UPDATED: Get involved in AHRI’s research programme to assess low GWP refrigerants

UPDATED: Get involved in AHRI’s research programme to assess low GWP refrigerants

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has announced an industry-wide cooperative research programme to identify and evaluate promising low-GWP refrigerants, including natural refrigerants, for major product categories. UPDATE: Manufacturers and laboratories are now invited to apply for testing identified refrigerant candidates, including propane and isobutane.

Titled ‘Low GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program’ (low GWP AREP), the initiative announced by AHRI on 23 March 2011 aims at accelerating the industry’s response to environmental challenges, by facilitating the selection of the most promising refrigerants and identify technical challenges and research needs.

Refrigerants encompassing a low Global Warming Potential (GWP), including natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons, will be considered for application in the following major product categories:

  • Air conditioners
  • Heat pumps
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Chillers
  • Water heaters
  • Ice makers
  • Refrigeration equipment

Call for testing identified refrigerants including hydrocarbons

Since 23 August 2011, AHRI is soliciting the participation of US-based as well as foreign manufacturers and research laboratories in testing a group of identified synthetic and natural refrigerant candidates, including hydrocarbons:

  • Isobutane (R600a)
  • Propane (R290)
  • A 40% R290 and 60% R600a hydrocarbon blend

The programme also invites submissions of existing test results and test proposals aimed at filling known gaps on comparisons to other alternative refrigerants for the following natural refrigerants:

  • Hydrocarbon R1270 (propylene or propene) R1270,
  • R717 (ammonia), and
  • R744 (carbon dioxide)

On the synthetic refrigerant side, candidates include newly developed low GWP refrigerants as well as pure HFC32 and its various blends with other HFCs. There are also some additional candidates that are proprietary refrigerants whose compositions remain confidential until the completion of the programme.

Testing at laboratories of participating companies

Participating companies will include both US and international manufacturers. Testing will be carried out at company laboratories and will encompass:

  • Compressor calorimeter testing
  • System drop-in testing
  • Soft-optimised system testing

Moreover, the programme will include heat transfer coefficient measurements performed by universities and private research laboratories.

Companies interested in testing will be required to perform all tests at their laboratories with at least one candidate refrigerant compared to its baseline, using own resources, at their own expense. Testing companies will have early access to testing results under the programme.

Submit a test plan by end of September 2011

Companies interested in testing the refrigerant candidates may request copies of the Participants’ Handbook and Test Plan Submission Template by contacting AHRI Manager of Research Xudong Wang (xwang@ahrinet.org).
Testing plans should be submitted to AHRI by 30 September 2011.

The testing results and final reports will ultimately be made available to the public once approved by AHRI.

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