Green Alternatives or Solutions to Reduce Carbon Footprint of Refrigerators and Air-conditioners


Refrigerants used by the refrigerators and air-conditioners contributes to global warming. Although ozone-friendly hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have replaced chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that deplete the ozone-layer, HFCs can still cause greenhouse effect. In addition, the polyurethane (PU) foam used as heat insulator in these appliances also increases their carbon footprint. Haier is interested in environmentally friendly refrigerants, as well as greener alternatives for PU foam with less environmental impact.

Technical Specifications & Requirements

  • Alternatives to PU foams, should have thermal conductivity below 18 mW/m-K, and ideally below 15 mW/m-K.
  • The design should be compatible with common refrigerators/air-conditioners, with no drastic change to existing design.
  • Alternative materials should come with third party test reports stating their performance and/or safety and should be ready for scale-up. Proven solutions / technologies (e.g. in other industries or applications) are preferred.
  • Applicants are required to have prototype or minimum viable product (MVP) of modules or design for evaluation, or demonstrate that the core technology has been proven in other industries / applications.
  • Proposals should include information on any proof-of-concept (POC)/MVP that is non-sensitive.
  • Applicant should indicate estimated commercial price of solution, cost of operation/maintenance and cost-benefit analysis of the solution in the proposal.

Besides addressing the above requirements, the proposed solution should also fulfil the following criteria:

  • Not be readily or commercially available in the market, for this application.
  • Wherever applicable, aim to:
    • Enhance safety of operations; and/or
    • Reduce environmental impact; and/or
    • Improve quality, consistency and performance of the appliances; and/or
    • Achieve cost-effectiveness.

Development Timeline

Solution development and test-bedding should take 6-12 months, and pilot deployment within 24 months.

Additional Resources

Haier will provide in-kind resources for development and verification of the proposed solution, such as user data, Haier's products for pilot testing, mentorship and channels to manufacturing facilities in China etc.

Challenge Owner(s)

Haier Group

Document containing additional information