CubigelSPAIN: Huayi has announced that lower GWP refrigerant R449A is not a suitable drop-in replacement for R404A in its Cubigel compressors.

Developed by Chemours and marketed as Opteon XP40, R449A has a GWP of 1282 which, although not low GWP, is significantly lower than R404A.

Following tests carried out on alternatives to R404A, the Barcelona-based hermetic compressor manufacturer says it cannot consider R449A as a drop-in solution due to the high discharge temperatures it produces. In a statement on the issue, Huayi says that this can cause motor overheating and overload protector tripping.

“The use of this refrigerant means a complete redesign of the application (increasing the fan air flow, increasing the condenser size, etc) in order to reduce the temperatures and obtain same results as using R404A,” it says.

However, R452A, a higher GWP alternative to R404A is a potential drop-in solution for R404A, the Spanish manufacturer says.

R452A

Also manufactured by Chemours and sold as XP44, R452A is said to present a performance more similar to R404A and could be considered as a drop-in solution. However, Huayi cautions that its use must be validated on a case-by-case basis and warns that the working envelope of the compressor using R452A will be restricted.

“The use of the compressors outside the envelope defined by Huayi Compressor Barcelona can cause a reduction in the life and reliability of the compressor,” it says.

Huayi also points out that these new refrigerant blends are only a transitional solution.

The company makes no mention of whether it has or is testing Honeywell’s alternative blends, nor whether it will produce compressors specifically optimised for use with any of these refrigerants in the future. It has, however, repeated its support for the hydrocarbons R290 and R600a as the long-term solution for light commercial refrigeration

“From a chemical point of view, hydrocarbon is the simplest organic compound, consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon,” it says, insisting that hydrocarbons are safe, with proper handling.

UPDATE: 1 September 2016

Pedro Olalla, sales director of Huayi Compressor Barcelona, told the Cooling Post that the company was not planning to develop specific products for use with R449A or R452A as they were not considered to be long-term solutions. “Of course, depending on the market trend we could revise our decision,” he added.

Cubigel-tests

Test results on HMBP compressor drop-in applications

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