Tecumseh Confirms Position on Refrigerant Transition
Company’s position includes approvals for HC and HFO refrigerants
In follow-up to the document that Tecumseh issued in January 2016 regarding recommended refrigerants, the company says it is making the required changes to its compressors and condensing units in order to meet the performance, reliability and safety requirements for use with alternatives to R-404A and R-134a refrigerants.
Tecumseh’s latest approvals recommendations include:
● For commercial refrigeration equipment utilizing remote condensing units, Tecumseh has approved R-449A and R-452A as acceptable alternatives to refrigerant R-404A. However, due to the higher discharge temperatures prevalent with R-449A, compressors used in the above mentioned applications must maintain strict compliance with the requirements outlined in the relevant Tecumseh Policy Bulletins and Application Guidelines. Tecumseh is releasing a full line of R-449A compressors and associated condensing units for low-(restricted operating envelope), medium-, and high-temperature commercial refrigeration applications.
Specific to the United States, the use of refrigerant R-452A in new remote condensing units is still under review by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is not approved as a replacement for R-404A in these applications. R-452A, with a global-warming potential (GWP) of 1,945, is 50 percent lower than the GWP of R-404A (3,922 GWP). Tecumseh is a strong advocate of R-452A for low-temperature commercial refrigeration applications mainly because of the low discharge temperatures that it exhibits with evaporating temperatures of -20°F (-29°C) or lower. The company says it is actively engaged with government officials and the U.S. EPA for further review and consideration of refrigerant R-452A for low-temperature applications.
Refrigerant R-448A is still being reviewed by Tecumseh.
● For self-contained / stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment with capacities less than ½ hp, Tecumseh continues to support hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerant R-290 (propane) as the preferred choice. However, because R-290 is classified as an “A3” (highly flammable) refrigerant, charge limitations and safety requirements must be taken into consideration. Typical applications for R-290 include beverage coolers, reach-ins, vending equipment and, commercial refrigerators, and freezers.
Tecumseh has approved R-513A as an acceptable alternative to R-134a and requires that compressors meet the guidelines outlined in the relevant Tecumseh Policy Bulletins and Application Guidelines. Refrigerant R-450A is still being reviewed by Tecumseh.
● For all self-contained / stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment applications, Tecumseh has approved R-449A and R-452A as acceptable alternatives to refrigerant R-404A. However, due to the higher discharge temperatures prevalent with R-449A, compressors used in the above mentioned applications must maintain strict compliance with the requirements outlined in the relevant Tecumseh Policy Bulletins and Application Guidelines. In addition, refrigerants R449A and R-452A are non-azeotropic mixtures with significant temperature glide that must be accounted for within the application.
Specific to the U.S., the use of refrigerants R-449A and R-452A in new self-contained /stand-alone equipment is still under review by the EPA and is not approved as a replacement for R-404A in these applications. The exception is low-temperature applications where the EPA has listed R-449A as SNAP approved.
INVESTING IN LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS
Tecumseh says it is continuing to devote resources in evaluating its products for use with low-GWP refrigerants including the determination of a sustainable long-term solution. The company also said it is continuing to evaluate other interim solutions for R-404A where there are opportunities to deliver higher compressor efficiencies without sacrificing product reliability.
According to Tecumseh, its new TC, VTC, AE², AEX, AK2, and AJ² series commercial refrigeration compressors are optimized for use with R-290 (propane) refrigerant. Some compressor models are also optimized for use with the hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerant R-1234yf. The entire range of Tecumseh fractional horsepower compressors is compatible with R-134a. All “next generation” Tecumseh commercial refrigeration compressors are being designed for use with the best available eco-friendly refrigerants.
“Tecumseh has the interest of its customers and the environment in mind by promoting eco-friendly refrigerants that don’t have an adverse effect on product reliability,” the company said in a position statement. “Another key objective is to limit the number of medium-term refrigerants that can work across our product range and within commercial refrigeration operating temperatures. In addition, Tecumseh continues to work in conjunction with industry associations the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Association of European Refrigeration Component Manufacturers (ASERCOM) and affiliated member companies in the evaluation and testing of low- GWP refrigerants.”
Tecumseh Products Co. is a global manufacturer of hermetic reciprocating, rotary and scroll compressors, as well as a complete line of condensing units and systems for use in residential and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning applications.
For more information, visit www.tecumseh.com.
Publication date: 3/1/2017