View Full Version : R410a

29-06-2002, 02:11 PM
As an ex pat who recently passed through A/C Training in the States, I am curious why R410a is never mentioned on these message boards for those in Europe. I did hear a rumour that R410a was tried in England but they didnt like it? Its getting very big indeed here in the US, all new Split A/C systems are using it as standard and all R22 will be gone by 2030, so, Whats the deal with my home country?

Thanks in advance :confused:

PS Don't Get None on Ya! (As they say in this neck of the woods):p

01-07-2002, 06:35 PM
Perhaps I'm wrong but I think a lot of people are looking at it. We certainly are.
Major issues are getting suitable components and having someone fork out the cash for the R & D. As the few exempted applications have only a few months to completly ditch R22 and as R407C is getting fractional loss related 'performance wobbles' it will I expect appear more and more.

01-07-2002, 06:41 PM
Another good question from Nobby.

As I read the situation, it is a combination of geographical location, legislation and market forces, and outlines the differences in adoptiong new refrigerants on this side of the puddle.
We went for R407C for Air conditioning applications as I explain below, but R 410A is appearing in the UK.
The acceptance of HFCs in general has a short chequered history to date and the introduction of R410A is indicative of that. I'll try to sum up my view of a complex set of circumstances over the past 5 years or so, of which I have been an observer, though the start of the saga goes back to Rowlands and Molina's work on the causes of ozone depletion in the 70's.
Consider that all the counties that signed up for and ratified the Montreal Protocol and its revisions since 1987 have agreed to phase out CFCs and HCFCs. Although all the EU member states have signed up to it, the M P is implemented in the European Union member states by a regulation (EC Regulation 2037 /2000, 'Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer'). This regulation has the effect of law in the EC, bypassing national laws in all 15 member states. In it the phase out schedules for chlorinated gases are far in advance of those adopted by the MP. So, while you can still use R22 for example, until 2030, it is virtually gone here. No-one is producing R22 kit any more. CFCs are banned now and so are HCFCs (R22) for all new applications except reversible heat pumps, which are banned from January 2004. Indeed Germany and Sweeden banned HCFCs well in advance of this. The Regulation took effect in October 2000, the bans on HCFCs began with refrigeration almost immediately and extended to air conditioning. . For the details and the dates, you need to read article 5 in the Regulation, that you can get from the link below.

This left A/C manufacturers in Europe with a dilemma. Most refrigeration applications had shifted to other refrigerants and HFC blends that were used either as drop-in replacements or as optimised systems when new. At the same time the old chlorinated gases began to be phased out, and major customers and end users began to demand non-chlorinated refrigerants, though there are still some plant still in existence.
It would appear that the Air Conditioning field had a smaller field of candidate gases to consider that did not involve excessive penalties in ratings and capacities. The one blend that came from all this was R407C. In reality, although R410A was in existence, its higher working pressures meant that the entire system would need to be re-engineered, especially compressors. The volume and size of compressors and other components needed to satisfy commercial A/C applications simply did not exist in the world market at that time (about 4-5 years ago). Note that the vast majority of R410A compressors that came form the major fabricators available on your side of the world were mainly for the small end of the market, say 2 - 3 kW capacity. The domestic market in the UK is miniscule, though it is substantial in southern Europe. Things are changing now that bigger systems are becoming available in R 410A, even so, most new A/C systems of any size are equipped for R407C. Even so, the addition of yet more refrigerants to the array in the technicians vehicles is unpopular with technicians and service companies, especially as the higher pressures mean that more expense has to be paid out in terms of new gauges, manifolds, vacuum pumps, reclaim units etc.
So, to summarise a very complex situation:
The EC has more stringent implementation procedures of the Montreal Protocol (Geographical)
The EC legislated against chlorinated gases. (legal).
The industry had to gear up to replace R22 quickly, and R407C was readily available, albeit at extra cost, but in quantity from several suppliers. In the very early days, if I am correct, R410A was an Allied Signal product. (Market forces).
The web site is a UK Govt site that has the Regulation as a pdf, as well as some useful application notes.

It is a mind-rattling read, but article 5 has all the details and phase-out dates you need to get a fix on the reasons why we are getting out of HCFCs.

As an aside, the text of this regulation has gained the reputation as being one of the woolliest pieces of legal writing known to Man -
Good Luck,

02-07-2002, 01:23 PM
Thanks Argus
That pretty much covers all questions I had on the subject, I cut and pasted your reply and sent it to my HVAC school teacher as he was the one who brought up the subject with me being the only Brit in his class.
Thanks again for the in depth reply, Very much appreciated