When the realisation of the damage that refrigerants can cause to the atmosphere hit the industry, there was a quick acknowledgement that new ideas and new ways to do things were needed. No longer could air conditioning units and refrigeration equipment use gases that were harmful to the planet. But developments of this nature don’t happen overnight and it has taken time for replacements for the harmful CFCs to be created. One of the first of these is called R32 but what is it and why it is an improvement?
Changing face of refrigerants
When the Montreal Protocol of 1987 and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 came into force, there was a widely recognised need to change the face of refrigerants. The commonly used R12 CFC had an Ozone Depletion Potential or ODP of 1 – this means it is as harmful as the CFC-11 that is used as a baseline for all ODP measurements. Additionally, it has a 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 10,900 – these measures how much heat a particular gas traps in the atmosphere.
R12 was replaced by R22 which is an HCFC and has an ODP of 0.055 and a GWP 1,180 so a vast improvement but still with the potential to cause a great deal of damage to the planet. This, in turn, was replaced by R410A which is currently the most commonly used refrigerant. This has an ODP of zero but a GWP of 2,090.
Introduction of R32
The creation of R32 showed instant benefits – it, too, has an ODP of zero and has a much lower GWP of 675. This means it has only one third the GWP of R410A. By replacing all the R410A with R32, the impact on global warming would see around 800 million tons less CO2 in the atmosphere compared to the ongoing use of R410A.
However, the biggest problem of R32 is that it is more complicated and difficult to handle than other refrigerants. This had limited the ability to use it for some time. Now, a new development by Daikin means that the use of R32 can now grow and those important greenhouse gas savings can begin to be made as the R32 is introduced into air conditioners.
Daikin is both a manufacturer of R32 refrigerants and a manufacturer of air conditioning systems. This unique position meant they were able to work at bringing the two together for the first time and now this facility is available for businesses of all kinds around the world.
Total Environmental Kooling is an air conditioning installation expert based in Bristol and a Daikin D1+ Premium Partner. This means businesses can start to incorporate the new systems into their premises while reducing their carbon emissions. For more information on our air conditioning systems, please call us on 0117 952 3355 or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you.