R290 (Propane) as Refrigerant
Sustainable and efficient cooling
Sustainable and efficient cooling
Sustainability, energy efficiency, redundancy, system safety and life cycle costs are all criteria taken into account for our future-proof chillers and heat pumps. As a refrigerant, R290 – also known as propane – convinces us with its environmentally friendly properties. R290 is not only very environmentally friendly, but also a technically sensible solution. Thanks to its excellent thermodynamic properties, we achieve high energy efficiency in system operation – whether on the test stand or directly at your site.
Our systems are designed in such a way that the refrigerant charge is low while at the same time ensuring high system availability. A comprehensive safety concept guarantees safe operation of the systems.
What are the practical/regulatory limits of use or additional measures required for R290? (e.g. for NH3 mechanical ventilation of the engine room depending on the filling quantity of the system)
For which applications is the refrigerant R290 particularly suitable?
R290 is very well suited as a refrigerant in heat pumps and chillers. For many cooling and heating applications in an air/water heat pump (also in the high output range), or when used in a chiller/cold brine unit for comfort air conditioning, industrial process cooling, refrigerated goods storage, machine cooling and food refrigeration. Generally in cooling mode for all applications that require a system flow temperature between -40°C and +20°C. Propene is more suitable for applications below -15°C. In heating mode for heat pumps, which then work efficiently even at very low ambient temperatures, with a flow temperature of up to 65°C over the entire application range.
For which technical performance ranges is R290 particularly suitable? (Where are the technical performance limits of R290?)
For the refrigerant R290, scroll compressors are already available for very small applications in the watt capacity range. For the medium and large capacity range, there are reciprocating and screw compressors that can already generate over 500 kW of cooling capacity individually. An air-cooled chiller with two screw compressors can achieve a cooling capacity of up to 1.2 MW.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of R290?
What are the requirements for the machine room/installation site?
The requirements for an outdoor installation are significantly lower than those for an installation in a specially designed machine room in the building. The requirements are largely determined by the refrigerant charge of the system. The maximum refrigerant charge quantities result from the classification of the installation site, the category of the access area and the flammability class of the refrigerant (see DIN EN 378, 2018, Table C2). In most cases, there is no limit to the charge quantity. The background to this is the cooling capacity required by the customer and the resulting minimum refrigerant charge for the chiller.
Requirements for outdoor installation:
Requirements for installation in machine rooms:
The same conditions apply as for outdoor installation and the following criteria, among others, should also be considered:
Which directives and standards apply when handling R290?
What training beyond the usual content is required for handling R290 or for building a refrigeration system with this refrigerant (e.g. welding certificate for pipes of NH3 systems)?
How is the price of the refrigerant R290 developing and how is availability developing?
If the GWP quota is reduced further, refrigerant manufacturers will increasingly rely on the production of low GWP and natural refrigerants in order to utilize their production capacity. In addition, R290 is not subject to a patent, which means that there are no fees for patent rights. Stronger demand could compensate for increased supply. The resulting assumption: price remains low or falls.
The use of refrigerants is subject to various laws and regulations, such as the F-Gas Regulation. In past decades, fluorinated gases (F-gases) were frequently used as refrigerants. However, it is now known that these gases increase the greenhouse effect.