R290 – Refrigerant Alternative

new member of the refrigerant series r290

R290 (propane) is a new type of environmentally friendly refrigerant, mainly used in central air conditioners, heat pump air conditioners, household air conditioners, and other small refrigeration equipment.

High-purity grade R290 is used as a temperature-sensing working medium. Superior and first-grade R290 can be used as a refrigerant to replace R22, and R502, compatible with the original system and lubricating oil, used in central air conditioners, heat pump air conditioners, household air conditioners, and other small refrigeration equipment, and can also be used for metal-oxygen cutting gas.

Development Path

In recent years, the environmentally friendly refrigerant alternatives that have been attracting attention from domestic and foreign air-conditioning manufacturers have been recognized by the government for the first time.

A few days ago, Wen Wurui, director of the Environmental Protection Foreign Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, disclosed for the first time in a public event that my country is studying the use of hydrocarbons as new environmentally friendly refrigerants to gradually replace the existing air-conditioning refrigerants on the market. The company will carry out the corresponding environmental protection air conditioning production line transformation.

Previously, China Enterprise News exclusively disclosed that Gree demonstrated to the market a propane air conditioner using hydrocarbon R290 as a refrigerant in early July this year, and the energy efficiency of the product increased by more than 15% year-on-year. At the same time, many domestic air conditioner companies have been developing air conditioners for R290 applications.

It is understood that the most important task for my country to implement the Montreal Protocol is to accelerate the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and stop the use of HCFCs by 2030. Although it seems that there is still a lot of time before 2030, the output of air conditioners in my country is huge, and the replacement task is very heavy.

At present, the most widely used refrigerant for domestic air conditioners in my country is R22, namely HCFC-22. In the cold year of 2010, the total output of domestic air conditioners in my country has exceeded 80 million units, continuing to maintain a global leading position.

Although in recent years, some air conditioner companies have replaced R22 with R410A in the air conditioners exported to the European and American markets. However, compared with R22 refrigerant, although R410A has zero damage to the ozone layer, its greenhouse gas effect even partially exceeds that of R22. Therefore, R410A is not the final environmentally friendly refrigerant solution for the air-conditioning industry, but a transitional replacement. Compared with the above two products, hydrocarbon refrigerants do not damage the ozone layer, have no greenhouse effect, and are completely environmentally friendly.

Refrigerant is the working medium in the refrigeration system. It circulates in the refrigeration system and exchanges energy with the outside world through the change of its own thermal state, so as to achieve the purpose of refrigeration. With the increasingly serious problems of global ozone depletion and climate warming, finding environmentally friendly refrigerants has become an important question for the refrigeration industry.


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