USA: “Honeywell” has announced the development of a new refrigerant for air conditioning systems – an alternative to the R410A, which is non-flammable and with low GWP (global warming potential).
Received a preliminary classification of “A1” as non-flammable and non-toxic by ASHRAE (The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), the new refrigerant would be a serious competitor to R32, and for the first time offers the much-needed alternative to R410A with low GWP (global warming potential) for use in VRF systems.
“Honeywell” reveals that the new refrigerant, announced as Solstice N41, is the result of many years of research and development and responds to “one of the most debated, in terms of regulations and safety, challenges in the HVAC industry.”
R32 has become the choice for smaller air conditioning systems due to its lower GWP (global warming potential). However, its “A2L” flammability makes it inconvenient for use in VRF systems. “Chemours” also offers a multi-component refrigerant R452B, but it is also classified as A2L “low flammable”.
The Solstice N41 comes to change all that, responding to suppliers’ concerns about transporting flammable refrigerants and without the need for new safety standards or building codes.
“This refrigerant is energy efficient, environmentally friendly and a logical economic choice,” said Sanjeev Rastogi, vice president of “Honeywell” and CEO of fluorinated products. “The cost of switching to the Solstice N41 is insignificant compared to the cost of adapting to flammable refrigerants.”
“Honeywell” has not yet revealed the potential for global warming – GWP of the new refrigerant and whether it is a one-component or multi-component mixture, but a research by Cooling Post suggests that it may be with GWP close to that of R32.
Although they did not claim that the N41 would be a “drop-in” replacement for the R410A, “Honeywell” reported that initial tests indicated that switching to the Solstice N41 would require minimal equipment changes and would allow manufacturers to easily replace R410A.
“What we have created and developed in Solstice N41 is more than an important scientific achievement,” said Sanjeev Rastogi. “This is an incredibly promising product that can solve a key problem and become the next global standard for refrigerants.”
This refrigerant is still in the process of being certified by ASHRAE, but “Honeywell” says it is expected to be commercially available next year.