R134a Refrigerant Applications and Related

R134a refrigerant applications and related - Starget

R134a Refrigerant Applications and Related

The commonly used R134a refrigerant is generally known as a refrigerant for automobile air conditioners. This chapter briefly introduces the chemical properties and applications of refrigerant R134a.

1. Overview of R134a refrigerant

R134a refrigerant (1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane) is the most widely used medium and low-temperature environmentally friendly refrigerant. It has good comprehensive properties.

R134a refrigerant does not contain chlorine atoms and has no destructive effect on the ozone layer, a refrigerant with good safety properties (non-flammable, non-explosive, non-toxic, non-irritating, non-corrosive), its cooling capacity and efficiency are very close to R12 (dichlorodifluoromethane, Freon), so Considered an excellent long-term alternative refrigerant.

R134a refrigerant is currently an internationally recognized environmentally friendly alternative to R12. It does not damage the ozone layer at all. It is an environmentally friendly refrigerant recognized and recommended by most countries in the world.

It is also the current mainstream environmentally friendly refrigerant and is widely used in new refrigeration, initial installation on air conditioning equipment, and addition during maintenance. R134a refrigerant has very low toxicity and is non-flammable in the air. Its safety category is A1, making it a very safe refrigerant.

2. Application of R134a refrigerant

R134a refrigerant is the most widely used medium and low-temperature environmentally friendly refrigerant. Due to its good comprehensive performance, R134a refrigerant has become a very effective and safe substitute for R12.

It is mainly used by most people who use R12 refrigerant. Fields include refrigerators, freezers, water dispensers, automotive air conditioners, central air conditioners, dehumidifiers, cold storage, commercial refrigeration, ice water machines, ice cream machines, refrigeration condensing units, and other refrigeration equipment.

It can also be used in aerosol propellants, Medical aerosols, insecticide propellants, polymer (plastic) physical foaming agents, magnesium alloy protective gases, etc. R134a refrigerant can be widely used as a refrigerant in automobile air conditioners, refrigerators, central air conditioners, commercial refrigeration, and other industries. It can be used in medicine, pesticides, cosmetics, and cleaning industries.

3. R134a refrigerant replacement

Although R134a refrigerant has no destructive effect on ozone, it has a relatively high global warming potential (GWP) and has a large potential impact on the environment. Therefore, relevant researchers and the refrigeration industry have been looking for more environmentally friendly, low-GWP alternatives.

Here are some refrigerants being considered to replace R134a refrigerant and their pros and cons:

  • R1234yf is a low-GWP refrigerant widely recognized as a viable alternative to R134a refrigerant. Its GWP is only 1, significantly reducing its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. R1234yf has been used in some automotive air conditioning systems to comply with environmental regulations for new models in Europe and other regions; 
  • R1234ze(E) is also a low GWP refrigerant suitable for some commercial and industrial applications. Its GWP is about 6, which is still lower than R134a refrigerant. R1234ze(E) is mainly used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, especially where lower GWP is required;
  • R450A is a mixed refrigerant composed of hydrofluorocarbons and oxyhydrogens. It is considered a potential replacement for R134a, with a lower GWP. R450A is used in some specific applications, but it will take time to be promoted globally; 
  • R513A is a new non-ozone destructive, low GWP refrigerant suitable for some refrigeration and air conditioning systems. R513A has been tested and applied in some commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment;
  • HFC-152a has a lower GWP of 140 and ODP=0. However, HFC-152a is flammable and must be equipped with independent secondary circulation equipment, which obviously means additional costs. CO2 air conditioning systems have been used in industrial applications but have not been used in automobiles. The main reason is that the system requires high pressure (the required pressure is ten times that of the fluorocarbon system), so there are better solutions than this one; 
  • CO2 (carbon dioxide): Carbon dioxide is a natural refrigerant with zero GWP and no adverse effects on the ozone layer. CO2 is widely considered in hydronic heat pumps and some refrigeration systems. CO2 refrigeration systems have been applied in supermarket refrigeration freezing equipment and other fields, but their system design and operation requirements are relatively high.

4. Purchase of R134a refrigerant

Packaging: R134a refrigerant is divided into a Disposable cylinder (13.6 kg), a Refillable cylinder (400L/800L/926L/1000L), and a Tank (20T).

Purchasing channels: For retail, it is recommended to find local retailers or comprehensive online platforms. Overseas purchasing is not recommended. If you want to purchase in large quantities, you can find local dealers or manufacturers; you can also look for overseas dealers, refrigerant traders, or refrigerant manufacturers. Because the purchase volume is large, the cost of shipping can be reduced.

5. Transportation and storage of R134a refrigerant

If R134a refrigerant leaks into the atmosphere, it will cause damage to the ozone layer, so its storage and transportation require special care.

R134a refrigerant storage specifications

1) Storage facilities: R134a refrigerant should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated dedicated warehouse, away from direct sunlight and high temperatures;

2) Storage container: Special high-pressure steel cylinders or composite bottles should be used to store R134a to ensure that the container is intact and has no leakage;

3) Storage capacity: The filling capacity of each storage container should be at most its rated capacity;

4) Signs and warnings: Obvious warning signs, including flammable, toxic, and other dangerous signs, as well as safe operating procedures, should be set up near storage facilities.

R134a refrigerant transportation specifications

1) Transport vehicles: Vehicles with dangerous goods transport qualifications should be used for transportation, ensuring that the vehicles are in good condition and equipped with corresponding fire-fighting equipment and first-aid drugs.

2) Transportation personnel: Transportation personnel should receive professional training, be familiar with the properties and hazards of R134a refrigerant, and master safe operating procedures.

3) Protection measures during transportation: During transportation, ensure that the R134a refrigerant bottle is firmly fixed to avoid collision and dumping. At the same time, R134a refrigerant should be prevented from leaking and polluting the environment.

Safety operating procedures

1) When storing and transporting R134a refrigerant, personal protective equipment such as protective gloves and goggles should be worn to avoid direct contact with R134a refrigerant.

2) During operation, good ventilation should be maintained to avoid poisoning or suffocation accidents caused by excessive R134a concentration.

3) If an R134a refrigerant leakage accident occurs, an emergency plan should be initiated immediately, effective measures should be taken to control the leakage, and reports should be made to the relevant departments in a timely manner.

6. Supporting refrigeration oil and precautions

Refrigeration oils usually used with R134a refrigerant include Emkarate RL32H, RL68H, RL100H, RL170H, RL220H, ICEMATIC series, SOLEST series, etc.; the final type of refrigeration oil used in different equipment and different application sites should follow the refrigeration compression.

According to the recommendations of the compressor and refrigeration (air conditioning) equipment manufacturers, or according to the specific conditions of use of the refrigeration compressor and refrigeration equipment, determine the use of refrigeration lubricating oil with equivalent design requirements, that is, select equivalent refrigeration oil.

Technical measures: Handle in a well-ventilated area. It is in a high-pressure state. Ensure that the internal pressure of the reaction equipment does not exceed the pressure of the gas cylinder. For safety reasons, install a check valve on the gas sensing flow path. Do not remove the check valve until its contents are used up. Wear protective equipment when handling. Wash hands and face thoroughly after handling.

Handling Precautions: Avoid contact with skin, eyes and clothing.

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