Greg Picker

Does R134a alternative hold promise for Australia?


US refrigerant producer Koura has introduced R456A, an alternate to R134a for automotive aftermarket programs.

R456A has a world warming potential of 626 – about fifty percent that of R134a. According to Koura, trials have demonstrated R456A to be compatible with present R134a automotive air conditioning devices when preserving “high-good quality, effective performance”.

The development will come as Europe will take the next action in its HFC phase-down. Offered the increased pressure on quotas – now down to 45 for every cent of baseline – the new refrigerant could be an interesting different to R134a.

Accordingly, Koura is doing work to get EU (CE) and Uk certification for the new refrigerant, and is partaking with distributors to convey R456A to market place in just the British isles and EU.

Refrigerants Australia Govt Director Greg Picker suggests that R456A will mainly be of fascination to the provider sector.

“This clearly isn’t made for new vehicles,” Picker states, “because it would not meet up with the specifications for new cars in Europe, which say gases have to have a GWP of a lot less than 150. This is about managing the fleet of current motor vehicles when they appear in for company, where by they are putting in precious quota tonnes just to retain automobile air conditioners doing the job. This is a way to extend those tonnes.”

In Europe, R134a has been banned for new cars and trucks specified its GWP of 1,430 producers have mainly switched to systems employing R1234yf.

“The edge of R1234yf as a replacement for R134a in new automobiles is that other than staying mildly flammable, it is pretty identical to R134a in conditions of its attributes,” says Picker. “The temperature selection it works by using for its steadiness, its oil, the form of method … it did not require key adjustments in techniques, so it’s been genuinely prosperous.

“The trouble is you simply cannot adhere R1234yf in air conditioning programs in motor vehicles that weren’t intended for them for the reason that of security troubles.”

At initially look, the new refrigerant would look to have some interest for Australia, wherever new autos are still remaining marketed with R134a, and where this refrigerant is just one of the largest areas of the country’s full refrigerant bank. According to the most latest Cold Hard Information report, it built up 31.6 per cent of the full financial institution in 2019.

Picker says that correct now, tension on import quotas in Australia is not as acute as in Europe, largely simply because of the fast transition in the break up market from R410A to the reduce-GWP R32, but in the foreseeable future, these kinds of an option may possibly arrive into participate in.

“Europe improved about in 2018 – that is four a long time back now – to not acquiring vehicles with R134a methods,” says Picker. “Most of our automobiles even now have R134a units.

“So the longer-term use of this gas is far additional likely right here than in Europe. Slower uptake in this article, but a considerably far more spectacular probably use and tail. In Europe, 10 a long time from now they will not be using this gasoline specified how we’re nonetheless importing cars with R134a we could be, and by then it will make any difference.”

Picker suggests that the larger game is tightening Australia’s guidelines for mobile air conditioning units.

“Car air conditioners have a large amount of gasoline in them in phrases of proportion of in which the financial institution is,” suggests Picker. “It’s a leaky application, and there are decreased-GWP solutions that are obtainable that are not getting employed.

“That’s the kicker – we’re staying slow. We always say we’re early adopters, but not here.”



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