Stability worry but R466A is “promising”
GERMANY: Bitzer sees R466A, Honeywell’s new non-flammable, low GWP refrigerant alternative, as a promising substitute for R410A but has concerns about its long-term stability.
The compressor manufacturer’s thoughts on the new refrigerant are contained in its latest, highly valued Refrigerant Report 20, published yesterday to coincide with the Chillventa exhibition.
As always, this latest up-to-date 48-page report covers all refrigerants – synthetics, naturals and blends.
Of R466A, the report says that, from a thermodynamic point of view, the differences between R410A and R466A are relatively small. Volumetric refrigerating capacity, pressure levels and discharge temperature are reported to be slightly higher, and the refrigerant mass flow is about 15-20% higher. The temperature glide is also very low.
However, Bitzer says due to the inclusion of CF3I it has concerns regarding long-term chemical stability and material compatibility under the special requirements of the refrigeration cycle.
“Further investigation is required,” the report says, “so a final assessment of R466A is currently not possible.”
It also maintains that this refrigerant cannot be used as a retrofit. “The supply of compressors for laboratory tests requires an individual review of the specific application as well as a special agreement,” the report says.
First announced in June, R466A has created considerable interest, particularly in the US and elsewhere as a potential lower GWP, non flammable alternative for R410A in VRF systems.
CF3I, or trifluoroiodomethane, is the key third component in the blend, making up 39.5% of the mixture with 49% R32 and 11.5% R125. First looked at as a refrigerant component nearly 30 years ago, concerns have previously been expressed regarding the stability of CF3I.
Honeywell expects the new refrigerant to gain full ASHRAE approval in January and could be available to OEMs as early as mid-2019.
Bitzer’s Refrigerant Report 20 is free to download here.
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