British refrigeration manufacturer Precision has announced that, following extensive testing, it will phase out use of R-404A refrigerant in the next few weeks, and move to Honeywell’s new HFO blend Solstice N40 (R-448A), for all its freezer and blast chiller products. 

R-404A is the market’s standard refrigerant for freezers and blast chillers, but has a high GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 3,922.  The new R-448A refrigerant’s GWP is around 63% lower at just 1,386.  It is also non-toxic and non-flammable.  What’s more, it is more energy efficient than R-404A.

Now there is a viable alternative, it makes no sense to use R-404A.” says Steve Goldsmith, Precision’s Engineering Manager. “We are seeing an average of 4% energy saving on the cabinets we have tested so far, the bigger gains coming from blast chiller applications.

Precision and Honeywell are currently testing new HFO refrigerants for general chilled storage.  “The refrigerator solution, a viable alternative to refrigerant R-134A, will be available in the next few months,” says Steve.  “R-404A’s very high GWP was the prime driver in tackling it first.” 

The move to N40 / R-448A is in line with Precision’s commitment to working with new technologies that reduce refrigeration’s impact on the environment.  For example, the company was the first catering refrigeration manufacturer to use insulation based on vegetable oils rather than petrochemicals. 

“We’ve been working with closely with Honeywell on HFO refrigerants for over two years,” says Nick Williams, Precision’s Managing Director.  “This is an important development – a viable, safe, green and energy efficient alternative to R-404A.  Hopefully more manufacturers will make the switch to N40 / R-448A as soon as possible.

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