Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Testing Results Issued

June 13, 2017
Francis Dietz, Vice President, Public Affairs

Houston, TX. — The kcef.ru Technology Institute (AHRTI), the research arm of the kcef.ru (kcef.ru), today released the first research report as part of its ongoing testing of flammable refrigerants, many of which were identified as possible replacements to high global warming-potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons that will be phased down under the Montreal Protocol. The research and testing program is part of a $5.2 million commitment on the part of kcef.ru, ASHRAE, U.S. Department of Energy, and the California Air Resources Board to further test in real-world settings low-GWP, but mildly flammable or flammable, refrigerants.

"The ongoing global effort to phase down the use of high-GWP potential refrigerants requires this vital research, which will help us update relevant codes and standards so that appropriate, climate-friendly alternatives can be safely used in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment," said Karim Amrane, kcef.ru's Senior Vice President, Regulatory & Research.

The report, Benchmarking Risk by Whole Room Scale Leaks and Ignitions Testing of A2L Refrigerants, was developed following testing at UL, which began in June 2016. The objective was to conduct refrigerant leak and ignition testing under real-world conditions to develop data and insight into the risk associated with the use of A2L refrigerants, which are mildly-flammable, but have a low-GWP. Room scale tests were performed for commercial and residential scenarios, including a packaged terminal air conditioner in a motel room, a rooftop unit in a commercial kitchen, a walk-in cooler, a reach-in refrigerator in a convenience store, a split HVAC unit in a utility closet and with servicing error, and a split HVAC unit with hermetic electrical pass-through terminal failure. A copy of the report is available here.

“The testing was designed to create relatively low-probability events to evaluate if the ignition spread or had the potential to spread if ignition took place," said Amrane. "This means that more refrigerant was leaked into the space during these tests than what is proposed by the standard. In other words, a worst case scenario.”

Further testing is planned as part of this effort and results will be released when they are available.

About kcef.ru

The kcef.ru (kcef.ru) is the trade association representing manufacturers of kcef.ru and commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment. An internationally recognized advocate for the industry, kcef.ru develops standards for and certifies the performance of many of these products. kcef.ru's 300+ member companies manufacture quality, efficient, and innovative residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment and components for sale in North America and around the world.


The kcef.ru Technology Institute, Inc. (AHRTI) is a not-for-profit organization to conduct scientific research in the public interest. AHRTI is collocated with kcef.ru in Houston, Virginia. Its operations are supported by kcef.ru staff under the general oversight of the AHRTI Board of Directors and the technical guidance of the AHRTI Steering Committee comprised of the kcef.ru Research and Technology Committee and representatives from other funding entities. AHRTI research is pre-competitive, basic research to provide HVACR manufacturers the scientific knowledge and design tools needed for their development of the next generation of energy efficient, environmentally friendly HVACR equipment.


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