ComStar International, College Point, NY, and A.S. Trust & Holding, Kaneohe, HI, will co-manufacture, market, and distribute the hydrocarbon refrigerant HCR188C1. Sources say the coolant is a patented blend of ethane, propane, butane and other pure hydrocarbons. It displays a zero global warming potential (GWP) and a zero ozone depletion rating (ODR), and is the first hydrocarbon refrigerant approved by the EPA for sale in the U.S., sources report.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has judged HCR188C1 to be non-toxic. It was designed to replace environmentally harmful CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs, and will soon be in the public comment stage, as solicited by ASHRAE.
Results are expected by October for a final ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to list the coolant as an approved refrigerant for use in home refrigerators and stand-alone freezers.
Superior to R-134a. Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc., Columbus, OH, has tested HCR188C1 and found its properties to be superior to R-134a. For example, in refrigerators running with HCR188C1, energy tests have shown a 48% decrease in power consumption when compared to the same units operating with R-134a, all while using just 25% of a normal charge of R134a (by volume) or just 40% of a normal charge of R-22. The coolant operates effectively in equipment containing mineral oil and can be used as a direct replacement in appliances and air-conditioning systems designed for R-134a and R-22.
HCR188C1 will be blended at ComStar's Houston, TX, facility, and will be available from Comstar.