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US to test hydrocarbon drop-in for R22 online

TESTS on the energy savings potential of a US-developed hydrocarbon refrigerant blend HCR188C2 as drop-in replacement for R22 in 50-ton air conditioners (ACs) are due to start in the United States.
The tests at Jerico Energy in Sacramento, California will be monitored online for real time results comparing an R22 unit to a modified one with HCR188C2. The tests will be run side-by-side on two identical roof-top Carrier 50DJ104 Weathermaker IV systems that are typically used for commercial building air-conditioning.

Developed by inventor and entrepreneur Richard Maruya of AS Trust & Holdings (ASTH) of Hawaii, HCR188C2 is a pure hydrocarbon non-ozone depleting blend created specifically as a drop-in replacement for hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) R22.

Mr Maruya formed ASTH in 1998 and has spent more than a decade developing hydrocarbon combinations for new refrigerant fluids and finally patented the original hydrocarbon blend, HCR188C, in 2000. HCR-188C is a blend of hydrocarbons including ethane, propane, isobutene, normal butane, isopentane, and normal pentane, with hexane and heptane added for specific applications. Its cooling efficiency is such that compared to a full charge of the CFC R-12, just one-quarter the mass of HCR-188C is needed in a refrigerator or automotive air-conditioning system. A major safety improvement of HCR-188C over current HCs lies in its reduced charge rate compared to common propane/butane combinations.

The chillers serve as an ideal test-bed, since the two large compressors come on together at all times, and two pairs of smaller compressors only come on as needed to hold the required temperature. The test-equipment at Jerico Energy will update once a minute and record evaporator temperatures, air temperatures, compressor discharge temperatures, circuit refrigerant pressures, compressor power, daily compressor energy.

ASTH has also developed HCR188C1 refrigerant to replace R134. HCR188C1 has been certified by independent testing laboratory Intertek and has received the official ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) designation R441a.

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