R290 in air conditioning in China and India - Part II

By Caixia Mao, Sep 25, 2014, 09:53 2 minute reading

At the 2014 Gustav Lorentzen conference in Hangzhou, China, leading Chinese AC compressor manufacture GMCC, presented on the latest developments regarding R290 in air conditioning (AC) applications. In this second article on R290 developments in India and China, hydrocarbons21.com focuses on the GMCC’s journey, whilst a GMCC representative reflects on next steps.

The location of the latest 11th Gustav Lorentzen Conference on natural refrigerants was the perfect opportunity for Chinese companies such as GMCC to share information on their R290 AC technology, designed to meet refrigerant charge requirements and safety standards. 
GMCC: developing an R290 rotary compressor 
According to the GMCC presentation, it was over a decade ago, in 2004, that GMCC first began its research into the development of an R290 rotary compressor. Four years later, in 2008, GMCC’s investment in R&D was complemented by financial support from the Chinese government, under the National 863 Program. 
In 2009, GMCC set-up an anti-explosion laboratory and completed the internal approval process for the first constant-speed and variable speed R290 compressor technology. With the support of the UN Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund, in 2011 GMCC started construction of the first demonstration production line for R290 compressors. 
Following this, in 2013 GMCC completed the internal technology approval process for a low-pressure side R290 compressor, which will be launched in the near future. The low-pressure structure reduces the R290 charge significantly and improves system safety 
Rapid technological development of R290 in China
According to GMCC, from a technological standpoint the Chinese refrigeration industry is developing very rapidly. The majority of R290 R&D and manufacturing is currently taking place in China. The Chinese government has also demonstrated strong support for the use of R290 as an alternative refrigerant in AC. 
What is more, developments in China are of interest to the rest of the world: “Through the Gustav Lorentzen Conference, we have come to realise that the whole world is interested in the development of R290 in AC applications. The attention from companies and research institutions abroad will help R290 industry development.”
Clear regulation needed to accelerate R290 AC development 
For GMCC, whilst the Chinese government and several companies have conducted experiments to demonstrate that in regulated amounts R290 is safe, regulations relating to installation, repair and after-sale services still need to be finalised. The safety of R290 ACs also needs to be demonstrated to consumers through awareness raising campaigns.
“Once the safety standards and regulations are finalised, a process that needs the support of the Chinese industry and the Chinese government, R290 ACs will be made commercially available,” said GMCC. “Ultimately we hope to build a greener planet.”


By Caixia Mao

Sep 25, 2014, 09:53

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