Natural refrigerants in emerging countries: GTZ

Within the International Climate Initiative, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) is implementing a project aiming to introduce R290 (propane) room air-conditioning systems in China in order to replace HCFC-22. Endowed with a 2 million € budget, it is planned to help Chinese Manufacturer Gree Electric Appliances Inc. produce 180 000 R290 units annually, starting in December 2009. The systems have a COP of approx. 3.5, which is better than the EU "A" rating for air conditioners; it is cheaper than those using HCFCs or HFCs due to narrower tubes and has a lower refrigerant charge than that currently required by international standards for R290 air conditioners. Additional features include an improved electric connecter and a refrigerant leak alarm for safety, special lubricant oil enhancing compressor operation stability and reliability and an adapted exhaust structure leading to improved efficiency. It is hoped these units will save 560 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions during the units' life cycle.