NEW LOW GWP REFRIGERANTS
Whilst the EU market was 71% R-410a for new equipment sold in 2020, new lower GWP refrigerants such as R-454b are poised to take over from 2021.
R-454b is an HFO (Hydro Olefin) refrigerant made by blending the single component R-32 refrigerant with R-1234yf giving some unique advantages. R-32 on its own has a high discharge temperature which can limit its operating envelope without some type of injection. R-454b however is an easier refrigerant to handle and offers similar properties to R-410a, making it a cost-effective & easy to use solution in new equipment without major modifications being necessary, ideal for industrial process applications.
R-454b also has a lower GWP of 466 compared to R-32 at 675 and has an ozone depletion potential (ODP) of zero.
Next Generation Refrigerants
Whilst the next generation of refrigerants balance the needs of safety and reduction in carbon footprint, the new trade-off is the development and cost of the equipment to cope with the increased pressures required for these refrigerants to work. As a direct replacement for R-410A, R-454B operates at a slightly lower pressure whereas R-32 requires a slightly higher pressure.
Next generation refrigerants deliver improvements in the coefficient of performance (COP), the ratio of useful heating or cooling provided to work required or energy usage of the compressor. This comes with a slight flammability trade-off having some implications on chiller placement and maximum charge (hence capacity). It also means components need to be compatible with flammable refrigerants, to ensure they can‘t be considered an ignition source.
R-32 on its own has a high discharge temperature which can limit its operating envelope without some type of injection. R-454b however is an easier refrigerant to handle and offers similar properties to R-410a, making it a cost-effective & easy to use solution in new equipment without major modifications being necessary, ideal for industrial process applications.
ICS Cool Energy, the leading solution provider for process and critical temperature control, has vast experience in designing products operating with low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. The entire portfolio of screw compressor chillers is already available with low-GWP refrigerant alternatives such as R-1234ze, R-1233zd, and R-513a.
Throughout the 2021, smaller i-Chiller Compact scroll compressor units have been developed to use R-513a whist the majority of ICS Cool Energy packaged i-chillers and larger scroll units have moved to using R-454b as the lowest GWP value option to replace R-410a whilst maximising high-efficiency operation. Specifically compared to ammonia systems, ICS Cool Energy chillers use refrigerants that are non-toxic, proven, require easier maintenance and have a lower first cost as well as being low in GWP.
HFO BLENDS (e.g. R-452b, R-454b, R-513a, R-514a) – blends including an HFO with lower GWPs.
The R-454B refrigerant, a non-ozone depleting HFO (Hydrofluoroolefin)/HFC (Hydrofluorocarbon) blend, has a GWP level of 467, the lowest among the refrigerants available today for scroll compressor technology. R-454B offers 76% reduction in direct GWP impact against R-410A and 34% reduction against R-32 HFC refrigerant. This answers customers’ need for a sustainable refrigerant option that future proofs their investment and mitigates the increasing tax rates put on refrigerants across Europe.
ADVANTAGED OF R454B
Lower impact on the environment
This is the lowest GWP value option to replace R410A, with a GWP decrease of 76% and 34% lower than R32. Units will deliver better cooling/heating capacity and power usage compared to R410A – up to 5% improvement.
R454B also has an ozone depletion potential (ODP) of zero.
Extended operating maps
R454B is an even more attractive choice considering that there is no comprise in terms of operating maps. They are as wide as for units operating with R410A or R32.
The large operating maps in both cooling and heating mode have been extensively tested and proven.
This advantage makes the heat pump units suitable for heating in colder climates, delivering hot water at a minimum of 45°C at -10°C ambient air temperature.
Lower operating costs
Our units with R454B are very competitive versus legacy products (1-5% more efficient) and other products on the market. In addition, because we choose the lowest GWP available and reduce the total refrigerant charge volume, we limit the financial impact of operating costs.
How? Governments set tax schemes and subsidy programs based on GWP values (the lower the GWP, the lower the tax). By investing in a lower GWP, you are reducing your cost of future refrigerant purchases.
Quality and reliability
Tested and tight refrigerant circuits that keep the refrigerant contained and with its original manufactured composition, ensure the highest performance as the unit was designed to achieve, for years to come.