R290 Facts and Service w/ True Refrigeration

Alejandro Rios from True Refrigeration comes on to talk about self-contained R290. He explains what it is, why to love it, and how to service the sealed system.

R290 is pure propane, and it has recently made a name for itself as an emerging refrigerant. It is an A3 refrigerant, meaning that it is non-toxic and highly flammable. As we move away from HFCs and other refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP), we will encounter more flammable refrigerants, usually A2L and A3 refrigerants. R290 is a natural refrigerant and has a GWP of only 3, making it more attractive than 400-series blends and some A2L refrigerants. You can also vent R290 because it has such a low GWP and an ozone-depleting potential (ODP) of 0.

Self-contained systems that use R290 have a relatively small charge. However, they effectively run colder coils. Due to the colder coils, these systems have a net refrigeration effect (NRE) about 30% better than previous equipment models with other refrigerants. R290 is also versatile and can work in medium and low-temp refrigeration.

Many of the service procedures are quite similar to other refrigeration systems. However, you have to be EXTRA diligent to check for flammable gas leaks; you must use a combustible gas meter for leak detection, NOT your typical electronic leak detector. Like most self-contained equipment, True's equipment is factory-sealed, and you must braze in your own service ports. However, as long as you vent the refrigerant in open areas and purge the line with nitrogen, you normally don't need to worry about anything catching fire.

Alejandro and Bryan also discuss:

  • Regulations for self-contained systems
  • Terminal venting
  • High-efficiency R410A systems
  • Small charges
  • Residual refrigerant and evacuation
  • Adding service ports and sealing them
  • Refrigerant recovery with SHORT hoses
  • POE oil
  • Energy savings

Check out True's YouTube channel HERE.

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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