The chemicals used in our standard refrigerators and freezers are environmentally destructive in ways that few people ever consider. The tragedy is that no matter how diligently millions of environmentally conscious people recycle and watch their daily carbon output, they unknowingly cause just as much long-term damage to the climate with their fridges.
GoSun has worked tirelessly to create a lineup of appliances that work as well as traditional appliances but are carbon neutral. Refrigeration is no different, and GoSun is proud that the Chill and the Chillest (our jumbo-sized solar cooler) are completely free of refrigerants and blow agents.
The Chillest lets you cool and freeze anything you want for hours without using any ice. It has dual cooling zones with a freezer and fridge in the same device, letting you set the temperature for each side anywhere from -4°F to 68°F (-20°C to 20°C).
Most of all, the Chillest is the most sustainable way you can cool or freeze your food. Many small refrigerators use R134a, which has a warming potential (basically how many times worse is this gas compared to CO2) of 1,400! We use R1234yf in the Chill and the Chillest; it has a GWP (global warming potential) of just 4. That's right -- it is nearly 400 times safer than a conventional fridge.
Our foam insulation is also better. A lot of polyurethane foams use either HFC134a (GWP of 1,400), or HFC245fa (GWP 1,000) as the blowing agent. We use cyclopentane for the insulation blowing agent of the Chill and Chillest, which has a GWP of only 25.
Why does this matter so much? Here's an overview of why these chemicals are so dangerous, and why millions need to find a better way to cool and freeze their food.
The Danger of Refrigerants
Since the 1990s, the most common refrigerant used in MVAC systems has been hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-134a. These replaced the notorious chlorofluorocarbons, which were blamed for punching holes in the ozone layer.
HFCs are, unfortunately, little better. As the EPA explains, they are intentionally-made fluorinated greenhouse gases used in the same applications where ozone-depleting substances have been used, which includes air conditioning systems for cars.
Like the ozone-depleting substances they replace, most HFCs are potent greenhouse gases with very high GWPs. To give you an idea of their danger, CP-12 is an ozone depleting refrigerant with a GWP of 10,900
Here's the danger this gas poses. It harms the ozone layer, which would allow higher levels of UVB to reach the Earth's surface. This causes all sorts of deadly heath problems for humans, including cataracts, skin cancer, and weakened immune systems
The Danger of Blowing Agents
The most common foam-blowing agents currently used in America are R134a and R245fa. These contain HFCs and an incredibly high amount of CO2 . Despite them being industry standards in the United States, these insulations have a dangerously high global warming potential.
According to GE, they are as high as 1300 and 950, respectively, which is an order of 100 times higher than modern insulations. Unfortunately, the cost of retrofitting existing production facilities prevents its spread, and the lack of U.S. regulations means that HFC aren't restricted.
Cleary this can't go on forever.
The Danger of Disposing of a Hydrocarbon-Blown Fridge
Environmental protection agencies around the world have designated traditional fridges as begin so bad that they are essentially hazardous waste. The UK Environment Agency has advised that all waste refrigerator insulation foam produced using a hydrocarbon blowing agent should be considered highly flammable classified as hazardous waste.
Tests that were carried out on 20 refrigerators containing insulation blown using cyclopentane, i-pentane, n-pentane or mixtures of these gases found the following:
"All tested foam samples should be considered 'highly flammable' under European Test Method A10 Flammability (Solids) and concludes that all fridge insulation foam produced using a hydrocarbon blowing agent should be classified as hazardous waste, unless tested and demonstrated otherwise."
Even though modern fridges contain insulating foam blown with hydrocarbon blowing agents that replaced the ozone-depleting CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs, troubles still abound. They pose a greater fire risk due to their high flammability.
To sum it up, the type of fridge you use matters.
Our Vision at GoSun
We believe in zero-carbon appliances at GoSun that make it easy to cook, refrigerate, desalinate water, and charge our appliances. But we believe in more than that. We want to create access. That means access to clean power, clean water, a brighter future, and access to own a piece of GoSun.
Everyone should be able to invest in the ideas that could become the great businesses of tomorrow and that companies like GoSun should be able to raise money from people that believe in them most.
According to the CEO of Rock Creek, climate change investments are those opportunities. Unlike most solar companies, GoSun focuses on portable durable products that meet your essential needs like cooking, cooling, cleaning, and purifying water.
Our products don't compromise convenience or performance, they are simply better than the status quo. Just like how Tesla is a better car, people buy those products because they are more efficient more useful and much better.
So why are they better? Well, we cook without fuel smoke or fire, we keep food and drinks cold without ice, we charge your cell phone and laptop without grid or generator power, and we brew coffee in an all-in-one travel mug without a stove
Because we like to keep you going strong, we purify water with only sunshine, we offer a tiny house that does not need grid power or water service (so it can be put anywhere while still bringing the comfort and performance of home), and now we're bringing you a series of portable solar generators that will make the noisy gas generator obsolete.
All this technology is ultra efficient and versatile so it runs on solar as well as being powered by lithium-ion 12-volt and AC power.
Our development team has the experience and know-how to get products to production quickly and our marketing team knows how to get ROI.
We have to figure out how to stop burning stuff. It's time to let the sun be our primary source of energy on the planet. The solar boom has arrived.
Learn how to invest in GoSun today.