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New ASHRAE refrigerant standards

1868609USA: ASHRAE has added 15 new refrigerants to the 2013 editions of its major refrigerants-related standards.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013, Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants, describes a shorthand way of naming refrigerants and assigns safety classifications based on toxicity and flammability data.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2013, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems, establishes rules for safe application in equipment and systems.

One new single compound refrigerant and 14 new refrigerant blends are among the key changes incorporated into 34-2013. Three are HFO- or CO2-based, four are existing HFC-based refrigerants, three are primarily hydrocarbon-based and five are HFC/hydrocarbon retrofit blends.

Specifically, they are:

R1234ze(E): the new low GWP HFO being used as a foam propellant, standalone refrigerant and in blends

R407F: A blend of R32, R125 and R134a for low and medium temperature commercial refrigeration applications. Possessing a GWP of 1800, it is being promoted as a replacement for R22 and can replace R404A in new and existing installations.

R417B: R22 replacement blend comprising R125, R134a and R600 (butane).

R417C: The same components as R417B being sold as a replacement for R12 and other R12 interim replacements.

R419B: A blend of R125, 134a, E170 (dimethyl ether)

R422E: A blend of R125, R134a and R600a (isobutane)

R439A: A blend of R32, R125 and R600a

R440A: An alternative to R134a in car ac systems with a GWP of less than 150. A blend of R290 (propane), R134a and R152a

R441A: Promoted in the US and elsewhere as HCR188C1, a substitute for R134a. It is a flammable blend of R170 (ethane), R290 (propane), R600a (isobutane) and R600 (butane).

R442A: Formerly known as RS-50, a blend of R32, R125, R134a, R152a and HFCR227ea (a fire suppressant), it has a GWP of less than half of R404A which it is designed to replace in both new and existing equipment. Has also been promoted as a non-flammable replacement for R22 in medium and low temperature refrigeration applications.

R443A: Promoted in the US and elsewhere as HCR188C2, it is designed as a substitute for R22. It is a blend of R1270 (propylene) R290 and R600a.

R444A: Mexichem’s AC5, a close performance match to R134a whilst having similar flammability characteristics to R-1234yf and a GWP of under 150. A blend of R-32/152a/1234ze(E).

R445A: Mexichem’s AC6 being pushed as an alternative for R1234yf in car ac systems. Like R444A it has a GWP under 150 but with reduced flammability. A blend of R744 (CO2), R134a and R1234ze(E), it has a slightly higher refrigeration capacity than R134a.

R511A: A blend of R290 and R152a.

R512A: Blend of R134a and R152a .

Four of the refrigerants are class 2 (flammable) and three are subclass 2L (mildly flammable), based on optional burning velocity measurement data.

Toxicity code classifications have also been assigned to 18 refrigerants that had been unassigned in the 2010 standard.

Standard 15 contains the 2010 standard plus five published addenda. Key changes to the standard include clarification of the location requirements for machinery room mechanical ventilation; clarification that design pressure is expressed in terms of relative pressure or gauge pressure (not absolute pressure) and wording to ensure the standard more closely harmonizes with the 2012 International Mechanical Code (IMC) section 1101.10.

Standard 15-2013 and Standard 34-2013 are sold together. The cost is $107 ($89, ASHRAE members).

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