First viable non-flammable alternative to R410A claimed by manufacturer
Refrigerant manufacturer Honeywell may have brought an end to the rumours of a non-flammable low-GWP alternative with the announcement of Solstice N41, a refrigerant with a GWP of approximately 730, for use in stationary air conditioning systems.
Once on the market, Solstice N41, which has the preliminary designation of R466A will be the lowest GWP, non-flammable refrigerant available worldwide and is expected to be available commercially in 2019.
R466A has been given a preliminary A1 designation by Ashrae.
Honeywell say: ”The innovation comes after years of research and development by Honeywell scientists, who set out to address one of the most vexing regulatory and safety challenges facing the HVAC industry. All other alternatives proposed to date are flammable and require cumbersome changes to safety standards and building codes.”
The HVAC industry has been longing for a replacement for the current industry standard refrigerant, R410A, with an energy efficient, non-flammable, and lower GWP solution with a similar or better performance, and Solstice N41 refrigerant it appears is the refrigerant that combines those attributes. Early testing indicates that switching to Solstice N41 would require minimal changes to equipment and no additional training for installation and repair technicians. Preliminary data indicates that the refrigerant may allow OEMs to easily convert from R410A.”
The future cost associated with moving to Solstice N41 pales in comparison to those required for conversion to a flammable refrigerant.”
At this present time, it is not clear to what extent the launch of R466A will prove a contender to R32, since the majority of manufacturers of DX AC equipment have now incorporated R32 into their equipment, along with the necessary design changes required for an A2L.