On October 15, 2016, with the United States’ leadership, 197 countries adopted an amendment to phase down Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol. Under the amendment, countries committed to cut the production and consumption of HFCs by more than 80 percent over the next 30 years. The goal is to reduce the greenhouse gasses and lower global warming. Each refrigerant now has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) number, which represents the potential greenhouse gasses released in metric tons by its use over a 100 years period.
Although there is no national mandate to phase out R-410A at this time, HVAC equipment manufacturers will be replacing R-410A to a lower (GWP) refrigerant. On September 26, 2019, Daikin/Goodman announced they are developing ducted and ductless residential, light-commercial products utilizing R-32 refrigerant for the North America market. Daikin adopts R-32 for key HVAC products in North America to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts.
R-32 is an HFC refrigerant that has a GWP of 675, roughly 30% of that of R-410A (GWP 2088). And like R-410A, R-32 has a zero Ozone depletion potential. R-32 systems use up to 20% less refrigerant than R-410A. R-32 is a single component refrigerant which can be transferred in either liquid or gas state. Single component means no temperature glide; you can top off a refrigerant charge because the refrigerant is not compromised. R-32 is easier to recycle than R-410A refrigerant because it is a single component refrigerant.
Along with other next-generation solutions, R-32 has a safety classification of A2L. A2L means the refrigerant has lower toxicity and lower flammability. Ignition of an A2L refrigerant is difficult even if it is attempted intentionally. If an accidental release of an A2L refrigerant occurs from a cylinder or piping, the velocity will be too high to ignite near the release point and the concentration will be too low where the velocity becomes low enough.
R-32 is not new. Daikin developed R-32 refrigerant and was the first to introduce R-32 residential air conditioners and heat pumps globally. Since 2012, Daikin has sold more than 21 million R-32 residential units worldwide, and Daikin estimates that more than 84 million R-32 residential units have been installed across 70 countries industry-wide. R-32 should not be new to service technicians; R-410A is made up of 50% R-32 and 50% R-125. It has slightly higher pressure than R-410A, but installers and servicers may not even notice a pressure difference on their manifold gauges with R-32.
Additional information and resources available at https://r32reasons.com/.