Chinese manufacturer Midea is looking to use Solstice N41 (R466A), Honeywell’s new non-flammable, lower GWP refrigerant, in all its VRF and chiller systems.
Honeywell’s partnership with Midea Group, follows “promising” test results with the new refrigerant announced by fellow air conditioning manufacturer Toshiba Carrier in January.
“As the first non-flammable refrigerant replacement for R410A, Solstice N41 is a promising option to ensure our products are compliant with environmental regulations in target markets,” said Mingli Tian, Midea’s central air-conditioning division general manager. “This cooperation will help us enter the new future with a sustainable and safe offering for end users,” he added.
Solstice N41 is expected to be commercially available in late 2019. It will be the first A1, non-flammable, reduced GWP R410A replacement offered for stationary air conditioning systems and created considerable interest when it was first announced last year.
“We’ve partnered with the best-of-the-best in our industry to validate the performance of Solstice N41 as a breakthrough solution,” said Chris LaPietra, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Stationary Refrigerants. “Key partnerships like the one we have with Midea help ensure it is ready for broad industry adoption later this year,” he added.
R32 has become the lower GWP refrigerant of choice for smaller air conditioning systems. Its A2L flammability, however, makes it unsuitable, currently, for use in larger systems and there are doubts whether it will ever be acceptable for use in VRF systems. Chemours also offers a blend refrigerant, R452B, but this, too, is an A2L “mildly flammable” refrigerant.
Solstice N41, designated R466A by ASHRAE, still uses R32 and R125, as in R410A, but includes a third component trifluoroiodomethane (CF3I). The inclusion of CF3I, a fire suppressant with a GWP of 0.4, gives the new refrigerant a GWP of around 733, and contributes to its non-flammability.
While not a drop-in replacement, R466A is said to require minimal system design changes for OEMs seeking to adopt the new refrigerant.―Cooling Post