This year's Alternative Refrigerant Winter Meeting made clear that the car industry's decisive choice for one global refrigerant is imminent. The natural refrigerant CO2 will compete with chemical alternatives.
Leading car manufacturers, component suppliers, scientists, and governmental representatives gathered in Saalfelden, Austria to present the latest status of natural and chemical refrigerants for Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC). This year's discussions were crucial, as carmakers are likely to make their final choice for the next-generation refrigerant within the next six months.
--image1--By far the largest share of presentations focused on the natural refrigerant CO2. The key message from several interventions: CO2 components and systems are ready for an early mass production once the car industry decides for a global use of R744.
Interventions regarding CO2 technology covered:
Improved Efficiency for Small Cars with R744 (Florian Wieschollek / Visteon)
R744 as the Global Solution - Advantages & Possibilities (Frank Wolf / Obrist Engineering; Petter Neksa / SINTEF Energy Research)
Cost Efficient, High Performance Valve Family for R744-MACs (Axel Müller / Thomas Magnete)
Thermostatic Expansion Valve for High Pressure Control with Integrated Safety Features (Joan Aguilar / Otto Egelhof GmbH & Co. KG)
End Fitting for R744 Mobile Air Conditioning Systems (Antony Garcia / Hutchinson)
Sealing Solutions for CO2-HVAC Systems (Ulrich Frenzel, Freudenberg Dichtungs- und Schwingungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG)
Experimental Validation of a CO2 Prototype Ejector with Integrated High-Side Pressure Control (Stefan Elbel, Pedra Hrnjak / University of Illinois)
Experimental and Theoretical Study of a CO2 Ejector Refrigeration Cycle (Jürgen Köhler, Wilhelm Tegethoff / University of Braunschweig)
During the conference, a round table discussion was organised on non-natural alternatives. Various issued were raised including the chemical refrigerants' composition, environmental performance, toxicity and stability, but also their economic feasibility and timelines for mass production. Discussions are expected to continue over the next months prior to the SAE Phoenix Alternate Refrigerants Symposium in July.