In July, the Shanghai Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Bureau established China’s largest explosion proof laboratory for refrigerant R290 air conditioner testing. The testing centre is part of the government’s efforts to promote hydrocarbons as refrigerants in room air conditioner production in China.
The lab will be the main explosion-proof centre for R290 multi split air conditioner testing in China.
First official explosion proof lab for R290 AC
The lab is the first official explosion proof laboratory for R290 air conditioners in China. Its key function will be to undertake safety and energy efficiency tests for air conditioners using flammable refrigerants like R290. The centre will exam the safety of R290 ACs produced by major air conditioner manufacturers in China.
In order to promote the use of hydrocarbons as the main alternative refrigerant in the production of domestic air conditioners, China has officially allowed the use of R290 in the production of air conditioners, as decreed by the National Safety Standard for Flammable Refrigerants, which came into effect on May 1st 2013.
Air conditioner manufacturers accelerating R290 AC R&D efforts
The advances in R290 AC technology have been seen by some Chinese AC manufacturers as an opportunity to establish their dominance in the global air conditioner market. Several major domestic air conditioner manufacturers, such as Haier, Midea and Gree, have established a mature R290 air conditioner production capacity. Others are accelerating their R&D efforts in order to develop R290 air conditioners.
For example, this year Chinese manufacturer Midea received TUV approval for its R290 products. Haier has completed one R290 production line and laboratory in Chongqing factory, whilst another two R290 AC production lines and laboratories have been improved in Haier’s Jiaozhou factory. Haier is also involved in producing an air-conditioner installation and maintenance safety manual.
Chinese government encourages the use of R290 in air conditioners
China has agreed to end the production of industrial hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 2030. In order to accelerate the elimination of HCFC-22, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection and the China Household Electrical Appliance Association (CHEAA) have jointly produced China’s HCFC-22 Elimination Plan for room air conditioners. The government is also actively encouraging the production and development of low GWP refrigerants. The roadmap presented by the China Household Electrical Appliances Association for recommends R290 as a key alternative in the production of room air conditioners.