Honeywell in summer 2019 made two major announcements related to the incorporation of its Solstice® N41 (R-446A) refrigerant into HVAC applications.
In June, Honeywell representatives announced a strategic partnership with Midea Group, a leading Chinese home appliance maker, to replace R-410A with Solstice® N41 (R-466A) in HVAC applications, including variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and chiller systems. R-466A is a nonflammable and lower global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerant for stationary air conditioning systems. Midea is a technology group specializing in consumer electric appliances, HVAC systems, robots and automation systems as well as smart supply chain (logistics), providing a diverse range of products. It operates about 200 subsidiaries, over 60 overseas branches and 12 strategic business units worldwide.
“We’ve partnered with the best-of-the-best in our industry to validate the performance of Solstice N41 as a breakthrough solution,” said Chris LaPietra, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Stationary Refrigerants. “We are helping to solve for safety, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability with this solution, which offers a GWP that is 65 percent lower than R-410A. Key partnerships like the one we have with Midea help ensure it is ready for broad industry adoption later this year.”
Once commercially available in late 2019, Solstice N41 will be the first A1* (nonflammable), reduced GWP R-410A replacement offered for stationary air conditioning systems. All other reduced-GWP alternatives proposed to date as R-410A replacements are flammable, increasing risk.
“As the first nonflammable refrigerant replacement for R-410A, Solstice N41 is a promising option to ensure our products are compliant with environmental regulations in target markets,” said Mingli Tian, general manager, Central Air-Conditioning Division of Midea Group. “This cooperation will help us enter the new future with a sustainable and safe offering for end users.”
When it comes to safety, Solstice N41 significantly reduces the need for additional design and eliminates the need to incorporate the sensors and valves typically required for minimizing flammability risk. Early results also indicate this nonflammable, reduced global warming alternative to R-410A will eliminate the need for specialized contractor training for flammability mitigation -- a big advantage for the industry as it struggles to recruit and retain certified contractors.
Honeywell's second major announcement came in August, when sources reported Honeywell had partnered with Sanhua to commercialize Solstice® N41 for use in existing and new HVAC applications. Sanhua Holding Group Co. is a global manufacturer of controls and components for the HVAC and refrigeration home appliance, automotive air conditioning and thermal management industries. Based in China, the company provides more than 50 million electronic and mechanical expansion valves to the HVACR and automotive industries yearly.
“We specifically designed Solstice N41 to solve industry challenges and comply with regulations; this will be a revolutionary solution once it is ready for adoption later this year,” said Chris LaPietra, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Stationary Refrigerants. “This partnership with Sanhua reaffirms our commitment to delivering a safe, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable alternative to R-410A.”
Once commercially available in late 2019, Solstice N41 will be the first A1* nonflammable, lower GWP R-410A replacement offered for stationary air conditioning systems. All other reduced-GWP alternatives proposed to date as R-410A replacements are flammable, increasing risk to homeowners and contractors. Solstice N41 also offers a GWP that is 65% lower than R-410A.
“The nonflammability attributes of Solstice N41 make it a game-changer for the HVAC industry,” said Huang Ningjie, vice president and chief scientist of Sanhua Holding Group. “We have achieved significant progress on qualifications of HVAC critical components for use in air conditioner refrigerants using Solstice N41, and the assessment is expected to be completed within this year. We’re well positioned to serve the industry as it prepares to transition to Solstice N41 later this year.”
N41 significantly reduces the need for additional design and eliminates the need to incorporate any sensors typically required for minimizing flammability risk. Early results also indicate this nonflammable, lower GWP alternative to R-410A will eliminate the need for specialized contractor training for flammability mitigation -- a big advantage for the industry as it struggles to recruit and retain certified contractors.
Earlier this year, Toshiba Carrier recognized Solstice N41’s potential as a R-410A replacement to meet requirements under the Kigali Amendment in Japan early this year.
Honeywell is a world leader in the development, manufacture and supply of refrigerants sold globally under the Solstice® and Genetron® brand names for a range of applications, including refrigeration, building and automobile air conditioning. Honeywell and its suppliers have completed a $900 million investment program in research and development and new capacity based on Honeywell’s hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) technology.