SAE International Releases Test Results of the Low GWP Refrigerant for Mobile Air-Conditioning

WARRENDALE, Pa., Nov. 10, 2009 - A Cooperative Research Program conducted through SAE International to investigate the safety and environmental performance of a new refrigerant for mobile air conditioning systems, announced today the successful completion of its research.  Based on these results, the sponsors of the SAE CRP1234 have concluded that HFO-1234yf can be used as the global replacement refrigerant in future mobile air conditioning systems. From the evaluation and test results it has been concluded that HFO-1234yf can be safely accommodated through established industry standards and practices for vehicle design, engineering, manufacturing, and service.

The report is the third SAE report to evaluate the new refrigerant. The recent two-year long global research program was to determine the safety and environmental characteristics of HFO-1234yf. These investigations have confirmed that HFO-1234yf is an environmentally friendly refrigerant suitable for use in direct expansion Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) systems. HFO-1234yf is a non Ozone Depleting Substance with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 4. In comparison, the current refrigerant, R-134a, has a GWP of 1430. 

As part of the studies the automotive industry conducted evaluations on a variety of vehicle applications.  Additional testing and research was conducted at internationally recognized laboratories to verify worldwide acceptance for one common global replacement refrigerant.  The vehicle OEMs evaluated the investigations conducted by Gradient LLC (USA), Exponent Engineering and Scientific Consulting (USA), Creative Thermal Solutions [CTS] (USA), Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques [INERIS] (France), – Institut fur Luft und Kältetechnik - Dresden [ILK- Dresden] (Germany), TNO (The Netherlands), Underwriters Laboratories (USA), WIL Research Laboratories (USA), Det Norske Veritas (Norway/Japan), Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences (USA) and Hughes Associates Inc. in USA.

The results from the CRP1234 programs that investigated the new refrigerant for use in mobile air conditioning systems (cars and light trucks) are available on-line at http://www.sae.org/standardsdev/tsb/cooperative/crp1234-3.pdf

Extensive testing supported by multimillion dollar (USA) funding and in-kind support for SAE CRP1234 projects has been provided by 15 vehicle OEMs (from China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, UK, and USA,) and 18 Tier one suppliers (from Asia, Europe, and USA).

SAE International is a global association of more than 121,000 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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