Refrigerant costs seem unlikely to fall in the near fut […]
Refrigerant costs seem unlikely to fall in the near future. Supplies of traditional refrigerants are being reduced, and new alternatives being developed will likely carry the price premium that comes with having limited suppliers and competition.
But it is not only the increase in prices that is an issue. Fluctuating costs and supply mean that designing for lower refrigerant charge also reduces a manufacturer’s exposure to risk should things change at short notice.
Reducing charge can also significantly improve installation flexibility. A reduced charge means A2L, A2, and A3 refrigerants can be used in a greater range of settings too — as it becomes easier to satisfy standards like EN 378:2016 and ISO 5149:2014.
And with easier installation comes easier servicing. By making units simpler and lower in charge, servicing and maintenance can be carried out more quickly and safely — further reducing total cost of ownership and offering a competitive advantage.
Potentially, reducing refrigerant charge can make systems safer, more flexible, and more competitive. It can be achieved in a number of different ways — many of which also bring an additional benefit to the system’s full- and part-load efficiency, or overall size.
We’ve identified seven approaches engineers can take to reduce refrigerant charge without the need to compromise on safety, efficiency, or cost.