Natural refrigerants: current developments and trends

The decision as to which refrigerant should be used in a refrigerating or air-conditioning system is based on the major criteria of safety, costs and environment protection. But against the background of constantly increasing energy prices, the energy consumption of a system also plays an increasingly important role. Ideally, the chosen refrigerant should have excellent thermodynamic properties, high chemical stability and good physical characteristics. Furthermore, it should have no or only a negligible impact on the environment, while also being inexpensive and available worldwide.

However, there is no one refrigerant that fulfils all these requirements. And so in practice, the decision for the most suitable refrigerant depends on a series of different factors. Here the operating area and the operator’s requirements are taken into account, together with the installation site and environmental aspects. But it is above all the actual rating of the overall refrigerating system while taking account of part load conditions that has a crucial influence on energy consumption, as the overall concept of a refrigerating system has a greater influence on efficiency than the choice of refrigerant. However, a number of current projects show that systems operating with natural refrigerants are particularly efficient and environment-friendly. Read more