USA: Tecumseh says it will be releasing a full line of R449A compressors and condensing units for low, medium and high temperature commercial refrigeration applications.

However, the US manufacturer has repeated warnings that, due to the higher discharge temperatures prevalent with R449A, that it should only be used in strict compliance with the requirements of Tecumseh relevant policy bulletins and application guidelines. Also, it is only suitable for use within a restricted operating envelope in low temperature applications.

R449A is Chemours lower GWP replacement for R404A. Honeywell’s lower GWP R404A alternative, R448A, is still being reviewed by Tecumseh.

Tecumseh says it is continuing to devote resources to evaluating its products for use with low GWP refrigerants to find a sustainable long-term solution. The company is also continuing to evaluate other interim solutions for R404A where it feels there are opportunities to deliver higher compressor efficiencies without sacrificing product reliability.

The latest bulletin is a follow-up to the document that Tecumseh issued in January last year and updates the performance, reliability and safety requirements for use with R404A and R134a alternative refrigerants.

For commercial refrigeration equipment utilising remote condensing units, Tecumseh has also approved R452A as acceptable alternatives to refrigerant R404A. R452A is another Chemours refrigerant, branded XP44. It has a higher GWP than R449A but is still around half that of R404A.

Tecumseh says it is a strong advocate of R452A for low temperature commercial refrigeration applications mainly because of the low discharge temperatures that it exhibits with evaporating temperatures of -20°F (-29°C) or lower. 

In the US, the use of R452A in new remote condensing units is still under review by the EPA and is not approved as a replacement for R404A in these applications. Tecumseh says it is actively engaged with government officials and the US EPA for further review and consideration of R452A for low temperature applications. 

Propane is still Tecumseh’s preferred choice for self-contained/stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment with capacities less than ½hp. However, it stipulates that because R290 is classified as an A3, highly flammable refrigerant, charge limitations and safety requirements must be taken into consideration. Typical applications for R290 include beverage coolers, reach-ins, vending equipment and, commercial refrigerators and freezers.

Tecumseh has also approved R513A as an acceptable alternative to R134a but, again, requires that compressors meet the guidelines outlined in the relevant Tecumseh policy bulletins and application guidelines.  Refrigerant R450A is still being reviewed by Tecumseh.

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Tecumseh lists R449A as acceptable