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How to look at the replacement of air-conditioning refrigerants?

Views:4     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-05-26      Origin:Site

Today is the peak season for air-conditioning sales. With people’s increasing awareness of environmental protection, environmentally-friendly products such as fluorine-free air conditioners have become the first choice of consumers. However, due to the rising voice in the industry that "CFC-free air conditioners all have fluorine", consumers who are increasingly environmentally conscious are at a loss as to what to do when buying air conditioners. In this regard, Wang Leichang, deputy secretary of the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, pointed out that, in fact, the main reason for the dispute over whether there is fluorine and non-fluorine in air conditioners is that there are different perceptions about refrigerants. So, what should consumers think about it?


It is understood that since the beginning of this year, air-conditioning manufacturers have increased the promotion of fluorine-free air-conditioners, on the one hand, it is a manifestation of environmental protection responsibility, but more importantly, the United States has banned the sale of air-conditioners using R22 traditional refrigerant from this year.


According to experts, the refrigerant used in fluorine-free air-conditioning promoted by air-conditioning companies is R410a, while the refrigerant used in fluorine-free air-conditioning, which is commonly known in the industry, is R22. In fact, these two refrigerants contain fluorine elements, but R410a does not contain HCFCs, R22 contains HCFCs, and HCFCs are the primary culprit in destroying the ozone layer.


For air conditioners that use R410a refrigerant, the industry is accustomed to call it "CFC-free air conditioners", which is already a conventional name, just as everyone has been accustomed to calling "Freon" is actually not a chemical element, but the product name of DuPont. Earlier, DuPont also gave R410a a "Shuva" product name, just to avoid confusion.


Although R410a does not contain HCFCs and will not damage the earth's ozone layer, it still contains fluorine atoms, which can still cause greenhouse gas effects. Industry insiders pointed out that compared with R22, R410a causes the same greenhouse gas effect. Therefore, it is not the final refrigerant for environmentally friendly air conditioners, but a temporary substitute before newer refrigerants are developed.


Behind the debate about whether air conditioners are fluorine or non-fluorine is actually a game between large companies. According to the reporter's understanding, the current global R410a refrigerant patent rights are controlled by DuPont, Honeywell, Daikin and other US and Japanese companies. The faster the R410a market is popularized, the higher the patent fees these companies can obtain. For this reason, the European Union has been trying to find more environmentally friendly refrigerant products, and the China Household Electrical Appliances Association has also been organizing Chinese air-conditioning companies to seek new refrigerant alternatives. "At present, an air conditioner using R410a refrigerant is about 4 times more expensive than using R22." A person in charge of an air-conditioning company calculated such an account. If the current Chinese air-conditioning refrigerants are upgraded from R22 to R410a, it will only be more per year. The patent fees and cost fees paid will be as high as several billion yuan. However, since domestic companies have not yet developed a new refrigerant that is more suitable to replace R410a, they can only ask for perfection.


What is gratifying is that the current domestic research on emerging environmentally friendly refrigerants is in the ascendant, and the key direction is to solve the problem of the high greenhouse effect potential of R410a. At present, the replacement of refrigerants in the refrigerator market in my country is relatively fast. All fluorine-free refrigerators sold in the domestic market use R600a refrigerant instead of R22. R600a is a natural refrigerant and has no effect on the ozone layer and greenhouse gas effects. Shandong Dongyue and Tsinghua University have cooperated to develop a new type of environmentally friendly refrigerant DY1-5. Zhejiang University has also carried out related experiments on a new type of ternary mixed refrigerant R32/R125/R161 to replace the refrigerant R407C.


However, R290 is currently attracting the attention of the industry. At present, the application of this refrigerant in air-conditioning has completed laboratory tests. R290 has a low cost and can be obtained directly from the existing liquefied petroleum gas. This is a solution that is enough to make many air-conditioning companies feel excited. Lin Kun, Deputy Director of Chigo Air Conditioning Technology, told reporters that many years ago, the China Household Electrical Appliances Association organized mainstream air-conditioning companies to carry out R290 refrigerant substitution tests. Companies including Chigo, Midea, and Gree have been conducting related products. R&D and experimentation.


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