In comparison with R-404A/R-507A, Opteon® XP40 has around 65 percent lower global warming potential and is also significantly more energy efficient
As part of its programme to cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a Dutch retailer is converting the refrigeration systems in some 200 of its supermarkets to new Opteon® XP40 (R-449A) refrigerant from DuPont. This decision is the outcome of practical trials which the company carried out in close cooperation with DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts and the Dutch consultants P.W. Vlaskamp B.V. Refrigerants Consultancy, Sleeuwijk. Opteon® XP40 is part of the new low GWP refrigerant family from DuPont and is suitable as an alternative to R-404A/R-507A in new and existing commercial and industrial medium and low temperature refrigeration systems. Having a GWP of 1397, its global warming potential is 65 percent lower than these existing refrigerants. Moreover, its elevated energy efficiency means it can help in bringing about a significant reduction in the overall CO2 emissions arising from refrigeration system operation.
The Dutch retailer has the target of cutting its CO2 emissions per square metre of sales floor by 20 percent relative to 2008 levels by 2020. This also involves reducing the overall greenhouse gas emissions arising from leaks and energy consumption by medium and low temperature refrigeration systems so far operated with R-507A. The company accordingly tested various alternative refrigerants with reduced global warming potential.
In the course of this project, three supermarkets were converted to Opteon® XP40, one from R-407F and two from R-507A. The conversion was carried out by Retail Technics B.V., Nijkerk, The Netherlands. The work took three to four hours in each case and was carried out outside opening hours. Once the original refrigerant charge had been removed, the filter dryer was firstly replaced, as is usual during servicing. The system was then evacuated, subjected to leak testing and filled with Opteon® XP40. Since the company uses electronic expansion valves and the Danfoss ADAP-KOOL®* System, the system set up was very easy for Opteon® XP40 with new coefficients entered via laptop. No further components had to be replaced nor was an oil change required. Measurements before and after the retrofit revealed that this refrigerant has a distinctly higher energy efficiency than the previously used R-407F and R-507A.
The technical manager says: “The conversion to Opteon® XP40 was completely straightforward and unproblematic in every case. Calculations carried out together with DuPont and Vlaskamp have shown that the capital expenditure will be paid back within an acceptable time due to the refrigeration systems’ significantly lower energy consumption. Management has therefore decided to convert some 200 systems which are currently operated with R-507A to the new DuPont refrigerant. Work started in September 2014 and is set to be completed shortly.”
The consultant has calculated that this conversion to Opteon® XP40 will cut total direct greenhouse gas emissions by 10,360 tonnes of CO2 per year. The company is thus anticipating the new European F-Gas Regulation (EU) No. 517/2014 which enters into force on 1 January 2015 and specifies that the number of tonnes of CO2 equivalents available on the market will be gradually reduced over a 15 year period. In addition, from 1 January 2020, servicing systems using HFCs with a GWP value of 2500 or more will be prohibited for the majority of commercial applications. Changing R-404A/R-507A refrigeration systems over to Opteon® XP40 will ensure that these installed base systems will continue to comply with the requirements of this regulation for the remainder of their service life. This discipline is for the company an extra step next to the future new installations which will be built according to the CGF resolution.
* ADAP-KOOL® is a registered trademark of Danfoss A/S
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