Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Story of AZ-20® (R-410A)

Many people wonder about the advantages of the refrigerant R-410A and what is the background. Thanks to Honeywell, you can read all about it on their web site by clicking here or reading the following transcript taken from the Honeywell web site.


In response to the need to replace ozone-depleting chemicals, Honeywell embarked on a research program to develop environmentally friendlier refrigerants in the late 1980's. In 1991 Honeywell (then known as AlliedSignal) announced its solution, a remarkably efficient refrigerant which we called AZ-20® refrigerant, and which was later assigned the generic name R-410A. After years of effort, and a cooperative development program with the air conditioner manufacturer Carrier Corporation, the first air conditioners using R-410A were launched in 1995 under the name PURON®. In 1996, both companies were presented the Award for Stratospheric Ozone Protection by the EPA. Over time, additional manufacturers have developed their own products using R-410A.

This refrigerant is composed of two chemicals which are blended in the right proportion and act nearly as one within an air conditioning system. This is important because when a technician charges your air conditioning system with refrigerant, he or she needs to be sure that the first drop that goes in is the same as the last drop. Many other possible R-22 replacement refrigerants were invented, but had to be ruled out for this very reason.

R-410A offers some wonderful advantages, but it required the manufacturers of air conditioners to redesign their products to take advantage of the properties of the refrigerant. The reason why a refrigerant works is because it captures the heat from one place, and then releases the heat somewhere else. R-410A captures heat and then releases it better than R-22 did, so manufacturers have found that they need less refrigerant in an R-410A air conditioner than they needed in an R-22 air conditioner. Because there's less refrigerant, they need less copper tubing, and often can use a smaller compressor. The bad news was that R-410A couldn't be used in air conditioners that were made to use R-22, but the advantages for new air conditioners were too great to pass up. Honeywell works closely with manufacturers today to continue to optimize air conditioning systems to make them less expensive, more efficient, and more reliable.

At Honeywell, we're proud of our employees who worked so hard to find a solution to this problem. Believe it or not, your local supermarket or convenience store likely also uses the ozone depleting refrigerant R-22 to keep your food cold on their shelves. Of course, R-22 can only affect the environment if the refrigerant leaks out of the refrigeration system and most supermarkets work very hard to make sure that doesn't happen. Even so, Honeywell also introduced a non-ozone depleting refrigerant called AZ-50® refrigerant that many supermarkets are now using instead of R-22. Because AZ-50® refrigerant is as much as 6% more energy efficient that R-22, this product not only helps to protect the environment, but it saves supermarkets on their electricity costs. Now that's a winning solution for everybody!

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