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SAE International Cooperative Research Rates New Refrigerant for Mobile Air-Conditioning Systems Superior

WARRENDALE, Pa., Nov. 21, 2008 - A new refrigerant for use in mobile air-conditioning systems (MAC) -- HFO1234yf -- offers superior environmental performance and can be used in future vehicles that are designed to use the new refrigerant, according to results of an SAE International Cooperative Research Program (CRP).

The CRP 1234-1 and CRP1234-2 programs, launched in 2007, investigated the safety and performance of the new refrigerant. Under the direction of the SAE CRP members (who are international experts in this field from OEMs, Tier 1 and 2 Suppliers and independent test facilities), air-conditioning system performance, material compatibility and relative risks of HFO1234yf were evaluated. Based on these studies, this alternative refrigerant -- of all proposed alternatives -- has been judged to have the lowest risk for use in MAC systems in meeting environmental and consumer needs. This is demonstrated in the results of the Life Cycle Climate Protection analysis to estimate CO2 Equivalent emissions from MAC Operation (GREEN-MAC-LCCP©) as described in SAE J2766.

These SAE CRP activities are in response to the international regulations by the European Union that require all new vehicles receiving type approval in 2011 or later to use a refrigerant with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) below 150. Current global MAC systems use HFC-134a, a refrigerant having a GWP of 1,430. HFO1234yf has a GWP of only four.

SAE International has been conducting cooperative research programs since 2001 to evaluate the new, environmentally friendly refrigerants for use in MAC systems.

CRP members include major automobile manufacturers from Europe, Asia, and the U.S.  These OEMs account for approximately 70 percent of all new vehicle sales in the EU and worldwide.

More detailed results of SAE International Cooperative Research Program 1234 will be provided in the near future.

SAE International is a global association of 115,000 engineers and related technical experts in the automotive, aerospace and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.

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