With the worldwide phase out of refrigerant R-22 underway, Afrox is now supplying the refrigerant gas Forane® 427A to SAB miller sites in no less than six countries across Africa.
Following successful trials at various SAB miller sites, Afrox is supplying the refrigerant to the brewer’s sites in Botswana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Zambia.
Ultimately, it is understood, all SAB Miller sites will be running with Forane® 427A gas.
Forane® 427A is a non-toxic, non-flammable, zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) refrigerant. This innovative refrigerant, which is a 100 percent HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) blend, achieves optimal performance close to that of refrigerant R-22, but without a long and costly rinsing of the circuit, owing to its high tolerance toward residual original oil.
Supply of the gas is being facilitated through environmental cabinet company Intel-Cab, which is contracted by Dimension Data A1 to provide mobile data centers — Portable Facilities Cabinets (PFC) — to SAB Miller Africa. The Forane® 427A retrofit is part of a bigger solution Intel-Cab is supplying to SAB Miller through Dimension Data.
Intel-Cab’s Alex Morwasi noted that all the air-conditioning units retrofitted with Forane® 427A are working well and are performing to the same cooling levels as previously achieved with R-22.
“No modification of the installation is required,” explained Hlengiwe Ntuli, Afrox product manager – Refrigerants. “Forane® 427A is a simplified retrofit solution for existing R-22 direct expansion installations in a large range of applications. It can be used to retrofit low-temperature refrigeration equipment as well as air-conditioning installations.”
“The next steps will be to set up stockholdings of Forane® 427A in each of the countries using this refrigerant via Afrox’s African presence.”
The conversion from R-22 to Forane® 427A was carried out by first recovering the pre-charged refrigerant from the new split air conditioning units, removing the compressors from these units and draining the oil from the compressors. The compressors were then flushed to remove all remaining oil using a cleaning solvent. Next, the compressors were charged with new polyol ester synthetic oil (POE) and reinstalled into the air conditioning units. The units were then charged with an amount of Forane® 427A refrigerant equivalent to the R22 initial charge.
The removed R-22 product can also be returned to Afrox who has the equipment to clean this product ensuring that the HCFCs are not released into the atmosphere.
Forane® 427A is manufactured by Arkema in France, a world leading diversified producer of specialty chemicals and longstanding supplier of refrigerants to Afrox and its parent company, The Linde Group.