Air conditioning giant settles on R1234ze to meet F-Gas and Ecodesign rules
Carrier Corporation has announced that after a two-year research programme it has settled on the refrigerant HFO 1234ze for its new heating, ventilating and air conditioning ranges using screw compressors. The global manufacturer said the choice ’aims to meet the strictest global environmental requirements and supports Carrier’s commitment to environmental stewardship,’ and noted that its GWP of below 1 goes beyond the requirements of the F-Gas regulations
It said the new ranges comply with the dual European requirement imposed on water chillers: both Ecodesign Regulation No. 1095/2015 (Lot 1, for professional refrigeration equipment and process chillers), ’setting high thresholds for seasonal energy efficiency’ and F-Gas phasedowns of HFCs.
With Swiss regulations on refrigerants already requiring a GWP of less than 10 for any installation over 400 kW, the firm said that it currently has six Swiss installations running with customised Carrier Aquaforce units using HFO 1234ze.
At the same time, Carrier says the refrigerant is also operationally efficient: ”Going forward, a chiller using R134a will require testing every six months, while a chiller with the same output using HFO-1234ze will no longer require regulatory testing.”
In recognition of the fact that 1234ze is classified as A2L (low flammability) under the forthcoming EN378 standard, Carrier notes: ”In terms of risk management, HFO 1234ze is not flammable at ambient temperature and is non-toxic. Taking into account this new regulatory segmentation, the safety devices on Carrier units have been reinforced and their operating instructions have been revised to ensure the complete safety of the equipment and the installations. HFO 1234ze is classified as low flammability and non-toxic, unlike propane, which is classified as high flammability and non-toxic (category A3) or ammonia, which is classified as low flammability and toxic (category B2L), thus requiring stricter intervention measures.”
In terms of machine adjustments, Carrier adds, HFO 1234ze, as a pure refrigerant also avoids any glide problems found in refrigerant blends, while making recharging simpler: ”With blended refrigerants, cooling circuits must be completely drained and recharged to guarantee the balance of the blend. With HFO 1234ze, we can top-up the existing charge.”
Finally it says, in terms of long-term sustainability, HFO refrigerants are not subject either to HFC phase-down schemes or to EU local taxation (such as in Spain).
As a result, the manufacturer boasts: ”Carrier chillers with Puretec [HFO 1234ze] refrigerant guarantee compliance with the current F-Gas Regulation up to 2030.