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Lennox backs R32 as optimum replacement

Lennox products, like its new eComfort range of inverter scroll chillers, are using lower GWP refrigerant R32

FRANCE: Lennox is extolling the virtues of R32 over R454B as the optimum lower GWP replacement for R410A in chillers and rooftop units.

While many of the company’s competitors are promoting R454B as their preferred substitute, Lennox views R32 as the optimum R410A replacement. It argues that while R32 and R454B are both A2L refrigerants with lower GWPs than R410A, R32 has the advantage of being an unpatented single-component gas, has no glide, and has price and availability advantages over its rival.

“We have decided to make this statement after recent manufacturers’ communications related to R454B which are creating confusion in the market,” explained Lennox EMEA marketing director Alexandre Donegatti. “We were contacted by some customers to whom we had to explain our positioning in favour of R32 choice.”

Lennox argues that, as a single component refrigerant, R32 is easier to handle and recover than other alternatives as R454B or R452B. In addition, as R32 has no glide, Lennox maintains there is

no need to vacuum the system before every charge. It argues that with R454B and R452B there is the possibility that a disproportionate amount of one component could escape in the event of a leak.

Another factor that Lennox uses to justify the use of R32, is cost and availability. R32 is likely to remain cheaper, it argues, than R454B and R452B for two reasons. First is the patent on R1234yf and second is that these refrigerant blends also feature R32 in their composition, so if there is a price increase on R32, it will also impact these blends. 

Apart from this, the fact that there is no patent on R32, ensures access and availability through many refrigerant providers, Lennox says.

In addition, says Lennox, R32 can reach similar cooling capacity on rooftops to that of R410A, but with 20% less refrigerant charge.

“As to efficiency, our calculations and compressor manufacturers’ show higher efficiency rates for R32 than R454B,” said Alexandre Donegatti. 

Donegatti acknowledged that R32 with its GWP of 675 has a significantly higher GWP than R454B (GWP 466), but said “However, if we consider the total cost of ownership of an installation, we need to consider the amount of refrigerant being used.”

While both R454B and R32 are classed as lower flammability A2L gases, Lennox argues that R454B has a lower flammability limit (11% versus 14% for R32), making it slightly more susceptible to combustion.

“I would like to highlight that our goal is to give full perspective in an easy way in order to support customers make a decision,” Alexandre Donegatti explained. “I think, low GWP/A2L is the topic of the moment and even with several communications on the market, there are many questions from the public.”

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