UK: Tewkesbury-based training company Cool Concerns has developed and commissioned a new refrigeration training rig for A2L refrigerants.
The fully working system, designed in accordance with EN378:2016, operates on R454C (Opteon XL20) and provides installers and service engineers the opportunity to have hands-on experience with one of the new lower flammability A2L refrigerants now coming on-stream.
Developed by Chemours as a lower GWP alternative to R404A, R454C is a blend of R32 and 1234yf with a GWP of 148.
The training rig is based on a Bitzer LH32E/2KES-05Y air-cooled condensing unit, equipped with the company’s semi-hermetic Ecoline compressor, connected to a LuVe evaporator. It uses Carel EVD electronic valve controllers and E2V expansion valves, along with Bacharach gas detection equipment, all risk-assessed for use with A2L refrigerants.
In the event of an alarm from the refrigerant gas detection system, the Carel E2V expansion valve is closed and all remaining refrigerant is pumped down to the condensing unit and liquid line.
All service tools used with the system are approved for use with A2L refrigerants, including the electronic gauge manifold, leak detector, ventilation fan, recovery machine and vacuum pump.
Stephen Benton, director of Cool Concerns, says: “The clock is ticking on higher GWP refrigerants, and the industry is preparing to make the next big step to the use of lower-GWP A2L alternatives.
“A lot has been written and debated about the use of A2Ls. However, it all becomes much clearer when you come face-to-face with a working system. To date, there has been a relatively slow uptake of A2L options. However, we expect this to change significantly in the coming months as the F-gas phase-down on higher GWP refrigerants begins to bite.”
He added: “There are more challenges in moving to A2L options such as R454C than, say, from R410A to R32, as air conditioning systems tend to come as complete packaged solutions. With an A2L refrigeration application, system design and component choice are much more likely to be the responsibility of the contractor – and therefore require much more careful thought and planning.”
Contact Stephen Benton for further information on A2L training courses.