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Manufacturers unveil new HFO blends at Retail Question Time

Manufacturers at the RAC Retail Question Time announced new HFO-based replacements for R404A and R134a.

Martyn Cooper, sales manager for Mexichem, revealed the manufacturer’s HFO offering for stationary refrigeration would be based on its AC5 refrigerant (R444A), which has been undergoing development as an automotive coolant.

Mr Cooper said: “AC5 looks to be a good candidate for commercial refrigeration, with a GWP of only 90, but it is rated A2L for flammability – or mildly flammable. So we have developed another product, AC5X which is non-flammable, but has a higher GWP of 620. Both are equivalent to R134a in performance.”

He added: “Optimising performance is a trade-off between GWP, flammability and energy efficiency. There is no perfect refrigerant so you have to make a compromise.”

He also announced Mexichem’s HFO-based replacement for R404A, called LTR4X.

“LTR4X has a GWP of about 1300 and really could be described as an even lower GWP version of R407A. LTR4X is also a reasonable match for R22 replacement, in terms of capacity, but slightly down on COP. For R410A, there aren’t any non-flammable options, so you currently have R32 being developed by some manufacturers for AC applications, while we have a product HPR1D, which has a GWP of 1400. It is a lot lower than some of the other options, but it also is mildly flammable,” he said.

Mr Cooper urged dialogue with end users during the crucial process of application development. “There are clearly patent and supply issues surrounding HFOs and we also don’t want too much ‘blend proliferation,’ so it is essential for us to talk to the industry to make sure that we are providing the refrigerants you need – not forcing them on you,” he said.

Also at the event, Joachim Gerstel product manager for DuPont revealed its non-flammable HFO-based replacement for R404A, known as XP40 (formerly known as DR33) was in advanced stages of development.

He said: “If you are using 100 per cent R404A, replacing with XP40 would reduce the GWP by 65 per cent, as it has a GWP of 1400. You can use it in commercial refrigeration both retrofitting and new, and it can be used in high pressure cascades with CO2.”

He said: “Du Pont has tested XP40 for LT and MT applications and found its energy efficiency is 8-12 per cent better than R404A. Its efficiency is also comparable to R407F, while capacity is slightly lower. Discharge temperature is generally lower than R407F and it is also compatible with POE oils.”

Du Pont believes use of such refrigerant, used alongside even lower-GWP HFOs and naturals, will bring the commercial refrigeration industry’s emissions down sufficiently to meet 2030 HFC phase-down targets.

Mr Gerstel said: “We believe XP40 will play an important role. We are looking for early adopters for commercial use in 2014.”

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