First viable non-flammable alternative to R410A claimed by manufacturer
Refrigerant manufacturer Honeywell has brought an end to the rumours of a non-flammable low-GWP alternative with the announcment of Solstice N41, a refrigerant with a GWP of 733, for use in stationary air conditioning systems. R466A has been given a preliminary A1 designation by Ashrae.
Once on the market, Solstice N41, which has the preliminary designation of R466A will be the lowest GWP, non-flammable refrigerant available worldwide, the manufacturer added. It is expected to be available commercially in 2019.
Its composition, confirmed by Honeywell is 49% R32, 11.5% R125 and 39.5 % CF3I
The manufacturer said: ”The innovation comes after years of research and development by Honeywell scientists, who set out to address one of the most vexing regulatory and safety challenges facing the HVAC industry. All other alternatives proposed to date are flammable and require cumbersome changes to safety standards and building codes.”
The company added that the HVAC industry has been looking to replace the current industry standard refrigerant, R410A, with an energy efficient, nonflammable, and lower GWP solution with a similar or better performance.
Honeywell said: “Solstice N41 is the only refrigerant that combines those attributes. Early testing indicates that switching to Solstice N41 would require minimal changes to equipment and no additional training for installation and repair technicians. Preliminary data indicates that the refrigerant may allow OEMs to easily convert from R410A.”
A spokesperson for the company added: “The costs associated with moving to Solstice N41 pale in comparison to those required for conversion to a flammable refrigerant.”
At this stage, it is not clear to what extent the launch of R466A will prove a contender to R32, since the majority of manufacturers of DX AC equipment have now incorporated R32 into their equipment, along with the necessary design changes required for an A2L. Honeywell will naturally be in negotiation with OEMs over field trials.
In April, Toshiba general manager David Dunn said that the manufacturer was launching R32 equipment into the UK, after a delay which was due to waiting for an expected non-flammable alternative - presumed to be this one.