R134a refrigerant for car - Starget

3 Pionts about refrigerant for car

The refrigerant for car is the medium for the operation of car air conditioning, and the importance of air conditioning in cars is self-evident.

Necessity of Car Air Conditioning

Car air conditioning has functions such as ventilation, heating, cooling, and air purification. It maintains normal ventilation in the vehicle, injects fresh air into the cabin, provides heating and cooling effects in cold or hot weather, and purifies the air to ensure cleanliness and freshness.

Working Principle of Car Air Conditioning

Compression process: The compressor draws in the low-temperature, low-pressure refrigerant gas from the evaporator outlet and compresses it into high-temperature, high-pressure gas, which is then discharged from the compressor.

Heat dissipation process: The high-temperature, high-pressure superheated refrigerant gas enters the condenser, where, due to a decrease in pressure and temperature, the refrigerant gas condenses into a liquid and releases a large amount of heat.

Throttling process: The refrigerant liquid with higher temperature and pressure increases in volume after passing through the expansion device; the pressure and temperature drop sharply and are discharged from the expansion device in the form of mist (fine droplets).

Heat absorption process: The misty refrigerant liquid enters the evaporator, where, as the boiling point of the refrigerant is much lower than the temperature inside the evaporator, the refrigerant liquid evaporates into a gas. During the evaporation process, it absorbs a large amount of heat from the surroundings, and the low-temperature, low-pressure refrigerant vapor re-enters the compressor. This process repeats continuously, thereby achieving the goal of lowering the temperature of the air around the evaporator.

Types of Refrigerant for Car

Currently, commonly used refrigerants for car air conditioning in China include R-12, R-134A, R-407C, R-404A, R-22, and R-410A.

  • R-12 refrigerant has been phased out and banned;
  • R-134A refrigerant is currently widely used in the market;
  • R-404A refrigerant is mainly used in refrigeration systems for refrigerated trucks. However, it is required for one-to-two units (refrigerator plus air conditioner);
  • R-407C refrigerant is currently the preferred choice for pure electric heating and cooling systems in buses;
  • R-22 refrigerant is only used by a few car manufacturers domestically;
  • Some manufacturers use r-410A refrigerant for small-scale trials to achieve lighter, smaller, and more energy-efficient human-machine units.

The situation of refrigerant for car in international markets, especially in developed countries such as Europe and the United States, differs from that in China. The choice of refrigerant for car needs to comply with local regulations.

Development Trends of Refrigerant for Car

Due to environmental considerations, reducing and replacing hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant for car industry faces many challenges, and there is currently no perfect solution.

Currently, there are four main technological routes for replacing hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant for car industry. 

One is HFO-1234yf refrigerant, which is relatively mature in technology, requires minimal changes to the air conditioning system, and has good refrigeration effects. However, its heating effect is slightly insufficient, and energy consumption is high. 
The second is R744 (carbon dioxide) refrigerant, which belongs to natural refrigerants. It has good heating effects but a slightly higher energy efficiency ratio in high-temperature refrigeration. It requires significant changes to the design of the car air conditioning system and has leakage risks. 
The third is the R290 refrigerant, which has good heating and cooling effects but is flammable. It requires a secondary circuit design, affecting the refrigeration and heating efficiency, and is not yet applied in mass-produced vehicles. 
The fourth is mixed refrigerants, which are less commonly used but highly researched, aiming to achieve a balance in safety, efficiency, and economy.

The above four technological routes have their advantages and disadvantages in technical performance, and there are significant differences in safety, economy, and maturity. Moreover, the situation varies between countries, especially between developed and developing countries. Therefore, the automotive industry has not yet reached a consensus on a technological route and still needs to increase research and development efforts.

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