The refrigerant manufacturing industry has taken action to reduce the environmental impact of the sector by developing an alternative to R-404A, the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant used in most land-based transport refrigeration applications. Now, Carrier Transicold is offering the option of R-452A, a refrigerant that has a global warming potential (GWP) that is almost half that of R-404A.
“As a near drop-in substitute, R-452A offers similar levels of refrigeration performance, fuel efficiency, reliability and refrigerant charge in new equipment as R-404A, and we are pleased to be able to make it available to refrigerated transport operators seeking a lower GWP option to advance environmental sustainability,” says Kelly Geddes, Marketing Manager, Carrier Transicold Australia.
R-452A is a refrigerant blend with a low-GWP hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) as one of its key components, Kelly explains. “Carrier Transicold has extensive experience with R-452A, having first offered it in 2015 to help Europe’s transport refrigeration industry respond to the European Union F Gas Regulation, which is driving down Europe’s use of traditional HFC refrigerants with higher GWPs,” Kelly says.
Carrier Transicold has done extensive work in preparation for a similar transition in Australia and other parts of the world. Kelly notes that whilst there is no plan for a ban on R-404A for transport refrigeration applications, the global move towards lower GWP options such as R-452A will put increasing pressure on the availability and price of current refrigerants such as R-404A.
While Carrier Transicold will continue to offer R-404A, it will begin to provide R-452A for new model Vector and X4 Series trailer refrigeration units, Supra truck units and direct-drive truck units that currently use R-404A. The new refrigerant can also be used as a drop-in replacement for Carrier Transicold units already in service, although certain older models may require component retrofits or software updates, which can be organised through the company.
“Carrier Transicold’s larger goal of reducing the GWP of its transport refrigeration equipment goes well beyond the benefits of R-452A,” Kelly says. “We are committed to pursuing the commercialisation of HFC-free refrigerants in road transportation refrigeration by building upon our expertise with CO2 refrigerant, also known as R-744.”
CO2 refrigerant has a GWP of only one, making it roughly 2,000 times better for the environment than R-452A and 4,000 times better than R-404A. It is also non-flammable, non-ozone-depleting, globally available and cost effective. Carrier has successfully applied CO2 refrigerant in CO2OLtec stationary commercial refrigeration systems widely used throughout Europe, in NaturaLINE container refrigeration systems used by major container shipping lines in support of global commerce, and prototype trailer refrigeration trials with major European supermarket chains.