LIFE Project Cover Photo

The first double duct residential air conditioner with near-to-zero Global Warming Potential natural refrigerant

Reference: LIFE17 CCM/IT/000026 | Acronym: LIFE ZEROGWP



Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) refrigerants are used in a wide variety of HVAC&R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) equipment. When released into the atmosphere, however, HFCs have significant global warming potential (GWP). To tackle this problem, the European Regulation 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases requires them to be phased out by 80% by 2030 and replaced by low-GWP alternatives, such as hydrocarbons (HC). Refrigerant R290 (propane) has near-to-zero GWP and is considered an excellent alternative to be used in small hermetic systems. However, because of the required amount of refrigerants and safety issues related to its flammable nature (EU standard EN 378), the use of R290 in standard ‘split’ air-conditioners is presently unfeasible.


The main objective of ZEROGWP is to demonstrate the technical feasibility, full safety and commercial viability of an innovative monobloc residential air conditioning system. The Double Duct (DD) technology uses R290 to achieve a very good environmental performance.

Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Industrialise the first DD-AC R290 system, performing a pre-series production and technical validation;
  • Demonstrate the performance of the new air conditioner through an extensive field test campaign in three European countries (Italy, Czech Republic and Slovakia);
  • Improve the system design to minimise the risks of use of flammable HC refrigerants, thus maximising the refrigerant load without compromising safety;
  • Demonstrate the environmental efficiency and cost sustainability of the new product through LCA and LCC analysis;
  • Promote the technology in order to encourage its commercial exploitation and wider replication across Europe;
  • Raise awareness on the latest low carbon residential air conditioning technologies; and
  • Contribute to the goals of the European F-gas Regulation and reduce GHG emissions from air conditioning systems.
  • Expected results:

  • An optimised design for the DD-AC R290 system configuration and its subsequent industrialisation;
  • Full safety of flammable R290 both in the use of the DD-AC and its production;
  • 24 tonnes of CO2 saved compared to the common technology during the project’s lifetime (60 units installed);
  • A business plan for the industrialisation and commercial exploitation of the new AC system; and
  • Tangible results accessible to local and EU policy-makers on the safety performance of the DD-AC systems.


    Reference: LIFE17 CCM/IT/000026
    Acronym: LIFE ZEROGWP
    Start Date: 01/07/2018
    End Date: 30/06/2021
    Total Budget: 1,627,672 €
    EU Contribution: 940,621 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: INNOVA S.R.L.
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: VIA 1° MAGGIO, 8, 38089, STORO, Italia
    Contact Person: ORESTE BOTTARO
    Tel: 393357150347

    LIFE Project Map



    • GHG reduction in EU ETS sectors


    • clean technology
    • emission reduction
    • greenhouse gas


    • Regulation 517/2014 - Fluorinated greenhouse gases (16.04.2014)
    • COM(2014)15 - Policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030 (22.01.2014)
    • COM(2011)112 - "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (08.03.2011)
    • Directive 2010/75 - Industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (24.11.2010)


    Name Type
    INNOVA S.R.L. Coordinator
    IVAR CS spol. s r o., Czech Republic Participant
    Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy Participant
    Studio Fieschi & soci S.r.l., Italy Participant