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Determining Application Limits & Safety Requirements for Low-GWP Flammable Refrigerants


Various governments around the world have been regulating hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants for decades, and there now is a global treaty in effect – the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol – that establishes a global phase down structure for the chemicals.

In anticipation of just such a global agreement, AHRI in 2011 initiated a robust research program to identify suitable alternative refrigerants. Most of those identified have low toxicity, but in some cases have different flammability characteristics than those in use today. In a follow-on research program, AHRI, ASHRAE, and the U.S. Department of Energy have thus far invested nearly $7 million to study the safe use of those alternative refrigerants that are classified as flammable or mildly flammable.

Webinar 1: Air Conditioning Applications
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

AHRI Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Helen Walter-Terrinoni led a panel of experts to discuss leak and ignition testing of low-GWP refrigerants in air conditioning equipment under whole room scale conditions, as well as refrigerant leak characteristics in real-life applications.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 2: Commercial Refrigeration Applications
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

This webinar discussed IEC/UL Standard 60335-2-89 on refrigerant charge level requirements and summarized the most recent test results on dispersion and ignition tests of low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in commercial refrigeration display cases. The testing has covered A2L and A3 refrigerants, and the webinar included a comparison of these refrigerants on an equivalent basis for single-door and three-door reach-in coolers.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 3: Understanding Refrigerant Sensors
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

This session introduced the flammability risk mitigation concept using refrigerant sensors and reviewed the major differences in sensor requirements across key safety standards. Researchers presented ongoing efforts to evaluate a number of sensors using different sensing technologies.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 4: Predictive Tools for Refrigerant Behaviors
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Scientists with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology introduced their modeling tools and discussed with industry members the tools’ applicability to simulating refrigerant dispersions and predicting the burning velocity of refrigerant blends.

View the webinar here.

Webinar 5: Refrigerant Ignition in Open Flame/Hot Surfaces: Has Anything Fundamentally Changed?
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

This session will report on the ongoing research efforts and existing testing results to understand the implications of exposing fluorinated refrigerants to fire or hot surfaces as well as a comparison of legacy and low-GWP refrigerants relative to heat and gases generated in these events.

View the webinar here.

For more information, contact:
AHRI Meeting Planner Lauren Miller at 703-600-0354 or lmiller@ahrinet.org.