R452A performance and environmental impact in refrigerated transport

A paper presented at the IIR ICCC conference in China provides a review of R452A properties, system performance and LCCP impact as an alternative refrigerant in refrigerated transport.

In their paper presented during the 5th IIR Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain, Beijing, China, in April 2018, S. Kujak and K. Schulz discuss low-GWP refrigerant options and their LCCP impact for the refrigerated transport.

R452A has been demonstrated to be an acceptable replacement for R404A in over-the-road and marine transport refrigeration products and has been adopted by a number of transport refrigeration equipment manufacturers. Acceptable performance and reliability have been observed with R452A units shipped over the last 3 years.

R452A is a blend of R32/R125/R1234yf at a composition of 11/59/30 percent by weight. It provides specific environmental and safety features, including zero impact on the stratospheric ozone, low toxicity and non-flammability (ASHRAE Standard 34 and ISO 817classified Class A1 refrigerant). However, due to its relatively high GWP (1945), although 50% lower than that of R404A, it may be considered as a transitional option.

Other refrigerants, like R744, have been demonstrated in a number of transport refrigeration products, but there is limited adoption at this point. In addition, performance of R744-based equipment is not readily available to make a complete LCCP assessment.

Both laboratory and production trial investigations have shown R452A to have equivalent capacity and efficiency to R404A. R452A has been shown to have similar material compatibility and chemical stability to R404A and in combination with production experiences to date.

A Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) tool was used to assess the total GWP impact (both direct and indirect emissions), expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent mass (kg CO2eq), over the lifetime of a transport application. For this study, both R404A and R452A were analysed for a typical daily distribution scenario in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States. Overall, R452A’s kg CO2eq emissions were down approximately 9.1% over R404A.

KUJAK S. SCHULTZ K. Low GWP refrigerant options and their LCCP impact for transport refrigeration products. In: 5th IIR Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain. Beijing: IIR, 2018. Available in Fridoc.