Here, Martin Passingham, Product Manager for DX at Daikin UK takes a look at the tools and safety processes that can be used for both R32 and R410a installations and the range of benefits new R32-based systems offer.
Refrigerants with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP) are in the process of being phased out of use, following the implementation of the F-Gas legislation. Affected by this policy is the widely used refrigerant R410a, which is one of the products that will be phased down.
Consequently, environmentally friendly refrigerants such as R32 are being sought as energy efficient and cost effective methods of future proofing air conditioning systems. With a GWP a third of R410a, R32 has been chosen by leading manufacturers as the ideal solution for new air conditioning systems.
Two sets of tools?
Offering a simple and straightforward installation, similar to that of R410a systems, R32 systems use a wide range of tools and safety measures that are applicable to both installations.
An example of this is the charge hose and gauge manifold, which can both be used for R410a and R32 installations, when the gauge indicates R32 on the dial. Supplied by several manufacturers such as Yellow Jacket and JAVAC, many tools have been R32 compatible for several years so it is worth checking current equipment for the extra R32 indication on the gauge dial.
Furthermore, scales, flaring tools, vacuum pumps and other fixing equipment can also be used for installations using either R32 or R410a, due to the pipework installation process being identical for both gasses.
Also often rated for use with R32 are recovery and leak-checking devices, however confirming with the manufacturer is advised. R32 compatible products are readily available from suppliers such as Mastercool, promax and JAVAC.
What about cylinders?
Becoming widely accepted across the industry, R32 gas and tools are now stocked at all Climate Centre branches alongside other distributors. These leading stockists will also supply the R32 adaptor required for the R32 gas cylinder.
Also, it is worth noting that a different recovery cylinder will be required for R32. When purchasing new equipment, even if the move to R32 is in the pipeline, be sure to request R32 compatible products to ensure that when the time to use the new gas arrives, new equipment will not be necessary.
It is vital that the refrigerant recovery machine is compatible with the gas that is being recovered and therefore refrigerant recovery machines should be checked with the manufacturer to determine if they are suitable for use with R32.
Similar to the tools required to install the system, many of the safety measures will be familiar to installers using R410a and other refrigerants, so installers should feel confident when installing R32 systems. As demonstrated in the below table, of the situations that can arise, several require the same actions as R410a or the addition of an extractor fan.
Planning for the future
Being an early adopter of R32 refrigerant gas, Daikin’s pioneering R32 based systems were the first commercial range to be launched in the UK. Offering only benefits to the end user, Daikin’s R32 Bluevolution range has a seasonal efficiency rating of up to A+++ and provides a future proof, affordable climate control solution.
Incorporating energy saving features to further improve the system’s energy efficiency, intelligent eye and timer functionality provides additional cost saving capabilities.
Using nearly identical tools, processes, and safety procedures, the transition from R410a to R32 should cause minimum disruption to installers, which is greatly offset by the benefits the new gas brings to both installers and end users. By checking and evaluating their existing tools and equipment, installers can future proof their business against legislative changes and gear up to offer their customers the most energy efficient, environmentally friendly and innovative climate control systems on the market.