ComStar to Begin Manufacture of R441a Compressors

Reported to have zero GWP and zero ODF.

HVACR and plumbing chemical manufacturer ComStar International Inc. and its China JV company, will begin offering appliance and air conditioning compressors in the U.S. and overseas markets for use with the patented and U.S. EPA-approved blended-hydrocarbon refrigerant, R441a (HCR188C), manufactured by A.S. Trust & Holdings of Kaneohe, HI.

Information on the A.S. Trust & Holdings website describes R441a/HCR188C as having zero global warming potential (GWP) and a zero ozone depletion factor (ODF). It can be retrofitted for use in most, if not all, existing refrigeration systems; including Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, Chillers, etc., and can be used immediately as a drop-in replacement retrofit and can play a key role in newly designed systems for even greater, optimized efficiency.

The compressors are made in China by Hangzhou Maidi Heating & Refrigerating Equipment Co. Ltd. under the Silekan brand name. Each compressor will be ETL approved to OEM specifications. Residential refrigerator Energy Star testing with R441a began in March 2011. ComStar is licensed as the exclusive U.S. manufacturer and distributor of R441a by A.S Trust & Holding, Inc. and Richard Maruya, the refrigerant inventor.

Domestic refrigerator energy-draw tests with R441a have shown a 48% decrease in power consumption when compared to refrigerators operating with 134a. R441a is an extremely energy-efficient blended-hydrocarbon refrigerant that operates on approximately 25% of what a normal charge of 134a would be in an appliance or automotive cooling system and at 40% of an R22-charged appliance. Electrical power consumption tests in air conditioners and other appliances have shown similar energy savings. As an added benefit, R441a has zero global warming potential and is non-ozone depleting, according to the website information.

“While ComStar offers the RS series of HFC-alternative refrigerants for in-place R22 systems, it is inevitable that hydrocarbon refrigerants are on the verge of coming into the U.S. market," says Steven P. Mella, CEO of ComStar. "As a result, ComStar has entered into agreements with Richard Maruya, the creator of R441a, to manufacture and distribute his blended-hydrocarbon refrigerant."

R441a, also known as HCR188C, is the first hydrocarbon refrigerant to be approved for sale in the United States by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. R441a is EPA SNAP-approved for use in household refrigerators, freezers and window air-conditioners. It has the ASHRAE certification as being considered non-toxic. R441a operates with mineral oil and can be used in appliances and automotive cooling systems designed for 134a and R22.

While R441a is flammable, sources say the very small amount of refrigerant required in appliances or automotive cooling systems makes the risk assessment a non-factor. A.S.Trust & Holding also has a patent on a refrigerant safety service port valve that could be used on larger systems. The valve was invented by Richard Maruya and George Whitmyre. It operates by shutting down the system when there is a drop in operating pressure. ComStar is now producing limited quantities of R441a at its certified refrigerant production facility in south Texas. R441a will be available through HVACR and appliance wholesalers nationwide.

Visit http://www.comstarproducts.com for additional information.

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