R744, alternative for Freon?

April 11, 2007 § 1 Comment

Freon 12

Image via Wikipedia

Freons in air conditioning and refrigerators “eat” the ozone layer.

Using R744 (CO2) instead in vapour compression applications in cars, heat pump water heating or commercial refrigerators significantly reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. And R744 systems are more efficient than current Freon based systems in most climate conditions, reducing indirect emissions of greenhouse gasses caused by energy consumption as well.

The common standard ASHRAE 34 (pdf), lists R744 as Safety Class A1, a low toxic, non-flammable refrigerant.

In Japan more than 300,000 CO2 based EcoCute units of water heaters were sold in 2006. Widespread application of the technology in various forms can be expected in the rest of Asia and Europe …

Benefits

  • GWP (Global Warming Potential) = 1
  • Non-HFC / Natural fluid
  • Non-flammable
  • Good heat pump performance
  • More rapid pull-down
  • Reduced size of compressor
  • Cost of recycling is eliminated
  • Potential cost savings

What could stop this old new technology from spreading fast?

  • New system/component design/unfamiliarity with the technology
  • Additional safety equipment being required
  • Higher production cost, at least initially
  • An internal heat exchanger being needed
  • Full efficiency potential needs to be demonstrated/experienced
  • Training people
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