R&D-100USA: Honeywell’s lower GWP replacement for R404A has been named a finalist for the R&D 100 Awards, sponsored by the US publication R&D Magazine.

Solstice N40, otherwise known as R448A, is designed to replace R404A in supermarket applications. It is one of a number of new reduced GWP refrigerants introduced by Honeywell for applications ranging from auto air conditioning to stationary air conditioning and refrigeration, as well as gases for use as foam propellants.

The R&D 100 Awards were established in 1963 to honour the 100 most innovative technologies and services of the past year. Many of the winners have become household names and include the flashcube (1965), the halogen lamp (1974), the fax machine (1975), the liquid crystal display (1980), the Kodak Photo CD (1991) and HDTV (1998).

“Naming Solstice N40 a finalist for this award recognises more than a decade of research and investment that resulted in new solutions to help end customers lower their greenhouse gas impact while complying with new and anticipated regulations,” said George Koutsaftes, refrigerants business director for Honeywell Fluorine Products.

Solstice N40 was nominated by the publication in the Mechanical Devices/Materials category.

“This was a particularly strong year for research and development, led by many outstanding technologies that broadened the scope of innovation,” said R&D Magazine editor Lindsay Hock.

The US Environmental Protection Agency published regulations in July phasing out the use of certain HFC refrigerants. From July 2016, US supermarkets will be required to discontinue the use of R404A as a retrofit refrigerant. It will be banned from use in new supermarkets systems from January 1, 2017.

R448A has a GWP that is 68% lower than R404A. In supermarket trials conducted in the US and Europe, the refrigerant demonstrated at least 3% lower energy consumption in low-temperature applications and 5 to 16% lower energy consumption in medium-temperature refrigeration compared with R404A. In R22 retrofit scenarios, Solstice N40 is said to deliver similar system performance. Whether replacing R22 or R404A, Solstice N40 is a near drop-in replacement for supermarkets.

The winners will be announced at the 2015 R&D 100 Awards & Technology Conference at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas on November 12-13.