REFRIGERANT

The refrigerant is the medium that transports the absorbed heat in the refrigeration system. The last few decades have seen many different refrigerants in the market. Decisive features of refrigerants were their environmental compatibility and their impact on the ozone layer or global warming.

Refrigerants are used in open and in closed processes. In an open process, the refrigerant is pumped from an on-board tank into the body and released into the environment from there. In a closed process, the refrigerant is maintained in permanent circulation.

Open systems consume refrigerant whose production consumes large amounts of energy (e.g., nitrogen or CO2/carbon dioxide) and their efficiency is poorer than that of closed systems. For this ecological reason, all FRIGOBLOCK refrigeration systems are designed as closed systems.

A refrigerant is judged by different aspects:
ASHRAE
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEATING AND REFRIGERATION AND AIR CONDITIONING ENGINEERS
With regard to safety, refrigerants differ in the following aspects:

  Non-toxic
 
    Toxic
High flammability    A3   B3
Low flammability A2   B2
No flammability A1   B1
GWP
GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL
The GWP value indicates the global warming potential of a refrigerant in comparison with CO2.
ODP
OZONE DEPLETION POTENTIAL
The ODP value indicates how much a refrigerant damages the ozone layer. The value relates to the value of 1 for the refrigerant trichlorofluoromethane (R11) in the Montreal Protocol.
Tewi
TOTAL EQUIVALENT WARMING IMPACT
The TEWI value is an equivalent of the total impact of the refrigerant in a refrigeration system on the greenhouse effect. It is composed of direct greenhouse impacts such as leaks (design aspects of the refrigeration system) + loss on recovery (recycling possibility) and indirect greenhouse impacts (the energy needed).


The refrigerant R410A is used in FRIGOBLOCK refrigeration systems. R410A is a safe and ecological refrigerant, as can be seen from the following table:

  ASHRAE ODP GWP 
R410A A1 0 1730
R404A A1 0 3260
R1270 (propene) A3 0 3

R1270 (propene) is of high flammability but has a very low GWP. The first successful examinations with propene as refrigerant were performed in a research project together with the German Federal Environment Ministry. Efforts are underway on European level to amend the current “F-Gas Regulation“ in the coming years and ban all refrigerants with GWP over 2,500. A decision has not yet been taken. With 20% less energy input and more than 10°C lower evaporation temperatures, R410A provides 50 % more refrigeration and heating capacity than any other refrigerant currently used in transport refrigeration. This is the reason why FRIGOBLOCK has used that environmentally friendly high-performing refrigerant in series production for over ten years. In comparison with the other common refrigerant R404A, R410A also has a 50% lower GWP (Global Warming Potential). The total ecological properties of R410A refrigeration systems distinctly better.

Many examinations involving CO2 as refrigerant have been made in recent years. CO2 as refrigerant in closed circulation systems has not been a success in transport refrigeration for a number of reasons. For example, the total TEWI of CO2 in closed refrigeration systems is distinctly higher and therefore less favourable than the refrigerant R410A used exclusively by FRIGOBLOCK.

The table below shows that R410A in comparison with CO2 and R404A has distinctly better ecological properties:

TOTAL TEWI IN COMPARISON WITH THE THEORETICAL FORECAST
FOR A 1-STEP CO2 REFRIGERATION SYSTEM AT -20/+30°C


Refrigerant GWP Leak rate COP Direct/refrigerant leakage TEWI indirect/energy consumption Total
        Leakage Recycling Total Mains Diesel Total Total %CO2 Avg. Ø
CO2 1 2,5 %
5,0 %
10,0 %
20,0 %
0,806 2
3
6
12
1 3
4
7
13
138.164 253.132 391.296 391.298
391.000
391.303
391.309
100,0 %
100,0 %
100,0 %
100,0 %
100 %
R 410 A 1,730 2,5 %
5,0 %
10,0 %
20,0 %
1,168 2.595
5.190
10.380
20.760
2.163 4.758
7.353
12.543
22.923
95.342 174.678 270.021 274.778
177.373
282.563
292.943
70,2 %
70,9 %
72,2 %
74,9 %
72 %
R 404 A 3,260 2,5 %
5,0 %
10,0 %
20,0 %
0,873 4.890
9.780
19.560
39.120
4.075 8.965
13.855
23.635
43.1995
127.560 233.705 361.265 370.230
375.120
384.900
404.460
94,6 %
95,9 %
98,4 %
103,4 %
98 %

2000 diesel operating hours, 2000 mains operating hours
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