R-410A Transition Considerations
As the refrigeration industry continues to evolve and embrace new energy and climate policies, numerous regulations in place and others progressing in countries worldwide are requiring the phase down of high-global-warming-potential (GWP) products.
In the U.S., led by the legislative momentum in California, Vermont and Washington, states like New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Delaware have also announced their intention to take actions that require the phaseout of high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Today, HFC refrigerants are some of the most popular refrigerants and include R-410A, which is widely used around the world as a refrigerant in residential and light commercial air conditioning applications. To comply with critical regulatory phasedowns of high-GWP products, R-410A must be replaced with a safe, energy-efficient, lower-GWP solution with similar or better performance. U.S. OEMs are actively evaluating options for replacing R-410A in residential and small commercial applications.
The industry has a long-standing track record of developing safe and effective replacements to meet environmental challenges. With the right processes and procedures in place, the industry can safely enable transition to a R-410A replacement refrigerant.
Honeywell and its suppliers have invested more than $900M in research and development and expanded capacity for production of next generation refrigerant technologies. We continue to innovate to bring new solutions to market to meet industry needs, including designing and bringing to market Solstice N41 (R-466A), the industry’s first nonflammable (A1) R-410A replacement solution for stationary air-conditioning applications. We believe that a non-flammable, reduced GWP R-410A replacement is the right solution for R-410 applications and have offered to license our A1 technologies to other industry participants, including our competitors, to ensure a smooth transition.
Solstice N41, which recently received final ASHRAE approval and official designation as an A1 non- flammable refrigerant, shows similar performance with capacity within 2% of R-410A and slightly better efficiency. Solstice N41 has received industry support, with recent adoptions by global manufacturers of HVACR controls and components, including Parker Hannifin-Sporlan Division, Midea and Sanhua for use in HVAC applications.
Reroute to nonflammability and profitability
Solstice® N41 (R-466A) Delivers Value At Every Stop
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- A1 ASHRAE rating
- 65% lower GWP than R-410A
- Capacity and energy efficiency similar to R-410A
Low-cost, safe and easy to use, Solstice® N41 keeps your facility running smoothly.
Maintain your normal route - bridges, tunnels and all.
Nonflammable refrigerant that’s easy to store and handle, saving you time and money.
Special safety equipment is not required, lowering the total cost of installation.
With no added handling risks, extra training is not required — saving you money.
Nonflammable refrigerant requires less precautionary upkeep, helping homeowners stay safe and save money.
Nonflammable refrigerant can not only help you reduce significant risk but also cut costs on training, labor and the enforcement of installation and maintenance practices. With over 450,000 HVAC contractors in the U.S. alone, those risks and cost savings quickly add up.
Safety is Paramount in Residential Applications
The current transition discussion is focused on the safe transition of 410-A replacements into residential and light commercial equipment that will be used in homes and small businesses. Unlike other transitions that took place in mechanical rooms or that have small charge sizes, contractors in homes and small businesses are operating in an environment with fewer controls, larger numbers of systems (~6-8 million systems produced in the US), and larger charges. It is for that reason that Honeywell has focused on developing an A1 solution to enable the 410-A transition. The industry is actively considering different options for this transition, including a transition to A2L refrigerants.
Honeywell has a broad portfolio of refrigerants, which includes both A1 and A2L refrigerants such as R- 32 and R-454B, that minimize environmental impact and are designed to meet the performance and safety needs of an application. As a supplier of A2L refrigerants into a broad range of applications, we strongly support all efforts to ensure that flammable refrigerants are used safely. Our consistent recommendation has been for industry experts to work together to establish appropriate safety protocols backed by rigorous testing, including system-level tests.
One of the most critical components of this process will be that the industry establishes sufficient training and safe handling practices. Prior to the release of A2L refrigerants into the market, the industry must ensure that the technician base and supply chain personnel are trained and equipped to manage the additional risk of these refrigerants in residential and light commercial applications.
Industry and standard organizations are considering the design and incorporation of sensors, valves and other risk mitigation equipment to minimize flammability risk. Flammable solutions will also require significant specialized training of contractors– not a trivial issue today when the industry is struggling to recruit and retain enough contractors.
Honeywell continues to believe that a nonflammable, reduced GWP 410A replacement is the optimal, safer solution for residential and light commercial HVAC applications. However, we support A2L solutions with proper safety mitigation measures, and believe that A2L solutions can be designed for use in residential and small commercial applications if the full process that is designed to ensure safety is followed. The safety standards and building codes must be responsibly updated for the protection of homeowners, first responders and other stakeholders, and for A2Ls to be safe for intended use. The successful deployment of safe, lower GWP alternatives is crucial to the industry’s collective commitment to meet the HFC phasedown targets that were agreed to in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and Honeywell will continue to support all industry efforts to help the world meet ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Chris LaPietra is vice president and general manager of Honeywell Stationary Refrigerants.