An Insightful Guide to Panasonic’s R32 Models
Heading to Europe
The innovative new Panasonic model, the R32, released in Japan is ready to make the big expedition across to Europe. After being introduced to the Nordic Market in September 2015, it’s incredible A+++/A+++ HZ-Series has made these air conditioning units desirable across the rest of Europe and will therefore be available in the next few months.
In order to to make sure these new, pioneering refrigerants are used to their maximum efficiency, Panasonic are giving comprehensive and extensive training and information on R23. This is will make sure that distributors and installers (like ourselves) are experts in the new technology.
What Makes it Different to Other Models?
In June 2014, a new EU F-Gases Regulation came into place in order to protect the environment by decreasing emissions of harmful F-Gasses from refrigeration and air-conditioning units, heat pumps, electrical switchgear etc. Therefore, R32 gas is different from usual/other air conditioning units.
Technical R32 Gas Information
R32 gas is mildly flammable and is classified as an A2 grade. Although this may sound risky, Country Manager at Panasonic Heating and Cooling UK & Ireland, Marc Diaz reassures consumers that “R32 has been used for many years, making up 50% of current R410A gasses. Not only is it a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to R410A, but it is equally as safe to use. There have been concerns surrounding the fact that R32 gas is partly flammable, however, this gas is extremely difficult to ignite. In the rare case a fire were to start, R32 burns at a slower speed than walking pace, at 6.7 cm/s as opposed to Propane’s burning velocity of 46 cm/s, reducing the likelihood of any damage.”
R32 has no risk to the air conditioning systems or work environment and due to the functionality and build of the machine, there is no chance of a spark igniting within the air conditioning unit or in the power panel. It would take incredibly specific circumstances for any sort of ignition to occur such as when ignition energy is applied when the concentration of the R32 gas is between 13.3% and 29.3%.
Another example of this is when R32 is exposed to a high temperature, like HFC refrigerants, they will break down into 3 components: hydrogen fluoride, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. These can then convert into hydrofluoric acid which is a poisonous substance if mixed with water. However, it really is vital to remember that this is the same for all commonly used and domestic HFC refrigerants.
What’s so Good about the R32 Model?
Compared to R410A, it reduces charging volume by 30% and has a 10% higher efficiency. It has a GWP of 675 whereas the R410A has a GWP of 2,088. Also, when it comes to extreme outdoor temperatures, the R32 delivers a far better performance.
In line with what it was set out to do, the R23 has been proven by the EU F-Gases Regulation to be better for global warming in compared to R410A. The primary difference between the R32 and the R410A, is that R23 is mildly flammable meaning that it must be suitably ventilated when being charged and recovered due to the build of gas that could be ignited by a naked flame. For installers, this is not a substantial issue as at the moment, if R410A separates into its component gases R32 will become present.
As R32 is rated as A2L, there is a low risk of accidents due to toxicity and low risk of flammability and the boiling temperature is very similar to that of the R410A. It’s very easy to reuse and recycle, giving it even more of an environmental feel to it and it’s easy to handle because it doesn’t fractionate.
The move by Panasonic towards R23 has been motivated by the environmental issues and the impact of refrigerants on the environment. Come 2020, we have been warned that refrigerants such as R404A and R507 with a GWP higher than 2500 will no longer be allow to be used in stationary units and will have to be concerted to R407A. Then, by 2025, the idea is that refrigerants with a GWP larger than 750 will be banned from being used in split air conditioning units. From 2030, the use of R410A and R407C will unfortunately be heavily restricted.
As a result of these new legislations and movements, Panasonic has taken the initiative to develop models incorporating R32 and will be releasing more and more over the coming years.
If you would like to find out more, visit the Panasonic site or get it touch with us!