Retrofitting HFC refrigerants into systems designed for HCFC-22 is gaining attention especially in refrigeration because that sector moved especially fast to R-22 when CFCs faced phaseout. This article from Honeywell is a detailed look at retrofit procedures.
The attention that’s being paid to HFC refrigerants used as retrofits in HCFC-22 systems is among the more positive developments in the industry. Refrigerant manufacturers are working with contractors and end users in doing such retrofits in real-world situations.
Now, more than ever, the industry has been looking for alternatives to R-22 to keep the huge existing base of R-22 equipment up and running. More reclamation has been one option. But at the same time, attention is being paid to a large number of HFC refrigerants that can be retrofitted into R-22 equipment.
Because no one HFC refrigerant can be retrofitted efficiently into the entire range of R-22 equipment, a wide and sometimes changing variety of HFCs have entered the market. The NEWS contacted a number of refrigerant manufacturers asking them to discuss some of their most popular HFCs for R-22 retrofits.
Two recent projects demonstrated successful retrofitting of HFC refrigerants into existing HCFC-22 systems. These projects, which were highlighted by Arkema, detail the processes with regard to HFC-427A in refrigeration and air conditioning applications.
It has been an interesting — and complicated — year when it comes to refrigerants. The year began with cutbacks in HCFC production. We had expected there to be about 90 million pounds of virgin R-22 in 2012, down a bit from 2011. But the EPA proposed at the most 80 million pounds and at the least 55 million.