WARRENDALE, Pa. — A new refrigerant for use in mobile air-conditioning systems (MAC) — HFO1234yf — offers superior environmental performance and can be used in future vehicles that are designed to use the new refrigerant, according to results of an SAE International Cooperative Research Program (CRP). CRP members include major automobile manufacturers from Europe, Asia, and the U.S. that account for approximately 70 percent of all new vehicle sales in the EU and worldwide.
The CRP 1234-1 and CRP 1234-2 programs, launched in 2007, investigated the safety and performance of the new refrigerant. Under the direction of the SAE CRP members, air-conditioning system performance, material compatibility and relative risks of HFO1234yf were evaluated. Based on these studies, this alternative refrigerant — of all proposed alternatives — has been judged to have the lowest risk for use in MAC systems in meeting environmental and consumer needs. This is demonstrated in the results of the Life Cycle Climate Protection analysis to estimate CO2 Equivalent emissions from MAC Operation (GREEN-MAC-LCCP) as described in SAE J2766.
These SAE CRP activities are in response to the international regulations by the European Union that require all new vehicles receiving type approval in 2011 or later to use a refrigerant with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) below 150. Current global MAC systems use HFC-134a, a refrigerant having a GWP of 1,430. HFO1234yf has a GWP of only four.
SAE International has been conducting cooperative research programs since 2001 to evaluate the new, environmentally friendly refrigerants for use in MAC systems.