The R410A changeover is here, but what’s next?

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Change is nothing new to the Appliance Industry. And we’ve been seeing a lot of change lately. In the near future we are approaching the deadline for changeover to R410A from R-22. The higher pressures of R410A must be accommodated in the product and the process equipment. Refrigerant supply and charging systems must be capable of functioning at the higher pressures while utilizing elastomers compatible with this new refrigerant as well as the POE oils. Beware, not all POE oils react the same.

R410A is also more hydroscopic than R-22. Moisture can react with some POE oils to form acid – leading to shortened product life and decreased efficiency. Keeping oil filled compressors closed off to the atmosphere during production is important. Drying the product out and leak testing becomes critical. We’ve become very experienced and knowledgeable in designing leak testing processes.

Don’t forget about the recovery and reclamation system. That R-22 Reclaimer is not going to work with R410A.

If the changeover to R410A wasn’t exciting enough, the EPA is now targeting R-134A as a dangerous greenhouse gas. In anticipation of this ruling, various substitutes have been submitted for approval, including iso-butane, propane, and the most promising, HFO-1234yf. They all use the same POE oils, and they’re all flammable, so leak testing will be even more critical. The filling area will require additional consideration since it will be designated Cat 1, Div. II. We’re prepared for these changes. We’ll be ready when you are. Give us a call if you need to get up to speed on this process.

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