Trane, an Ireland-based HVAC manufacturer and a subsidiary of Trane Technologies, has become the latest company to launch a propane (R290)-based heat pump with the introduction of Trane LEAF, its new range of air-to-water units.

Designed for the residential and light-commercial sectors, Trane’s new heat pumps can deliver heating, cooling and hot water production, with capacities of 8–30kW (2.3–8.5TR). For heating demands of more than 30kW, up to four units can be combined with the use of an optional modularity kit, the manufacturer explained.

“Trane LEAF heat pumps are ideally suited for comfort heating and domestic hot water applications,” said Louis Rompre, Portfolio Leader for Trane in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. “Leveraging propane’s exceptional thermodynamic properties and near-zero GWP, Trane LEAF contributes to a significant reduction in both direct and indirect emissions.”

“Trane LEAF heat pumps are ideally suited for comfort heating and domestic hot water applications. Leveraging propane’s exceptional thermodynamic properties and near zero GWP, Trane LEAF contributes to a significant reduction in both direct and indirect emissions.”

Louis Rompre, Trane

According to Trane, its new R290 heat pumps were developed in response to the “evolving landscape” of climate and sustainability trends.

“Trane LEAF aligns with regulatory changes, such as the revised European Union F-gas Regulation, addressing concerns related to the greenhouse warming impact and decomposition of existing fluorinated refrigerants,” it said.

“In regions where there’s a growing emphasis on green solutions, this product stands out as a smart choice, aligning with our commitment to environmental responsibility,” added Rompre.

Other companies to have recently launched or announced R290 heat pumps for the domestic market include Samsung, Weheat, Octopus Energy and LG Electronics.

Replacement for gas boilers

The new range “excels in diverse conditions” and can operate “optimally” in ambient temperatures as low as −20°C (−4°F), Trane said. 

With the ability to produce 60°C (140°F) hot water in ambient temperatures of −15°C (5°F) – hot water at 75°C (167°F) can be produced at an ambient temperature of 0°C (32°F) – Trane LEAF is an “ideal solution” for replacing gas boilers in light-commercial and residential buildings, the company added.

Thanks to its inverter-driven scroll compressor, electronic expansion valve and electronically commutated (EC) brushless fan, Trane said its new heat pump achieves high efficiency in all working conditions.

“This technology ensures optimal performance, contributing to energy savings and environmental sustainability,” the company explained.

Users can monitor the performance of their heat pump as well as control the unit via Trane’s integrated building management system.

Commitment to sustainability

The introduction of Trane’s R290 heat pump follows the launch of its range of propane chillers in November 2023. Offering capacities of 175–335kW (49.8–95.3TR), the Aries N lineup is designed for applications with larger heating and cooling demands, such as industrial cooling in the food and beverage industry and commercial HVAC.

Both the Trane LEAF and Aries N range demonstrate the company’s “commitment to sustainable innovation,” it said.

Providing sustainable cooling and heating solutions is part of Trane’s and Trane Technologies’ overall approach to reducing carbon emissions in the industries and markets they serve,” the company added.

Trane Technologies was recently listed as one of the cooling sector’s more progressive suppliers with regard to its net-zero commitments and actions. “Cooling suppliers: A stocktake on the path to Net Zero”, a report from the UN Environment Programme-led Cool Coalition and the Carbon Trust, dubbed Trane Technologies a market “transformer.” Transformers are companies it said have made “strong public commitments to act on climate change and have clear ambitious plans to decarbonize.”

According to the report, the manufacturer has committed to reduce its absolute Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) emissions 50% by 2030 compared to 2019. It also aims to cut its Scope 3 (value chain) emissions by 55% over the same period.