Refrigerant Solutions for Refrigeration Applications
Refrigerant Solutions for Refrigeration Applications

Emerson Climate Technologies is committed to supporting solutions that safeguard food and protect the environment. Minimizing the impact of climate change through responsible energy use and reducing carbon footprint are key environmental objectives.

The debate about what constitutes the 'right choice' of refrigerant for commercial refrigeration applications has intensified in recent years, especially as leakage studies have revealed the true effects of HFC emissions in centralised systems. Considerable reductions in emissions are certainly possible, but they do incur costs. In Europe today, R-404A is the most commonly used refrigerant. Although it is non-toxic and has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP), it does have a high Global Warming Potential (GWP). Using alternative systems and moving to a refrigerant with a lower GWP can significantly reduce the impact of environmentally damaging emissions.

However, deciding on the right choice for a given application is not a simple task as it depends on a variety of criteria. The universal refrigerant for all applications does not exist! In practice, regional differences, individual assumptions and priorities drive the refrigerant selection process. In order to shed light into the topic, Emerson has conducted a comprehensive study, analyzing the different refrigerant / technology combinations under three main angles: energy consumption, environmental impact and investment cost. The diagram aggregates the results, the smaller the score the better a given configuration performs for Power Consumption, TEWI and Investment Cost.

In retrofit applications, R-407A and lately R407F can significantly reduce GWP versus today with only minor changes to the existing installation being required. R-744 booster systems are the most effective in terms of direct GWP reduction, but also demand significant changes in system architecture, limiting their application mainly to new installations. R-744 booster systems are, at least today, still more expensive than today’s systems and they do loose efficiency in warmer climates. R-744/R-134a hybrid systems may be considered a good compromise between a fully synthetical and a fully natural refrigerant solution. HFO based refrigerant blends may in future further improve GWP of hybrid systems.

Links to press releases and papers:

This paper contains the analysis of five supermarket system types with 13 case studies. The results enable comparison of the solutions in terms of : annual running cost in both northern and southern Europe, lifetime CO2 emissions (TEWI) in both northern and southern Europe and a comparative cost study of the various system types.

Refrigerants / Lubricants approved for use in Copeland™ brand compressors

  • Emerson recently updated the chart on refrigerants and lubricants approved for use in Copeland™ brand compressors. 

Refrigerant Changeover Guidelines

  • Refrigerant Changeover Guidelines – HCFC R-22 to HFC R-422A/D provides contractors with detailed considerations and procedures for retrofitting Copeland brand compressors to work with newer, environmentally friendly refrigerants. It takes the contractor through the changeover procedure step by step, calling out all individual actions to be taken, ranging from leak testing to component labeling.
  • The bulletin also notes special considerations that contractors should take into account before beginning the retrofit process, including preparatory measures and precautions, additional replacement requirements and a listing of tools and items necessary for the retrofit.