Where chillers are concerned new product lines are being brought to market, using the new refrigerants.
For Scroll chillers, the shift is mainly from R410A to R32 and, to a lesser extent, to R290.
For Screw chillers, the shift is mainly from using R134A to R1234ze, and, to a lesser extent R513A, especially for refits, where it is likely to be used for further 5-6 years.
Centrifugal chillers are expected to switch over from mainly using R134A to R1234ze and R1233zd.
There are many alternatives currently being tested by refrigerant producers and therefore BSRIA will be following the development and tracking the sales of air conditioning and heat pumps.
In contrast, in the US there is currently no federal legislation and no set timeline for HFC substitution. However, state regulation is accelerating HFC phase out as seen in California (and some north eastern states) California is taking the lead by prohibiting HFCs from 2024 (though residential and light commercial applications are not included in this ban). There is no clear indication of the candidate refrigerant to replace R410A. In the chiller market, future trends indicate a progressive, part market and part regulation driven phase out of HFCs and replacement of R410A and R134A with blends of refrigerants with lower GWP.
In China, environmental policies and legislation have led to a drastic reduction in R22 units. With the rise of different types of refrigerants in recent years and the increasing demand for inverter AC, R410A has become the mainstream refrigerant in the industry and R32 is seen as likely to be the next refrigerant in the medium term. However, Chinese manufacturers are also looking at R290 refrigerant as potentially the main alternative in the long term.
In terms of chillers, China’s adoption of refrigerants is not very different to that seen in Europe, with new centrifugal chillers being launched with R1234ze and its numbers are growing.