Regulations, changing technology, and customer demand for improved performance are driving a push into new refrigerants, and Honeywell is working to meet that demand.

At the AHR Expo, Honeywell announced the launch of a platform of liquid heat transfer agents that cool high-performance electronics. These new heat transfer agents lower operational costs for applications such as data centers that use high-performance servers.

Data centers currently use about three percent of the world’s electricity, and that number is expected to rise to eight percent by 2030, according to research by Global Markets Insights (GMI). With cooling systems accounting for approximately 40 percent of total energy consumption, the need for intelligent and energy-efficient solutions is expected to drive data center cooling market growth. In addition, the move to 5G is creating even more demand for cooling solutions.

“The density of the transistors in the chips is getting so small that these chips are generating a lot of heat,” said Chris LaPietra, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Stationary Refrigerants.

Glycol or a fan isn’t enough, LaPietra said. Even moving to colder climates isn’t enough. Solstice E-Cooling, the newest addition to Honeywell’s line of next-generation low-global-warming potential refrigerant technologies, uses a two-phase liquid cooling process to remove heat from electronic applications while reducing environmental impact.

The two-phase process allows for more energy-efficient and uniform cooling, better heat rejection, and reduced pumping power than single-phase liquid cooling, where fluid remains in its liquid form throughout the cooling process.

Solstice E-Cooling is also a dielectric solution, serving as an electrical insulator for equipment to prevent damage from contact with fluids.

Honeywell also announced the launch of Solstice N15 (R-515B), a new, A1 nonflammable and low-global-warming potential (LGWP) refrigerant replacement for R-134a for use in chillers and heat pumps. Solstice N15 has a GWP of 299 (AR5).

The new refrigerant will be commercially available this year. In equipment designed for Solstice ZE, the company’s older refrigerant, it will work perfectly, LaPietra said. They are completely interchangeable and N15 still offers a major GWP reduction.

Solstice N15 has been adopted by compressor manufacturer Danfoss for use in its new TurbocorTGS490 compressor, which can be used in air or water-cooled chiller applications for air conditioning.

LaPietra said Honeywell continues to invest heavily in research and development at its Buffalo, New York, facility to find new refrigerant solutions. With each generation, it becomes more difficult to design and more expensive to design.

“We’re still looking for new molecules,” LaPietra said. “If it was easy, we’d have a new refrigerant this very week, but it’s not that easy.”

As the demand for smart products continues to grow, the company offers its line of CIPer products. Melissa Cisewski, offering manager, Honeywell Building Management Systems team, said the goal is to create products that meet the real-life needs of their customers. This means devices that provide both analytics and integrations with other systems. Cisewski said the goal was making the building smarter and the occupants more comfortable.

The newest CIPer models allow users to manage the BMS right from the controllers.

“You don’t have to take all the data and ship it up somewhere else,” Cisewski said.

They also provide data that provides a more useful picture of how a system is performing.

“Data without context is just a bunch of numbers,” Cisewski said.

The latest entrant to the CIPer line is the Model 5 compact variable air volume controller with an actuator right on it. It’s a third of the size of older models. The smaller footprint can fit anywhere, Cisewski said.

The platform to program it is Niagara-based, and the system operates in real time. It is more extendable than previous models. It also tells the user right away if it’s installed correctly.

These new tools are building on knowledge that contractors already have, Cisewski said, as time is more crucial than ever.

“People are expecting usability to be built into their products these days,” Cisewski said.