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Honeywell's HFO-1234yf in bus AC trial

Spanish bus AC system company Hispacold reported a 99.77 per cent reduction in direct emissions when using Honeywell’s new low-global-warming-potential refrigerant HFO-1234yf

The company states that for a typical bus fleet size of a medium-sized city, using HFO-1234yf as the refrigerant would help eliminate direct emissions of 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.

This is equivalent to removing around 8,000 cars from city traffic every year.  In addition, bus manufacturers could use 20 per cent less refrigerant should they choose HFO-1234yf. The Hispacold work also suggests that HFO-1234yf is a near drop-in replacement refrigerant for the current refrigerant, HFC-134a, in the tested bus air-conditioning systems.

The tests were co-funded by the Centre for the Industrial Technological Development of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

“These tests prove HFO-1234yf is a technically viable environmental alternative to HFC-134a in air-conditioning systems for buses,” said Paul Sanders, Managing Director for Honeywell Fluorine Products in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. “HFO-1234yf is being readily adopted for use in car air conditioning systems, and now this testing shows that its energy-efficiency, proven safety, environmental compliance and cost performance can help reduce the environmental footprint of buses, too.”

The bench test studied the use of HFO-1234yf in Hispacold’s 12S roof top air conditioning unit, and it compared the performance of Honeywell’s new HFO-1234yf refrigerant versus HFC-134a, in a drop-in and optimized configurations.

Honeywell claims that HFO-1234yf with a global warming potential of just 4, will lower the direct emission of buses air conditioning systems by more than 99.7 per cent. Moreover, HFO-1234yf has an atmospheric lifetime of only 11 days, compared to 13 years for HFC-134a and more than 500 years for carbon dioxide (CO2).

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