A note from one of KIG's several manufacturers regarding the coming process chiller refrigerants changes.
2024/2025 Refrigerant Changes Reducing Global Warming Potential (GWP)
To reduce global warming potential that is associated with climate change, manufacturers of process chillers are in a transitional period for refrigerant use including the scheduled phase out of R134A (1,430 GWP), R404A (3,922 GWP), R407C (1,774 GWP) and R410A (2,088 GWP).
United States Federal Government regulations will eliminate use of these refrigerants in NEW process chillers beginning January 1, 2025. However, some states, designated CARB states, following California’s Air Resource Board, may not allow the use of these refrigerants in NEW equipment beginning January 1, 2024. The new regulations require refrigerant(s) used in process chillers to have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) rating of 750 or less. It is not clear whether NEW equipment manufactured prior to January 1, 2024, will be allowed to be used within these CARB states if purchased before and/or delivered after January 1, 2024. There are still many details with residential, commercial, and industrial regulations that have not been determined, disclosed, or finalized.
In addition to California, these fourteen states & the District of Columbia, designated CARB states, may implement the same refrigerant regulations beginning January 1, 2024.
The most promising refrigerant candidates for use in process chillers are R454B (Approximate 466WP) and R513A (Approximate 573 GWP).
R454B refrigerant has been designated as a replacement for R410A. However, refrigerant R454B is classified as an A2L type gas and is characterized as mildly flammable which may require end users to install appropriate safety equipment in accordance with local and federal codes and regulations. Many states have not yet updated building codes or regulations to allow the use of R454B because of its characterization as mildly flammable. While some states may allow R454B refrigerant, it is the responsibility of the installing contractor or owner to confirm the refrigerant used meets their respective state & local codes. If refrigerant mitigation or sensing equipment is required, it will be up to the installer or owner to provide. Making the transition more difficult, many components suitable for the use with some of the new low GWP refrigerants have not been readily available for implementation and product testing.
R513A is classified as a nonflammable refrigerant, is a direct replacement for R134A, and has similar capacity ratings to R134A.