USA, 16 July 2018: Honeywell has announced the development of a new lower GWP non-flammable alternative to R-410A in stationary air conditioning systems, in a Press communiqué.
According to Honeywell, the new refrigerant, named Solstice N41, is the result of years of research and development and addresses “one of the most vexing regulatory and safety challenges facing the HVAC industry”.
Having received a preliminary A1 (non-flammable, non-toxic) classification by ASHRAE, the new refrigerant would be a serious rival to R-32 and offer a much-needed lower GWP alternative to R-410A in VRF systems, the communiqué said.
R-32 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, the communiqué said. Solstice N41 is likely to change this, addressing contractor concerns over handling flammable refrigerants and avoiding the need for new safety standards or building codes, the communiqué further said.
Commenting on the new refrigerant, Sanjeev Rastogi, Vice President and General Manager, Fluorine Products, Honeywell, said: “This refrigerant is energy efficient, good for the environment, and the logical economic choice. The costs associated with moving to Solstice N41 pales in comparison to those required for conversion to a flammable refrigerant.”
While not actually claiming that N41 would be a “drop-in” replacement for R-410A, Honeywell indicated that early tests show that switching to Solstice N41 would require minimal changes to equipment and may allow OEMs to easily convert from R-410A, the communiqué said.
Rastogi added: “What we have created and developed in Solstice N41 is nothing short of a breakthrough. It is an incredibly promising product that is poised to solve a key problem and become the next global standard for refrigerants.”
According to Honeywell, the refrigerant is still undergoing ASHRAE certification, but the company says it expects Solstice N41 to be available commercially next year.