A2L (flammable) R32 Refrigerant (1)
Why flammable refrigerants?
What is Refrigerant? Which Standards Apply?
Refrigerants are chemicals with unique thermodynamic properties advantages, have very low boiling temperatures, and can carry 10 times more energy per weight than water and 50 times more than air. Refrigerants are main energy transfer media in any DX (Direct Expansion) Cycle that exists in Heat Pump, Air Conditioig system or Refrigeration system. (click hear to learn more about DX Cycle)
What are refrigerants specification and safety classifications that must be taken into account when selecting Air conditioning or Heat Pumps for Public or Domestic Buildings?
Flammability: There are THREE Flammability classifications (A1-non-flammable, A2/A2L-flammable, A3-Highly flammable) accordance with ISO 817:2014 (E) & ASHRAE Standard 34 International Standards.
Toxicity : There are THREE Toxicity safety limits according to BSEN 378-1 (ISO 5149-1) that relates to the displacement of Oxygen in the occupied space when refrigerants leak, B1 (Lo), B2 (Med), B3 (Hi). Limits are measured in kg/m3.
Who Introduced A2L Flammable R32 as a single component and why?
Who - Daikin Industries manufacturers of AC equipment & Chemicals 1st introduced flammable refrigerant A2L class R32 as a single component in Japan in 2012 and 2015 in Europe and registered 300+ patents regarding R32, Daikin licenced the Patents to other manufacturers Business Cartel (such as Mitsubishi, Panasonic, LG, Samsung etc)and forcing them to stop supply of small splits (less than 3 kg charge) with A1 class non-flammable R410A well before EU supply ban on 1st January 2025!.
A2L class R32 is a low GWP TEMPORARY short term substitute for HFC R410A A1 class non-flammable HGWP Refrigerants for small splits with up to 3 kg system charge ONLY.. There are no ban for systems charged more than 3 kg (e.g. VRF, Roof Tops, packaged splits, chillers etc or ban or use.
Why - Daikin introduced R32 as a single component? The false argument is that it has Low GWP if leaked!, but, intentionally avoiding to mention the possible consequences, being flammable, when leaked?. Intentional Greenwashing* of the fact that flammables (A2 or A2L) never been used in Public or Residential Buildings since 1928.
False claim: According to Daikin Chemicals page 12 "under Japan‘s High Pressure Gas Safety Act, it is not classified as a flammable gas?" (It does not however states it is non-flammable?!) challenging ISO 817 & ASHRAE 34, International Standards.
A2L R32 does not meet UK, EU or International safety regulations,
HFC A2L flammable R32 was introduced as mixture (due to its flammability) more than 25 years ago. Daikin itroduced equipment chargd with flammable R32 as a single components in 2012 in Japan and 2015 in Europe. (click on images for more)
UL Test Report 2021 highlights extra precautions required by the fire authority
Is A2L class R32 safe and is it legal?
Duties, responsibilities and obligations when dealing/handling or specifying A2L class flammable refrigerants
a) Manufacturer, Importer, Distributor legal OBLIGATIONS
b) Extra Engineer Safety qualifications
in addition to C&G 2708 or F-gas certification, handling A2/A2L class (flammable) & A3 class (highly flammable) refrigerants requires (Note: F-Gas Certification has nothing to do with F-Gas Regulations)
c) Extra Installation Safety
Materials and costs of components required for A2L class Flammable. (ventilation, alarms, pipe protection electrical installation and location of equipment).
To meet manufacturers installation recommendation which are not mentioned at point of sale!!
d) Extra End Users awareness
End Users MUST be clearly Informed of EXTRA precautionery requirements, risks and restrictions of use as indicated in the User Manual (examples below are of various major manufacturers).
It is the Specifier and Installer's responsibility to ensure compliance. Do not accept manufacturers Greenwashing statements.
Remember there are safer (lower GWP than flammable R32 or any A2L class) A1 class non-flammable options
A2L class flammable R32 is an important component (Zeotropic mixture) of many A1 class non-flammable refrigerants (e.g. R407C [R32+R134a+R125], R410A [R32+R125]). It has been around more than 20 years to replace A1 class non-flammable HCFC22 due to its ODP( Ozon Depletion Potential). The mixture with R125 is to suppress the flammability of R32 to qualify as an A1 class non-flammable,for safe use in Public & Residential Buildings*1.
Accordingto BSEN378:2016 R32 toxicity (B2L) limit is 0.3 kg/m3 while R410A (B1) is 0.44kg/m3 which means 46.7% larger safe area if R410A is used.
Note; toxicity level is set by refrigerant concentration when leaked. It displaces oxygen in the air.
Daikin (Patent holder) incorrectly states that less R32 charge is needed!!. This is incorrect as R32 is more missable with oil and 20°C higher discharge temperature means compressor speed needs to increase to compensate for nominal capacity and reduce discharge temperature to avoid possible ignition of the oil which could lead to explosion. (see deisel effect).
Note: Same R32 refrigerant charge can be applied to R410A with no loss to nominal capacity, as inverter compressor speed is controlled by space temperature demand.
A2l flammable refrigerants can and will PROPAGATE FIRE in the event of a leak (UL test) in 1998 & 2021
A2L class flammable R32 is a short term (to be replaced in 2023) refrigerant with a low GWP of 675 (if leaked, but will propogate fire), in small Split Systems,with a charge of less than 3kg, according to (EU Rule) This is not until 2025 & with exemptions. (This will change after the 1st January 2021 as the UK is following Montrael / Kigali international Protocole & revised UK Building Safety Regulation as a result of the Grenfell Tower disaster)
A2L class flammable R32 as a single component, is falsely claimed, can carry more energy (aprox 1-4% depending on temperatures) per wieght, than R410A? The facts are, due to i) high discharge temperatures (20°C+), ii) high missability with oil iii) flammabilty manufacturers has to a) Reduce refrigerant charge, b) Increase compressor speed & c) Adjust and limit operation due to the flammability and possibile explosion (click Diesel effect).. (see Daikin Chemical document), (UL test
Daikin and other manufacturers in the Cartel are refusing to supply or confirm necessary certification to prove compliance with Directives such as ATEX 34/2014 or H&S 2016 no.1107 and Statutory Instrument or meet Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) "CAP Code" ?. They have intentionaly (Cartel) withdrew legal, approved & safe R410A (A1 class non-flammable) from UK and some EU countries BUT NOT in USA, JAPAN, CHINA, MID East, AFRICA, South America, India, etc.
A2L HFC R32 charged refrigeration cycle can explode? YES (Called Diesel Effect):
a) If air or moisture remains in the system (inaccurate vacuuming), that might ignite the oil during compression cycle. [R32 discharge temp is 20°C higher than R410A]. Fuel (R32+oil) + Oxygen + Heat
b) If the system is in the proximity of a fire
UK Government view for not committing to flammable refrigerants: UK Government Study of the impact of high GWP A1 class non-flammables refrigerants (e.g. R410A) in Heat Pumps, concluded that the carbon benefit of displacing fossil fuels was around 17 times higher than the impact of refrigerant leaks. without the risks, cost and uncertainty of A2L class flammable refrigerants future (e.g. R32)
The upcoming Building Health & Safety revision (a result of Grenfell Tower disaster) will BAN the use of FLAMMABLE materials in Public & Domestic buildings*1.
Space Air® say: It is a shame that A2L R32 is being forced on the UK and some EU countries by a manufacturer, Space Air promoted for 36 years as the true innovator and leader. Unfortunatly Daikin Industries under their chairman Mr. Noriyuki Inoue deceptivley introduced R32 as a single component in Japan in 2012 & in EU in 2015.
Can you drop R410A refrigerant into an R32 designed cycle?
Yes, due to (important warning: You MUST not drop R32 into an R410A designed system)
- R410A non-flammable & R32 flammable are both HFCs and have the same Thermodynamic properties except R32 has higher discharge temperature and R410A. R410A graph is within R32 parameters (see enthalpy chart)
- R32 & R410A oompressor oils are the same. Note: R32 has higher misibility than R410A
- Refrigerant charge the same (less than R410A due to high temp which might ignite oil in the comression cycle)
- Nominal capacities are the same due to higher comressor inverter speed. Note: R32 less charge is due to its higher oil misability
- Refrigeration cycle for R32 has extra safety controls due to flmmability
- All indoor units are the same configeration and duty, air flow and electrical charasterics.
Daikin Industry used its strength in innovation and customer trust (Space Air supported and promoted between 1980 - 2016), to monopolize the patents (300+ no.) in the use of flammable R32 as a single component and deceptively promoted them to other Japanese, Korean and Chinese manufacturers and forced them to follow Daikin patents guidelines creating a Business Cartel , Greenwash* DAIKIN Advert Example. Worthy to note that no US major manufacturer use or any country outside Japan, Korea, China use R32 or any flammable in small AC equipment.
a) one will ask if A2L class is flammable or not?, Knowing very well that only non-flammable refrigerants used since 1928!! and,
b) Daikin is no. 1 and have Chemical Interest, manupilated EU legistlators to adapt and monopolised the EU quota system (Daikin has 28 quota out of 200).
(Note: The quota system is under rivision to correct the abuse and to alline EU with Kigali amendment to the Montrael Protocol)..
The Business Cartel (forced by Daikin patents and control of EU Quota) starved the UK and EU market of A1 class non-flammable R410A in order to promote the sale of uncertified equipment charged with A2L class flammable R32, which lead to the hiking of prices of A1 class non-flammable refrigerants in 2017/2018 (e.g. R410A from £14/kg to over £80/kg) knowing very well that any EU ban will not apply till January 2025 and only for splits systems charged with upto 3kg (click for details).
"Life, in any form, is more important than commercial deception and false claims"
See more by clicking on images
*Greenwashing is a deceptive form of marketing that claims a company's products, policies and goals are environmentally friendly and therefore do less damage to nature, with an underlying purpose to increase profits
*1 Public Buildings means any building having free entrance or permissible for entry to the common masses then that building will be called public buildings e.g. Offices, Restaurants, apartments, shops, Hospitals, Hotels, Supermarkets, Sports centres and Care homes.
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