New environmentally friendly refrigerants approved

GERMANY – The German compressor specialist Bitzer has announced that it has optimised its 2-stage reciprocating compressors and, as a result, all of its models can now be operated using R448A and R449A refrigerants and thermostatic expansion valves. The new R448A and R449A refrigerants are environmentally friendly alternatives to R404A and R507A and will deliver, the company claims, GWP values below 1400 for low temperature applications. Bitzer state that with this modification, they, as the world’s largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration compressors, have taken another step along the path towards greater energy efficiency and environmental protection.

As R448A and R449A have low global warming potential (GWP) values of 1386 and 1397 respectively, both refrigerants are eco-friendly alternatives to R404A, whose GWP value is 3922. Under the EU F-gas Regulation the use of R404A will be prohibited from 2020 in stationary areas.

‘Alternatives with very low global warming potential are the only long-term refrigerants on the European refrigeration and air conditioning market,’ stated the chief sales and marketing officer for Bitzer, Gianni Parlanti. ‘For many years, our company has been committed to the development of compressors that run with eco-friendly refrigerants and is now benefiting from the knowledge it has amassed.’

The company then explained that transitional refrigerants such as R448A and R449A are needed as the world works towards blanket use of low GWP refrigerants and for special applications. Bitzer also stated that their tests demonstrated that the technically improved compressors can be run perfectly with the two refrigerants – both with and without the use of a liquid subcooler. The company declared that the application areas for the new refrigerants are practically identical to those of R407F, while they have also fitted every model in their semi-hermetic 2-stage compressor series with thermostatic expansion valves.