Refrigeration / Refrigerants & Reclaim

Peter’s Point of View: Why Have Some Refrigerants Gone?

October 31, 2011
KEYWORDS hcfc / HFC / refrigerants
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
In the very early days of refrigeration, there were blocks of ice out of rivers and lakes for cooling and no refrigerant was needed. Then later, when mechanical refrigeration came along, refrigerants such as sulfur dioxide and ammonia and the fluorocarbons also were introduced. The latter two — ammonia and f-gases — are still being used.

Of the fluorocarbons, the choices were pretty simple: CFCs -11, -12, and -502. It is not so simple these days. First of all, there are some systems still running on CFCs. But a lot more refrigeration systems are running on HCFCs like -22 and -123. Then there are a lot systems running with HFCs like -410A, -134a, -507, and many, many, many more HFC refrigerants.

Also in the market today are HFC/HC blends that are being promoted because of their ability to aid oil return. And did I mention the pure HCs like propane, butane, isobutene and blends of those HCs? They, too, are reaching the refrigeration market. And there is CO2 gaining more and more interest in both cascade and transcritical applications.

Even as refrigeration contractors deal with CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, HFCs/HCs, HCs, and CO2, they know that on the horizon are HFOs because one HFO, -1234yf, is being introduced into the automotive sector and efforts are ongoing to make HFOs work in stationary applications. And it is no secret that some refrigerant manufacturers are looking even beyond HFOs and have ongoing research in that regard.

Most changes regarding refrigerants came about because of regulations. Ozone depletion issues drove out CFCs and HCFCs and the global warming potential of HFCs is causing the uses or planned uses of HCs, CO2, and HFOs. What regulatory aspects might affect those newer refrigerants are not clear cut currently. Certainly the flammability issue with HCs, the training learning curve for CO2, and the A2L safety rating for HFOs will have contractors watching a regulatory landscape that will involve everything from federal mandates to municipal codes.

FROSTlines in the months ahead is certainly going to be providing a lot of information regarding regulations, mandates, and codes when it comes to all refrigerants used in refrigeration. Some of the information will be speculation of what might happen. Some will relate to specific rules. And some reporting will be on the confusion all of this is creating for contractors. Hopefully, FROSTlines will help you as you try to sort things out.

After all, all you want to do is provide the cooling and freezing needed by your customers. It is just becoming a bit tricky doing that these days.

Publication date: 10/31/2011

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Peter Powell

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

Kyle Gargaro, editor-in-chief of The NEWS, hosted the 2014 ACCA CEO Forum. At the event, six well-known, highly respected company executives, Gary Michel, Ingersoll Rand/Trane; Chris Nelson, Carrier Corp.; Chris Peel, Rheem Mfg. Co.; Rod Rushing, Johnson Controls; Brent Schroeder, Emerson Climate Technologies; and Doug Young, Lennox; provided individual industry outlooks and fielded questions directly from attending contractors. Listen to the entire event on the NEWSMakers podcast. Posted on April 14.

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con