Daikin Industries, Ltd., air conditioner and refrigerant manufacturer based in Osaka, Japan, announced in March the launch of R-407H refrigerant, which has approximately 62% lower global warming potential (GWP) than commonly used R-404A refrigerant today.

Currently, R-404A, a high GWP refrigerant is widely used in refrigeration equipment in supermarket, warehouse, and marine vessel applications. However, many international regulations are in place or planned to limit the GWP of gases used in refrigeration systems. For example, Japan’s Act on rational use and proper management of fluorocarbons set a target date of 2025 to achieve market volume weighted average GWP less than 1500 for condensing unit and refrigerating unit; The European Union’s revised F-gas regulation prohibits refrigerants with GWP 2500 or more for stationary refrigeration equipment, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed R-404A as unacceptable by 2020 for retail food refrigeration and vending machines, and 2023 for new cold storage warehouses in their Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme.

With increasing regulation on HFCs, there is greater demand for refrigerants that are safe to use, energy efficient, allow for easy and economical conversion and can comply with the various regulations around the globe.

Daikin has developed a non-ozone depleting, lower GWP, and non-flammable refrigerant R-407H (GWP 1495). Compared to R-404A which is commonly used today, R-407H has a 62% lower GWP, and based on testing conducted by various equipment manufacturers and university, it had shown as equivalent in low temperature, and improvement in medium temperature in efficiency (COP). In addition, R-407H has similar working pressure to R-404A and can be considered as an alternative to achieve an economical retrofit with limited modifications.

Hitomi Arimoto of the Product R&D Department of Daikin’s Chemical division, which had been in charge of developing R-407H, described the review status in Japan, saying, “The new refrigerant evaluation committee of the Japan Society of Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers has already evaluated R407H as a group 1 inert fluorocarbon, the same as R407H. After ASHRAE issues certification, work to list R407H with The High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan will begin.”