The industry is starting to get comfortable with HFC refrigerants including the now familiar 134a, 404A, 507, 407C, and 410A. The newest to garner attention is HFC-245fa.

It has already found favor in foam blowing applications, where it is replacing HCFC-22. A major production facility for the refrigerant has come on line at a Honeywell plant in Geismar, La. Recently, Bally Refrigerated Boxes was awarded a Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for what was described as an “early conversion to HFC-245fa blowing agent.” Other manufacturers of walk-in freezers and coolers noted they, too, are converting to the HFC.

Now information on the refrigerant is being gathered through research conducted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). According to preliminary findings, “R-245fa is suitable for low-pressure water chillers typically used in large building air conditioning. Equipment is also being developed using R-245fa in other heat transfer and working fluid applications.” A specific project is 1265-TRP, “Thermophysical Properties of R-245fa,” which is being sponsored by ASHRAE Technical Committee 3.1, Refrigerants and Secondary Coolants. It is being conducted by scientists in Belarus and is expected to take 10 months.

— Peter Powell

Publication date: 09/01/2003