There has been a big push over the past couple years to replace R-404A and other HFC refrigerants with alternatives. The push comes from HFCs having a larger Global Warming Potential, or GWP. GWP is compared against Carbon Dioxide which has a GWP of 1. R-404A has a GWP of 3,943. Obviously, there is quite the difference here and you can see the need to find an alternative to the high GWP R-404A.
When finding an alternative the goal is to find a drop in replacement rather than having to retrofit the entire system. This saves time, money, and headaches for the customer. DuPont has developed an alternative to R-404A that does just that. It is known as HFO R-452A. (DuPont’s brand name is Opteon XP44) The R-452A has a GWP of 2,140. It is by no means a miracle replacement as the GWP is still quite high, but it is cutting the GWP almost in half compared to 404A and it provides an easy transition.
Benefits of R-452A
- Up to forty-five percent reduction in your company’s global warming potential contribution.
- No loss of performance or reliability on your vehicles.
- Refrigerant functions the same as R-404A.
- Low flammability.
- Low operating cost.
- No extra cost of ownership or retrofitting.
- Company reputation – Be one of the first ones on the market to use the new environmentally friendly refrigerant.
Carrier and Thermo King Switching
Carrier and Thermo King announced in late 2014 that they would be switching their units over to R-452A in 2015. In fact just this month I was reading an article that Thermo King announced they sold their first R-452A unit to a customer in Spain. The article was from the Cooling Post and can be found by clicking here. Not only is Thermo King manufacturing new units with 452A but they are also offering consultation and assistance on switching their customer’s existing units over to 452A.
On top of Thermo King switching over Carrier Transicold has announced that they will be switching over their units in second and third quarter of 2015. Again, another article from the Cooling Post about Carrier’s switch can be found here.
These switches are mostly taking place across Europe at this time but it’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream in the United States as well. Europe always seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to new and alternative refrigerants. Here in the States we like to have others test it out for us before we jump on!
It is speculated that HFO 452A is a placeholder refrigerant until the main manufacturers do a full scale switch over to CO2. Which would make sense since R-452A is still considered a very high on the Global Warming Potential scale. So, who knows how long R-452A will even be around until the next best thing comes out.