R454B: the best future-proof choice

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How to choose the best refrigerant for a chiller, heat pump or rooftop with scroll compressor technology? And why is R454B the best choice?

With the goal of reducing CO2 emissions, the F-Gas regulation considerably impacts chemical manufacturers and the HVAC industry.

Many of us can feel a little bit confusing with information about moving from high GWP to low-GWP, finding the best refrigerant for a chiller, heat pump or rooftop with scroll compressor technology or choosing between R454B or R32.

Thermocold engineers tested all the possible low-GWP alternatives to move away from the higher GWP refrigerant R410A and concluded that the most sustainable and future-proof refrigerant is R454B, excluding R32.

To compare R454B and R32, we need to stretch our attention on these 3 features, such as: direct GWP, operating maps and long-term compressor reliability.

Direct GWP
Right now the globally accepted direct GWP threshold by HVAC system designers and building consultants is 750. R32’s direct GWP exceeds this threshold, and is 45% higher than R454B’s, making R454B the more sustainable choice. The lower the GWP, the better.

Operating maps
The refrigerant in your system affects the limits within which it will optimally perform, also known as the unit's operating maps. The larger the operating map, the better, because it allows a lot more flexibility.

Because R32 generates a compressor discharge temperature that is higher than R454B, the R32 operating map is, in turn, limited and this reduces application flexibility.

A unit with R454B outperforms a unit with R32, with its extended cooling and heating capabilities particularly when the need is to deliver higher leaving hot water temperatures at lower ambient air temperatures. We also see improved seasonal efficiency for units running with R454B.
Another benefit of wider operating maps is that it is easier to replace a gas boiler, eliminating the problematic dependency on fossil fuels.

Compressor reliability
Because higher compressor discharge temperature means higher refrigerant pressure inside the compressors, this all translates into unnecessary stress and accelerated wear on the compressor, shorter compressor lifetime and ultimately less reliability. This can be greatly lessened or avoided altogether with the use of a compressor operating with R454B.

R454B is the best-balanced choice to replace R410A for all your building projects where a scroll chiller, heat pump or rooftop unit is needed.