The LIFE-VICORPAN project demonstrates the energy efficiency and recyclability of vacuum-improved insulation of commercial refrigerators, adding core-shaped panels for their thermal insulation. This new panel solution could highly impact the commercial and domestic cold appliances sector, paving the way for an entry into the sector and market replication in cold transportation, walk-in coolers and buildings.

LIFE VICORPAN contributes to the priority area of Climate Change Mitigation. This demo project has high potential to reduce emissions of commercial refrigerators, which contribute an important percentage of the total energy consumption related to the cold chain. The project, therefore, responds to policy goals related to greenhouse gas emission reductions, energy efficiency, and the technical development of refrigerating appliances.

The technical objectives of the project include developing vacuum-insulated panels, panel assembly in refrigerator prototypes produced both in Italy and France c/o EPTA, and production of wide-size vacuum insulated panels up to the pre-industrial level of development.

Expected impacts

The environmental target of the project is to improve the energy efficiency of cold appliances by reducing their energy consumption up to 17%

The environmental target of the project is to improve the energy efficiency of cold appliances by reducing up to 12% on the commercial application and up to 17% energy consumption on the domestic application, concerning the best-in-class appliance A++ and beyond that are available today.

Improvement in the energy efficiency of refrigeration (commercial and domestic) will allow Europe to save up to 9.6 TWh of electricity per year by 2030, corresponding to around 3.1 million tonnes of CO2 (source: EC). The LIFE VICORPAN project will contribute to savings of more than 500 GWh / year and 180.000 tons/year of CO2eq.

During the project lifecycle, an LCA study will be performed to compare the environmental impact of commercial refrigerators utilizing the new technology and those with conventional methods. Particular care will be taken to test and use VIP panels with cores of natural origin, as well as light cores that are not dangerous to remove at their end of life.

VICORPAN is related to the area of “Climate Change Mitigation” and is focused on the following two main environmental targets:

energy saving, by developing shaped panels to take out the border problem;

finding a bio-alternative to the actual ultra-fine glass fiber powder (dangerous for health and environment)

PROJECT LOCATION

  • Caronno Pertusella

DURATION

  • Start: 01/07/2021
  • End: 31/12/2024

BUDGET INFO

  • Total amount: 3.071.670
  • % EC Co-funding: 55%

PROJECT’S IMPLEMENTORS

Coordinating beneficiary:

  • CANNON AFROS

Associated beneficiaries:

  • BASF Polyurethanes
  • EPTA France
  • EPTA SPA

Thanks to EPTA and BASF, fundamental partners for the development and setting of the project, the technology is expected to spread rapidly in the market of commercial refrigerators in the first 5 years after its conclusion.

The project and all of its environmental benefits will allow the upscaling of the production process to a semi-industrial stage, demonstrating its replicability at outstanding performance levels. This will open the road for the application of cost-effective and environmentally friendly vacuum-insulated panels at the industrial level.

CANNON AFROS, BASF and EPTA will target their respective markets with indications on how to improve the efficiency of thermal insulation using the technology developed during the project.

The UE LIFE is a valuable and important program of the European Union, co-financing activities and projects to save and protect European natural goods and sites, as well as reducing the effects of climate change through important activities related to its mitigation.

Policy implications

LIFE VICORPAN contributes to the implementation of the Union environmental policy and legislation, primarily in the area of Mitigation as the project addresses GHG emissions and climate change, the most serious environmental problem in the world.