Adaptation of Siec® Software for evaluation and selection of materials in complex products

This publication aims to describe the methodological innovations of Siec® around a concrete case. For LCA Conference, we selected the product as air conditioner to show the results of this software. In this item we are going to present the results of the simulation for the life cycle of the air conditioner in Siec®.

1 Objectives of publication

We are also going to present some innovative features of Siec® software:

–          Interoperability with CAD and Excel tools to facilitate the process of life cycle stages,

–          The Eco-Design strategy module is an assistance for the designer to improve its product,

–          The regulatory compatibility module

–          The choice of materials assistance module
This publication aims to describe the methodological innovations of Siec® around a concrete case. For LCA Conference, we selected the product as air conditioner to show the results of this software. In this item we are going to present the results of the simulation for the life cycle of the air conditioner in Siec®.

We are also going to present some innovative features of Siec® software:

– Interoperability with CAD and Excel tools to facilitate the process of life cycle stages,
– The Eco-Design strategy module is an assistance for the designer to improve its product,
– The regulatory compatibility module
– The choice of materials assistance module

2 Presentation of studied product

Before beginning the study of a product or its dismantling, it is important to identify the main components that represent it and define their functions. The following table illustrates the application of this principle for the air conditioner.

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3 Stage of Life Cycle with Siec® Software

3.1 Representation of air conditioner production stage

The air conditioner consists of an external unit, an internal unit and a remote control. For its proper operation it must also contain a refrigerant that is regularly emptied or upgraded according to its nature during the use of air conditioner.

 

The mechanical assembly of the product is described in an Excel spreadsheet. This file includes:

–          Nomenclature ofcomponents

–          Material assessmentofcomponents,

–          Process assessment of layout
The functionally breakdown of the air conditioner which is reflected in this case study requires sometimes to drop to a level below 8 to get the materials and processes characterizing parts. The proposed breakdown is as follows:
image2

Each component is itself composed of parts. Their breakdowns are:

image3

4 Representation of attached process delivered with the air conditioner

The attached process are components or products that are not directly in the assembly of products, but are necessary for the proper functioning of the product and/or, involved during its manufacture.

In the case of the air conditioner, attached processes are:

–          Remote control (component)

–          Refrigerant

–          Refrigerant R407 C – 0,014kg

–          A connecting pipewith a length of 7,5m :

o   4250g of copper with the wire drawing as process

o   25g of plastic foam

4.1 Representation of distribution stage with Siec®

4.1.1 Primary packaging

Primary packaging consists of the following materials:

–          Cartons : 3,1 kg

–          Styrofoam wedges : 0,9 kg
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4.1.2 Transport

The reference scenario includes the transport of the packaged product by a 36-ton truck, which runs an average of 500 km to go and 250 km to return empty:

– Distance “Go”: 500 km
– Distance from “Return empty “: 250 km

 

4.2 Representation of use stage with Siec®

The use stage includes several possible scenarios that consider the life of the air conditioner, the leakage rate of refrigerant, and the recovery rate of used fluid.
In each scenario, there will be several scenarios based on the life of the air conditioner, leakage rate and recovery rate.
Use phase in Siec® is divided into three parts: installation, maintenance, consumables.

4.2.1 Installation

–          Additional load to add for a link of 7.5 m: 0.0595 kg

–          This load is the same whatever the type of fluid.

 

4.2.2 Maintenance

–          We consider that the air conditioner components are not changed during its life.

 

4.2.3 Consumables

We are going to represent several scenarios dependent on the leakage rate – the life span – the recovery rate – and the mix of electricity and the fate of recovered refrigerant.

 

–          Electricity consumption based on the life span and the country (electricity mix),

–          Consumption of refrigerants based on the life span and leakage rate (this was varied from 10% per year to 4% per year).

–          The fate of the refrigerant can be recovered: air emissions, recycling and incineration.

Example of scenarios constructing related to electricity and the life span.

Electricity consumption of an air conditioner in two cities in France

image5

COP (2,65)

 

Electricity consumption depends on the COP (coefficient of performance) what is the fluid.

For example, one simulation: if fluid was R22 – the consumption would be of 95% compared to the ones with the R407C

Total consumption in kWh:

image6

Other interesting scenarios with the electricity: we changed mix of electricity in different countries.

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Example of scenarios constructing related to refrigerants

Several scenarios were explored. Each scenario has resulted in four types of results that were represented with Siec®:

– Amount of fluid used dependent on the life of the product and the leakage rate

– The amount of recovered fluid based on the life span and fate of the recovered fluid (air emissions, recycling, incineration)

I scenario type: leak 7% recovered 50% R407C:

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4.3 Representation of End-Life stage with Siec®

In Siec®, we varied many scenarios: crushing/sorting, incineration, recycling, landfilling, re-use of some components.

For the remaining refrigerants in the air conditioner, we also made several scenarios dependent on the fate of the recovered fluid. The recovered fluid can be either released into the air, recycled or incinerated.


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