Concerns persist over R466A compatibility

United states of america: New checks on R466A, Honeywell’s prolonged-awaited non-flammable decreased GWP alternative air conditioning refrigerant, are claimed to have proven equivalent performance to R410A but have yet again lifted substance compatibility problems.  

To start with declared by Honeywell in June 2018, R466A is a mix of R32 and R125 – the two parts of R410A – with the addition of 39.5% of trifluoroiodomethane, much better recognised as CF3I or R13I1. In spite of the preliminary industry enthusiasm, extra than 3 a long time on, R466A has continue to not been adopted by any OEM in a manufacturing product. And this is in spite of Honeywell insisting that R466A has undergone “extensive analysis” by OEMs and leading compressor producers. 

The hottest exams by the College of California, Davis, Western Cooling Performance Heart (WCEC), evaluated its overall performance in a Trane Basis rooftop device. The effects have been described as “very successful” displaying similar capability and COP across a extensive assortment of outdoor air problems. 

On the other hand, the UC Davis tests once more problem its material compatibility, stating that it represented a viable substitute to R410A “if the compatibility troubles with specified metals can be mitigated through the use of substitute elements and suitable additives”.

UC Davis refers to “documented concerns” all over the chemical balance of the R-13I1 part which, they say, “reacts with zinc causing the molecule to crack down”.

Honeywell has previously countered such statements, telling the Cooling Put up that the steadiness and shelf-lifetime can be resolved with normal actions practiced in the field.


The most current assessments had been carried out on a new 15-ton Trane Foundation product, brought in to switch an present 15-ton Trane R22 design on the roof of one particular of the UC Davis campus structures. The RTU was in the beginning billed with R466A and an unspecified oil additive, which the UC Davis scientists reported was “to stay away from compatibility issues” with R466A.

The additive applied in the exams was mentioned to have been designed by Trane Technologies especially to strengthen the compatibility of R13I1 with system supplies. The Trane Basis device was a production packaged R410A RTU, wherever the R410A experienced been recovered and replaced with R466A.

The procedure with R466A was monitored from July 13 to August 29, 2021. It was then replaced with R410A and monitored by means of to September 29. There was no charge optimisation executed for either refrigerant. In both scenarios, the procedure was charged with the nameplate amount of 14.6lbs, which was advised for R410A.

A former study, by WCEC, found that a refrigerant demand optimisation for R466A necessary minimal adjustments to the thermal enlargement valve and a 7% boost in refrigerant weight when compared to R410A to compensate for distinctions in refrigerant liquid densities. This task appeared at the worst-scenario situation for a fall-in replacement, where no charge optimisation was done and the charge was simply primarily based on company recommendations for R410A. 

The assessments

In the exams, R466A appeared to deliver marginally increased capacity than R410A as out of doors temperatures greater, but, in common, the potential distinctions among the two refrigerants had been in just the margin of error of the measurements. 

Ability attract assessments confirmed R466A to have a a little steeper profile with decrease electricity attract at decrease out of doors air temperatures and higher energy attract at increased out of doors air temperatures. Nonetheless, the UC Davis engineers recognised that this increase in electric power attract could be attributed to the lack of a charge optimisation with R466A. In terms of COP, the refrigerants showed very similar across all outside air temperature conditions.

The normal subcooling in the course of the measurement period of time was 9.0°F for R466A and 4.1°F for R410A

Related stories:

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