Following successful trials at various SAB Miller sites, Afrox is now supplying the refrigerant gas Forane® 427A to the brewer’s sites in six countries across Africa.
The refrigerant is now supplied to the company’s sites in Botswana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Zambia. Ultimately, 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 gas, which is a 100% HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) blend, achieves optimal performance close to that of the refrigerant R-22, which is being phased out worldwide, but without a long and costly rinsing of the circuit, owing to its high tolerance toward residual original oil.
The supply of the gas is being facilitated through environmental cabinet company Intel-Cab, which is contracted by Dimension Data A1 to provide mobile data centres — 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.
“No modification of the installation is required,” assured 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.”
Intel-Cab’s Alex Morwasi says 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.
“Our brief was to convert all R-22 SAB Miller18000 btu mid-wall split air conditioning units to a greener gas,” Morwasi said. “Initially we looked at replacing the R-22 units with R410A, which is a highly efficient nearly azeotropic mixture in which gases evaporate at nearly the same temperatures and which is not damaging to the ozone layer. However, we were unable to source a system that would fit into our already designed PFCs, which acts as a small computer room.”
“When our subsequent research led us to Afrox’s Forane® 427A retrofit, this presented the ideal solution, since none of the pipes or valves would need to be changed. Afrox has supported us all the way, even providing a 50kg sample of the gas at no cost for our initial trials. Their team’s input has been pivotal to the success of this project.”
Forane® 427A is manufactured by Arkema in France, a world leading diversified producer of specialty chemicals and long-standing supplier of refrigerants to Afrox and its parent company, The Linde Group.
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