Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (JSRAE) gave a presentation on refrigerant management systems and their role in responsible refrigerant use.

The council agreed to develop a refrigerant policy statement and tasked AHRI to lead the effort. The council also tasked AHRI with drafting a proposal for a global research program to evaluate alternative refrigerants modeled after the Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program that was led by AHRI predecessor ARI following the phaseout of chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants.

Each participating organization provided updates on developments in their nations that would be of interest to the group as a whole. Topics included refrigerant policy, certification, renewable-energy regulations, responsible refrigerant use, technician training, and green building codes.

A representative from the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association briefed the council on the concept of developing an energy-performance metric, the annual performance factor. The concept is being developed by ISO TC 86/SC 6/WG1, Air-Source Air-Conditioners and Heat Pumps, and is intended to apply to three ISO standards that cover testing and rating of ducted, non-ducted, and multi-split systems.

It was the consensus of the council that information regarding the development of this metric is of interest to the members and has many policy implications, and that the Secretariat should provide the members with more information on the subject to allow discussions at policy levels as well in their respective national standards bodies.

ICARHMA members will next meet in January in conjunction with the AHR Expo in Las Vegas. The Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada will host the next annual meeting, scheduled for fall 2011.