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‘Significant progress’ on alternative to R1234yf for car air conditioning

Carmakers’ research body SAE International said its MAC Refrigerant Blend Cooperative Research Program has made ‘significant progress’ in its testing of the HFO blend R445A for car air conditioning.

The CRP said its team has reviewed the status of the development work into equipment for both production fill and service fill of R445A (Mexichem’s AC6, based on 85% R1234ze, 9% R134a, and 6% CO2).

It said the prototype machine developed by Cinetic Filling for production factory fill has now been tested at its Nantes, France, site using member OEM vehicles. “Results for charging a single evaporator AC system show a total cycle filling time comparable to that of R-134a. Further trials with a wider range of vehicles, and also at member OEM sites, are planned.”

It added that having reviewed the trial results of service fill equipment developed by TEXA using vehicles at European based member OEM sites, it was concluded that ‘there are no technical impediments to completing the design and manufacture of this equipment for reliably filling a car AC system with a service charge of blended refrigerant R445A.’

A second service fill system is concurrently being developed by Bosch Automotive Service Solutions in the US. Based on initial field trial results conducted in Phoenix, Arizona, modifications are being made to the equipment; after laboratory trials further field tests will be conducted in early November. Bosch said it ‘expects that there are no significant technical impediments to completing the design and manufacture of this equipment.’

The results will be presented at the SAE Thermal Management System Symposium in Troy, Michigan this month.

The team will also present details of its Phase 3 risk assessment into the blend at the meeting. It said its ‘fault tree’ risk analysis has been independently verified by the Health and Safety Laboratory in the UK..

The members of this Cooperative Research Program [MRB CRP] comprises:
Bosch Automotive Service Solutions , Chrysler, Cinetic Filling, Daimler, Denso, Doowon, Ford, General Motors, Halla Visteon Climate control, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mahle, Mexichem, Nissan, PSA, Renault, SAIC Motors, Sanden, Schrader International, TEXA, Volvo Cars.

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