Hydrocarbon Refrigerants Seen as Future of Room ACs

Within the next five to 10 years, the majority of domestic air conditioners will use R290, says Australian AC manufacturer.

Hydrocarbon-based units will take an increasingly larger market share in the domestic room air conditioning sector within the next decade, predicts George Haydock, General Manager of Pioneer International, an Australian manufacturer of hydrocarbon-based air conditioners.

"I think this pandemic has people realizing how fragile the world is," said Haydock in a recent interview with Hydrocarbons21.com.

"So I see the natural refrigerants side [of the HVAC&R industry] moving faster, especially R290 [propane] in air conditioning, over the next five years,” he continued. "I think that within the next five to ten years, the majority of domestic air conditioners will be R290."

Pioneer International manufactures split wall-mounted, ducted and mini variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioners that use Engas M60 hydrocarbon refrigerant, a blend of hydrocarbon refrigerants developed and sold by another Australian company, Engas Australasia). M60 contains less than 35% R290, more than 60% propylene (R1270), less than 5% isobutane (R600a) and less than 1% butane (R600). Unit charges range from 384g to 682g.

To date, Pioneer International has sold "around six to seven thousand [M60] units," according to Haydock, with notable projects at several residential developments in Sydney, Australia, including a recently completed project at a residential apartment complex developed by Australian real estate developer Meriton.

Pioneer International is partnering with Australian HVAC&R equipment wholesaler Totaline to market and distribute its air conditioners. The company is also working on projects with partners in other markets such as New Zealand and South Africa.

Haydock said that the push towards net-zero targets by governments and organizations around the world is increasing awareness of the benefits of hydrocarbon-based air conditioning.

"Because the world has changed and with net-zero becoming the big issue, everyone is looking for something different to survive and we are becoming more popular," said Haydock.

Learn more about Pioneer International at their website.

I think this pandemic has people realizing how fragile the world is.” – George Haydock, Pioneer International

Want to find out more, or have something to say about this story? Join the ATMOsphere network to meet and engage with like-minded stakeholders in the clean cooling and natural refrigerant arena.

By Devin Yoshimoto

Jul 14, 2021, 03:40

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