USA: Refrigerant manufacturer Koura has launched a refrigerant with a significantly lower GWP than existing HFCs currently being used in ultra-low temperature cooling applications.
The new refrigerant has been designated as R473A and proposed as an A1 classification by ASHRAE. To be branded as Klea 473A, Koura says it is designed to achieve high performance in ultra-low temperature cooling applications such as high value cold chains, vaccine storage, climate test chambers, transportation and other medical uses. It is said to be effective to at least -75°C.
The new gas has a GWP of 1830 which, although still relatively high, is significantly lower than the current low temperature refrigerants R23 and R508, with their respective GWPs of 14,800, and 13,396. In addition, R473A is said to offer better capacity and energy efficiency than R23.
Not that R23 is completely eradicated by the new refrigerant. R473A contains 10% R23, but blends this with 60% CO2, 20% of the HFO refrigerant R1132a, and 10% R125.
R1132a, with a GWP of <1 is relatively new to the refrigerant sector but is currently produced in large quantities as a major component in the manufacture of PVDF fluoropolymers.
Koura describes the new refrigerant as “a game changing solution” to the ever- increasing demand for ultra-low temperature refrigerants across various industries. The company says it is currently in discussions with relevant stakeholders in a range of applications including deep sea shipping and bio-medical storage. This includes potential application in vaccine storage to support the fight against Covid-19.
R473A has been designed for new systems but Koura says it is currently evaluating the feasibility of converting existing systems designed for R23 to use it.
“The launch of Klea 473A is an exciting milestone in our next generation refrigerant programme which aims to develop a new portfolio of sustainable, energy efficient, low GWP refrigerant solutions for a variety of heating, cooling and refrigeration applications,” said Koura downstream business director Dave Smith.