Trane has demonstrated its new low-GWP DR-55 refrigerant operating in chiller at the International Institute of Refrigeration’s (IIR’s) International Congress of Refrigeration.
DR-55 refrigerant, marketed by the Chemours Co. as Opteon XL55, is an olefin-based blend that is currently being evaluated by the HVAC industry for use in unitary and residential equipment.
“We expect high-performance HVAC systems to be available with next-generation refrigerants like DR-55 within the next 12-18 months pending regulatory approval,” said Randal Newton, vice president of enterprise engineering for Ingersoll Rand. “This demonstration project is one way that Ingersoll Rand is delivering on our environmental commitment to identify, test, and introduce technologies that are safe, increase efficiency, and reduce climate impact.”
The University of California at Davis (UC Davis) Western Cooling Efficiency Center laboratory recently completed testing of DR-55 as a design-compatible alternative to R-410A in a Trane Precedent rooftop heat pump.
“DR-55 should be considered as a possible replacement for R-410A because of the relatively low global warming potential and refrigerant charge requirements,” said Curtis Harrington, associate engineer at UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center.
“Lab testing has shown excellent performance over a wide range of outdoor air conditions. Although some flammability will need to be accepted to use refrigerants with lower GWP, refrigerants like DR-55 offer greater potential for safer implementation.”
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently completed demonstration testing to assess the overall performance of DR-55 as a design-compatible alternative to R-410A in commercial unitary systems or rooftop units (RTUs). RTUs provide more than half of the cooling for U.S. commercial building space.
“DR-55 is a very promising low-GWP candidate to replace R-410A in commercial unitary systems,” said Bo Shen, research and development scientist at ORNL. “There is a relatively easy conversion from R-410A to DR-55; therefore, it should be considered as a viable design-compatible replacement for R-410A with increased performance and environmental benefits. DR-55 benefits compared to R-410A include 70 percent reduction in direct global warming potential, 10 percent lower refrigerant charge requirement, and significantly better performance in both efficiency and capacity, even at high ambient temperatures.”