Plenary Speakers Announced for Gustav Lorentzen Conference

news story image

The Organizing Committee of the 16th IIR-Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants is excited to announce the plenary speakers for the upcoming conference, scheduled for August 11-14, 2024, at the University of Maryland, College Park, Md.

Each of the four plenary speakers is an international expert on natural refrigerants and will share their insights about the path forward toward adopting alternative refrigerants as the global community works to phase down hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants that contribute to climate change. The speakers are:

  • Zahid Ayub, Ph.D., P.E., is president of Isotherm, Inc., a manufacturer of heat transfer equipment and systems. Dr. Ayub has designed and fabricated several thousand heat exchangers/pressure vessels and systems installed worldwide. He is recognized as one of the pioneers in the field of Ammonia Enhanced Heat Transfer. Dr. Ayub will speak about the Prospects of Aggressive Use of Natural Refrigerants. He'll discuss how time-tested natural refrigerants can fill in for synthetic refrigerants. Ammonia’s track history spans over 100 years. The use of carbon dioxide as a refrigerant is on the rise. Both of these natural refrigerants have their pros and cons. The idea is to manage the cons and develop components that would result in compact and efficient systems. This presentation offers a bird’s eye view on the topic, covering current developments and the future outlook.
  • Björn Palm is senior professor in energy technology at KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, Sweden, where he headed the Division of Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration for over 20 years. His research covers components and systems for heat pumps and refrigeration systems, from microstructures of boiling surfaces, to combinations of heat pumps and thermal energy storage for load shifting in the energy system. A special interest has been the application of natural refrigerants like hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide, and the use of ammonia in small systems. Dr. Palm will speak about the Deployment of Heat Pumps With Natural Refrigerants in Europe as the Future Energy System. The phase out of fossil fuels is necessary to reach the Paris Agreement goals and to limit global warming to acceptable levels. An important consequence is the electrification of the heating sector, which will force a rapid increase in the use of heat pumps. This presentation will discuss the background and the development of the heat pump market from a European perspective. New restrictions on F-gasses, possible bans of all PFAS-substances and the response from the heat pump market in Europe will also be covered.
  • Eric M. Smith, P.E. is Vice President and Technical Director of The International Institute of All-Natural Refrigeration (IIAR). His main responsibilities include management of standards and guidelines development, consultation and assistance to IIAR committees, initiation and coordination of research projects, regulatory outreach, and advocacy. His presentation will provide an Overview of IIAR’s Role in the Safe and Efficient Use of Natural Refrigerants. IIAR is a nonprofit professional society and trade association dedicated to the safe use of natural refrigerants such as ammonia, carbon dioxide and propane. IIAR develops and maintains ANSI standards that are directly referenced by building codes and are recognized and generally accepted as good engineering practices by the industry and regulatory agencies. IIAR offers many other guidelines and educational opportunities related to safety, efficiency and other best practices in the use of natural refrigerants.
  • Hannes Fugmann, Ph.D. heads the Vapor Compression Technology group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany. His research primarily centers on developing compact and efficient heat exchangers for heating and air conditioning applications. Additionally, Dr. Fugmann is dedicated to innovating charge-reduced refrigerant circuits for heat pumps, with a particular emphasis on using propane as a refrigerant. He also is deeply involved in ensuring the safety of heat pump systems, addressing the risks associated with natural, but flammable refrigerants. Dr. Fugmann will speak about R290 Heat Pump Developments in Europe – Technologies and Safety Measures. Heat pumps with refrigerant R290 (propane) are increasingly being installed in the residential sector in Europe. The development of R290 heat pumps is strongly linked to European regulations, such as the regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gasses, and on national funding for the installation. R290 is efficient and climate-friendly, but manufacturers must address the flammability with safety concepts. Dr. Fugmann will share some of the safety concepts used in Europe and discuss methods for evaluation.

In addition, we’re excited to welcome the conference's introductory speaker, Dr. Yosr Allouche, the incoming director general of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR). A Norwegian-Tunisian world-renowned refrigeration scientist, Dr. Allouche will be the first woman to head IIR.

Register online for the 16th IIR-Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants. Online registration closes July 26.

Published July 2, 2024