Sometime back we were discussing the merits and practicability of using a more environmentally friendly refrigerant as a possible alternative to (HFC) R404a which is currently used extensively throughout Europe and, indeed, throughout the complete Frost-Tech range of refrigeration equipment.
We progressed from that discussion to prototype the P75, D60 and D75 multi-deck on care hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerant R290 (propane) to where we are today with the first cabinets being manufactured.
This hydrocarbon refrigerant have the backing of environmental groups such as “Greenpeace” and is now being widely used to replace and as an alternative to the extensively used (HCFC) refrigerant, as it is environmentally benign, has no effect on the ozone layer, and has an extremely low global warming effect on the environment.
There are now many major corporate users of refrigeration equipment replacing their (HFC) charged equipment with the “green” (HC) hydrocarbon equipment.
The reason hydrocarbon (HC) R290 (propane) can be successfully used in place of (HFC) R404a, is that at present the current range of Frost-Tech equipment e.g. the D75/150 multi-deck operate with 2 x condensing units operating in parallel, each condensing unite contains an (HFC) R404a refrigerant charge of approx. 800grams giving a total cabinet (HFC) R404a refrigerant charge of approx. 1600grams.
Whereas the latest hydrocarbon D75/150 range still have 2 x condensing units operating in parallel but each condensing unit only contains “150 grams” of (HC) R290 giving a total cabinet (HC) R290 refrigerant charge of only “300 grams” as hydrocarbon is a much more efficient refrigerant.
This maximum “150 grams” of (HC) R290 refrigerant per condensing unit is the key to the efficiency.
A British and European standard BS EN 60335 electrical appliances Safety paper has been written limiting the maximum refrigerant charge volume to a maximum of 150 grams of hydrocarbon refrigerant per condensing unit. This has taken into account any accidental hydrocarbon refrigerant leakage from any one system.
The major benefits of using Frost-Tech cabinets charged with (HC) R290 refrigerant in stores are twofold, primarily there would be an approximate reduction in sensible heat output from the condensers of approx.70% this would make a significant reduction in ambient temperatures in the store during daytime opening hours and indeed overnight. There would also be a significant reduction in the heat load on the a/c equipment.
Secondly there would be an approximate 35% reduction in electricity consumption from cabinets operating on the (HC) R290 refrigerant compared to the (HFC) R404a refrigerant charged cabinets which are currently in operation. This in itself could reduce the present store/estate electricity consumption account considerably.
We hope you find this Frost-Tech technical update informative as We expect the hydrocarbon cabinets to become topical. We will endeavour to keep you informed of further progress.