Environmental Investigation Agency

Hydrocarbons the future for residential AC?


Sector stakeholders have applauded a revised Worldwide Electrotechnical Fee (IEC) basic safety typical that will allow bigger prices of flammable refrigerants in family appliances such as air conditioners, heat pumps and dehumidifiers. In unique, it could open up the way for greater use of hydrocarbons in household air conditioning.

Conventional IEC 60335-2-40 offers with the protection of electrical warmth pumps, together with air conditioners, sanitary incredibly hot drinking water heat pumps, and dehumidifiers incorporating motor-compressors and hydronic supporter coil models. The standard has been the issue of substantially consideration, as it is noticed as a key enabler for greater uptake of very low-GWP flammable refrigerants these kinds of as hydrocarbons.

The new version of the normal will allow the use of greater expenses if extra mitigation actions these types of as refrigerant sensors and circulation followers are in spot. It also introduces a new approach for calculating most cost by getting into consideration style and design characteristics that will stop the escape of refrigerant.

Beneath the revised standard, a common break up-program air conditioner could now keep up to 988g of R290 (propane).

“The new version of IEC 60335-2-40 will enable R290 to be applied in several AC and heat-pump techniques which were earlier blocked from using this refrigerant by the outdated edition,” suggests Asbjørn Vonsild, the convenor of the IEC operating team.

“This will permit a thousand-fold reduction in immediate weather emissions in comparison with devices employing R410A.”

Propane has a GWP of 3, as opposed to R410A’s GWP of 2,088, and R32’s GWP of 675.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which has extended campaigned for greater uptake of hydrocarbons as an different to artificial refrigerants, has hailed the revised common as a significant stage to local weather-welcoming cooling.

“After urging governments and field to address this difficulty for quite a few many years, EIA is delighted to see this essential milestone achieved on the pathway to internet-zero and clean up sustainable cooling,” says EIA Climate Campaign Leader Clare Perry.

The EIA has also flagged fears all around artificial possibilities to HFCs that, whilst obtaining a low GWP, may possibly deliver damaging substances when they break down.

“The world is phasing out local weather-harming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) less than the Kigali Modification to the Montreal Protocol and we urgently need to have to adopt potential-proof, price-helpful alternatives such as propane so as not tumble into the trap of buying into one more F-gasoline business ‘solution’ these types of as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), which are laden with environmental and human health and fitness problems,” states Perry.

“With this new common, we hope the European Parliament and EU member states to recognise that HFCs are no lengthier necessary for a big portion of the air-con and warmth pump marketplace and to improve the not too long ago proposed EU F-Gas Regulation accordingly.”

The typical is envisioned to be posted on June 24. Soon after that, it ought to be adopted into regional and nationwide protection requirements and constructing codes to take comprehensive influence.



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