R290 RAC sales in India reach 100,000 units

By hydrocarbons21.com team, Jan 19, 2015, 10:22 2 minute reading

In India, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd RACs (room air conditioners) using R290 (propane) as a refrigerant have achieved market sales of 100,000 units. The development of the hydrocarbon technology was carried out in collaboration with German development agency GIZ and the Indian government, under international safety standards. With high energy savings and environmental benefits, R290 RACs will help India to meet its growing energy demands in an environmentally sustainable way.

R290 RAC sales figures for India were published in the study “Energy Efficiency Gains with Lower Global Warming Impact – A Profile of Air Conditioners Using R-290” conducted by NRDC (The Natural Resources Defense Council), CEEW (The Council on Energy, Environment and Water), and IGSD (The Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development), highlighting the large market potential of R290 in RACs.

In China, local manufacturers are also adopting R290 technology in RACs with the support of the government.

Development of Godrej R290 RACs in India

Godrej developed R290 RACs in the collaboration of GIZ and India’s Ministry of Environmental and Forests’ Ozone Cell. Since R290 is a flammable substance, Godrej upgraded their manufacturing facility to incorporate additional safety alarms and procedures for dealing with flammable refrigerants. Currently, Godrej has an annual production capacity of 180,000 units for R290 RACs at its manufacturing facility near Pune in India.

In the production and installation process, Godrej ensures safety by following international standards in following four ways:

  • Designing the appliance and manufacturing facility to minimise risks
  • Limiting the quantity of refrigerant charge in the RAC according to international safety standards
  • Installing the RACs using factory trained technicians
  • Clear safety procedures and training for service personnel

The NRDC, CEEW, and IGSD study points out that there is a strong case for other RACs companies to use R290, since patents do not protect R290. In addition, hydrocarbons are already popular in domestic refrigerators with at least a 55% market penetration in industrialised countries. What is more, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) producers and refineries are often able to supply the refrigerant.

Energy Efficiency and other benefits

Besides it environmental benefits, RACs using R290 have a significant energy savings advantage over conventional refrigerants. RACs using R290 are estimated to save more than five times as much energy as those using HFC-410A. Godrej’s R290 RACs received the highest available rating awarded by India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency without using inverter technology.

In addition, R290 RACs are better suited in India’s high ambient temperature. According to the study by GIZ and Godrej, R290 has higher cooling capacity and coefficient of performance than R410A.

Energy saving benefits is a significant advantage given India’s peak demand issues. In comparison to HFC-410A, a switch to R290 RACs in India could reduce greenhouse gas emission from RACs in India’s residential sector by 38%, of which 15% would result from energy efficiency induced reduction in fossil fuels burned to generate electricity, and the reminder from reduced global warming caused by the direct emissions of the refrigerant into the atmosphere.


By hydrocarbons21.com team (@hydrocarbons21)

Jan 19, 2015, 10:22

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