EPA Approves First Climate-Friendly Hydrocarbon Refrigerant in U.S.
The EPA has given approval for the hydrocarbon refrigerant known as HCR188C1 to be sold in the U.S. It is designed to replace environmentally harmful chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The coolant consists of a patented blend of ethane, propane, butane and other pure hydrocarbons, which displays a Zero Global Warming Potential (GWP), as well as a Zero Ozone-Depletion rating.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has proclaimed HCR188C1 to be non-toxic; in addition, the coolant is now a listed refrigerant with ETL (Intertek).
ASHRAE will seek a public comment process with results expected by October for a final SNAP ruling to list the coolant as an approved alternative refrigerant for use in household refrigerators and stand-alone freezers. (SNAP refers to the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy initiative, a part of the Clean Air Act.) Intertek Testing Services NA has tested HCR188C1 and shown it to display properties that excel R134A, a commonly used HFC.
For example, in refrigerators running with HCR188C1, energy tests have shown a 48% decrease in power consumption when compared to the same units operating with R134A, all while using just 25% of a normal charge of R134A (by volume) or just 40% of a normal charge of R22. The coolant operates effectively in equipment containing mineral oil and can be used as a direct replacement in appliances and air-conditioning systems designed for R134A and R22. Though flammable, the very small amount of this climate-friendly refrigerant required in such systems presents an exceedingly small risk.
Steven Mella, CEO of ComStar International and Richard Maruya of A.S. Trust & Holding, who developed the coolant’s formulation, have come to an agreement to manufacture, market and distribute HCR188C1 from ComStar’s Houston facility.
Plans are also underway for a line of 18- to 21-cubic-ft. refrigerators assembled in the U.S. that operate solely with HCR188C1 as the coolant.
Source: ComStar International