The immense potential for energy saving in private households
These days, a sustainable lifestyle also means saving as much energy as possible. To do this, we often choose the more sustainable alternatives, such as regional and seasonal fruits and vegetables, or we avoid activities with a large carbon footprint, such as driving or flying. All this helps to save CO2 emissions. But what about household appliances?
Refrigerators – always on
Most household appliances consume a lot of energy when in use, though the majority is only turned on for brief periods of time. But what about fridges? Think about it: When was the last time that you turned off your refrigerator? As they are running 24/7, most consumers rely on the EU Energy-Efficiency labels to choose a device with low energy-consumption.
Where have the A+++ levels gone?
The established EU-label system gives an indication of the energy efficiency of any refrigerator, or other appliance. But did you notice that the A+++ rating disappeared last year? In March 2021 the EU updated the so-called Ecodesign regulation and introduced a new, more challenging, rating system. Thereason was that most models were labelled as an A or higher and there was no incentive for the industry to make their products any more energy efficient. The A (and all the plusses) were downgraded several categories.
Let’s talk money!
Currently there are only very few devices exceeding the old standard and their price are higher. This is due to new materials and technologies which need to be applied to be more efficient. Insulation is one of the key factors to energy efficiency. In this regard, BASF is driving the appliances-industry with their innovative insulation solutions, among other, to develop products with lower energy consumption and thereby less emissions.
For the consumer, these products also allow saving costs: In 2021, switching to energy-efficient solutions saved 120 billion euros of energy expenditure for consumers just within the EU (European Union, APPlia (2022)).
Keeping cool: the right materials help to improve your energy balance
While insulation itself is the key for manufacturing more efficient cooling devices, the materials used to create these insulation solutions are absolutely crucial.
With our range of PU-based Elastocool® products, we offer innovative insulation materials that are tailor-made for application in domestic refrigerators. Elastocool® F is a polyurethane rigid foam that offers low material consumption and leads to improved energy efficiency. Elastocool® iQ goes even further and allows customizations of the foam regarding the individual requirements of domestic fridge manufacturers.
Vacuum panels, which are used as insulation material, are the latest technological innovation. Vacuum panels consist of a core material packed in a shell that is eventually evacuated to a very low pressure. Therefore, the insulating performance is extremely high. BASF has launched an entire portfolio to accompany this new technological development. The Balindur® portfolio offers a solution for fixing and holding the panels in place, as well as a core material as an alternative to glass fibers or silica, both of which have a recycling deficit.
The right insulation material helps to improve your energy balance 24/7
While insulation itself is the key for manufacturing more efficient cooling devices, the materials used to create these insulation solutions are absolutely crucial. Yet another milestone on #ourplasticsjourney!