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Service Engineers’ Section

Bulletin No 17


1. INTRODUCTION R410A is now a recognised refrigerant for air conditioning and comfort heating heat pumps in Europe. Many major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in this application field, represented in the EU, now supply systems using R410A. R410A is a near azeotropic mixture consisting of two HFC components, R32 and R125 in the proportions 50%/50% by weight. R410A has much higher pressures than R22. System condensing pressures will be 9 to 10 bar higher than with R22. System performance will be similar to R22. To gain the full benefits of R410A the system should be designed to take full advantage of its better heat transfer properties. Servicing with R410A should be straightforward provided the guidelines given below are followed. Systems which use R410A normally have compressors charged with a polyolester (POE) lubricant. There are many manufacturers and grades of POE lubricant. It is therefore very important that any oil added to a system is of the correct grade. Consult the system or compressor manufacturer for guidance on which specific oil to use.

2. PROPERTIES OF R410A 2.1 Vapour Pressure The high pressure of R410A requires that all system components, gauges and refrigerant cylinders are specified for the proper pressures. System test pressures must be set accordingly. When this is done, the safety risk associated with an R410A system is the same as for any other pressurised system. Retrofitting R22 systems with R410A is not normally possible. 2.2 Critical Temperature R410A has a critical temperature of 72.5°C, significantly lower than that of R22. Tests of air conditioning systems carried out at high ambient temperatures have shown that the performance is not unduly affected however (when compared with that of R22). 2.3 Specific Volume and Mass Flow R410A has higher density (lower specific volume) than R22 under normal A/C system conditions. A similar mass flow is required to achieve the same cooling effect.

Table 1 Properties of R410A Property Vapour Pressure @ 25°C, bar gauge Vapour Pressure @ 40°C, bar gauge Boiling Point at 1 Atmosphere Pressure, °C Critical Temperature, °C Specific Volume of Saturated Vapour @ 5°C, gm3/kg Specific Mass Flow per kW Cooling @ 5/50°C*, g/s/kW

R22 9.4 14.3 -40.8 96.2 0.040 6.60

R410A 15.5 23.1 -52.7 72.5 0.028 6.75

* EN12900 Rating point 5°C Evaporating, 50°C Condensing, 10K superheat, no subcooling SES Technical Bulletin 17 1 of 7 April 2004

Return to contents page The lower R410A volume flow rate means that smaller displacement compressors are required for equivalent system capacities. The components and tools suited for R410A must never be used with other HCFC or CFC refrigerants to avoid any possible risk of contamination in the circuit. and smaller tubing diameters and associated fittings can be used. Compatibility data is readily available from wholesalers and component or refrigerant suppliers 3. lubricants. Laboratory tests have shown that it is compatible with steel.7 bar(g) condenser High pressure side with water cooled 25.0 bar(g) 43. in many condensers and evaporators the airside heat transfer coefficient is the limiting one. longer lines and smaller diameters can be used for vapour flow.4 bar(g) or evaporative condenser Low pressure side 18.1 bar(g) 33. Ambient condition ≤32°C ≤38°C ≤43°C ≤55°C High pressure side with air cooled 33.9 bar(g) 22.1 Compressors Dedicated R410A compressors should always be used because they will be designed for the higher pressures and incorporate motors of correct size relative to the displacement. the surface areas required to transfer heat to the air or water will remain similar to those for R22. refrigerants and lubricants) should always be used. As with all HFCs the behaviour of R410A in the presence of plastic materials and elastomers varies.55K with R22. In practice it is possible to reduce the number of circuits in a heat exchanger for a given duty when using R410A.2 Heat Exchangers Heat exchanger coils (evaporator or condenser) designed for R410A service will. designing to take advantage of the properties of R410A can lead to reductions in overall heat exchanger size and tubing. Some materials have been evaluated to be completely suitable. 2. Because. as is the case for traditional R22 installations. Manufacturers can provide information on performance. Suitable components (compatible with working pressure. aluminium and brass. Compressors designed for other refrigerants should not be used.6 bar(g) 40. 3. utilise smaller diameter tubing than ones of equivalent service for R22.1 bar(g) 33.1 bar(g) 25. as will the compressor motor size.1 bar(g) 25. For example. 3. there will be 0.35K R410A saturated suction pressure reduction per 100mb pressure drop compared with 0. The overall result is a smaller refrigerant side system and consequent lower refrigerant charge. The maximum allowable pressure for design purposes must be at equal to or above the values shown in Table 2. in Table 2 Maximum Allowable Pressures (minimum) for which R410A systems must be designed (adapted from BS EN378-2:2000).4 Stability and Material Compatibility R410A stability in the presence of metals is excellent. Nevertheless.4 bar(g) 36. Because there is a much larger pressure difference between the high side and the low side of the system than with R22. copper. High pressure reduces the impact of pressure drop on system performance.1 bar(g) 25. due to the properties of R410A. DESIGN AND INSTALLATION OF R410A SYSTEMS Designers must take into account that the higher design pressures may raise the PED category of the system or component.4 bar(g) Note: for the high pressure side of a heat pump with water cooled condenser the design pressure should be at least equivalent to the saturation pressure at the maximum leaving water temperature +8K. Manufacturing R410A equipment (as well as installation and maintenance) simply requires good refrigeration practice. some depending on their composition and process may not be suitable. accordance with BS EN378:2000. SES Technical Bulletin 17 2 of 7 April 2004 . and application details.

leading to improved performance. The higher working pressures of R410A could require thicker-walled tubes (see below).Return to contents page The number of circuits in the coil can typically be reduced by 1/3 compared to R22. during both evaporation and condensation. R410A has a significantly higher heat transfer coefficient than R22 and R407C. Given the same pressure drop the R410A coil permits a higher refrigerant mass flux Figure 2. Based on this the following currently available copper tubing meets pressure requirements for R410A use. This. Refrigerant side pressure drop for the evaporation process. The miscibility between HFCs and POE oils is lower than that of HCFCs with traditional oils and it is even more important to ensure the required velocity of the refrigerant for the oil return and to avoid possible oil traps when designing the pipework and accumulator. Figure 1.3 Connecting Tubing As with heat exchangers. leading to more compact design and less material required. Refrigerant side pressure drop for the condensation process. when designing for for oil return. In other words. Tubing and SES Technical Bulletin 17 3 of 7 fittings must be properly pressure rated for R410A use. an R410A coil only needs 2/3 of the number of circuits required for R22. For same thermal capacity (refrigeration capacity) the coils need a lower refrigerant side heat exchange surface. smaller diameters may be used for the vapour lines. combined with smaller diameter tubing may give the additional benefit of a lower air side pressure drop. BS 1306:1975 gives the methodology for determining the pressure rating of copper tubing. see Table 2 above. Given the same pressure drop the R410A coil permits a higher refrigerant mass flux 3. (Note: It is important that the pressure ratings of fittings be verified as appropriate before being used) April 2004 .

0 bar g 25.9 bar 33.8 0.6 bar g 40.6 x x x x x x x 1.8 0.6 x x x x x x x 1.9 1 1 R410A ≤32°C Ambient Condition High Low Side Air Side Cooled 18.Return to contents page Table 3 Copper Tube Coil Stock Suitability for R410A.6 9 9 9 9 x x x 1. based on Pressures in Table 2 and Design Stress 40N/mm2 high side.2 9 9 9 x x x x 1.6 x x x x x x x 1. according to BS 1306:1975 and BS EN 13480-3:2002.1 bar g 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 x 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 x 3/16 x 22g ¼ x 22g ¼ x 20g 5/16 x 22g 5/16 x 21g 3/8 x 22g 3/8 x 21g ½ x 21g 5/8 x 20g 5/8 x 20g ¾ x 20g ¾ x 19g 7/8 x 19g The same figures can be used for soft coil and half hard tube as once the half hard tube is subjected to brazing it becomes fully annealed.7 0.6 x x x x x x x 2 9 x x x x x x 2.6 x x x x x x x 2 9 9 x x x x x 2.1 bar g Cooled or Evaporative 33.9 0.4 bar g 36.6 9 x x x x x x 2 9 9 9 9 x x x 2. Copper Tube Coil stock Wall Thick -ness mm 0.9 bar g Air Cooled 22. Table 4 Copper Tube Straight Lengths Suitability for R410A.7 0.2 9 9 9 9 x x x 1. according to BS 1306:1975 and BS EN 13480-3:2002.6 9 9 x x x x x 1.9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 1 9 9 9 9 9 9 x 1.6 x x x x x x x 1.0 bar g Condenser 25.6 The same figures can be used for soft coil and half hard tube as once the half hard tube is subjected to brazing it becomes fully annealed.7 0. 41N/mm2 low side.2 9 9 9 9 9 x x 1.1 bar Cooled Condenser 25.4 bar g g 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 R410A ≤38°C R410A ≤43°C R410A ≤43°C Ambient Ambient Condition Ambient Condition Condition High Side Low High Low High Side Water Cooled Air Side Side Air Side or Evaporative Cooled 22.9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0.6 bar g g 40.1 bar g Air Cooled 25. based on Pressures in Table 2 and Design Stress 40N/mm2 high side. Copper Tube Coil stock 3/8" x 20g ½" x 20g 5/8" x 20g ¾" x 19g 7/8" x 18g 1 1/8 x 18g 1 1/8 x 16g 1 3/8 x 18g 1 3/8 x 16g 1 5/8 x 18g 1 5/8 x 16g 2 1/8 x 18g 2 1/8 x 16g 2 1/8 x 14g 2 5/8 x 18g 2 5/8 x 16g 2 5/8 x 14g 2 5/8 x 12g 3 1/8 x 16g 3 1/8 x 14g 3 1/8 x 12g 3 5/8 x 16g 3 5/8 x 14g 3 5/8 x 12g 4 1/8 x 16g 4 1/8 x 14g 4 1/8 x 12g Wall R410A ≤32°C R410A ≤38°C R410A ≤43°C R410A ≤43°C Thick.9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0.1 bar g 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0.2 9 9 x x x x x 1.7 0. SES Technical Bulletin 17 4 of 7 April 2004 .Ambient Condition Ambient Condition Ambient Condition Ambient Condition ness High Side Low Side High Side Low Side High Side Low Side High Side Water mm Air Cooled 18.1 bar g 36.6 9 9 9 x x x x 2 9 9 9 9 x x x 2.2 9 9 9 9 9 9 x 1.9 0. 41N/mm2 low side.2 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 1.6 9 9 9 9 x x x 2 x x x x x x x 1.9 0.8 0.

April 2004 . remove residual condensation. Only the liquid phase should be transferred.4 Fittings It is necessary to check that copper or brass fittings are rated for the correct pressures. 3. R410A and air must never be mixed in cylinders or supply lines. It is very important to minimise the ingress of moisture into the system by following these simple procedural rules: • Always keep system openings (tube ends.g. Never use R410A and air to test the tightness of circuits. Transfer must be discontinued before all the liquid has been transferred. b) The system should never be contaminated with mineral oils. R410A should be transferred as the liquid phase when charging a system from a cylinder. pressure switches etc already exists in the market.e. The moisture adsorption effect of normal dessicant with R410A is less than with R22. The container will have a positive pressure and should not be evacuated. at the compressor suction). provided there is a means of determining whether the system is correctly charged. These should be checked both for refrigerant compatibility and pressure as not all components are suitable. Therefore.1 General Considerations for HFC Refrigerants a) POE lubricants used with HFCs have a strong affinity for moisture and will absorb water from the atmosphere if allowed to do so. and dry the system. Dedicated service gauge sets are used for R410A and this will prevent inadvertent contamination.e. and suppliers can provide details. HANDLING GUIDELINES 4. Since POE retains moisture chemically it is not possible to completely remove it by use of vacuum. 3. It is important that transfer is stopped before any vapour enters the system. in a leak situation) but it can become flammable when mixed with air under pressure. connections. Cap or close immediately after use.5 Accessories A comprehensive well proven range of filter driers. etc. 4. During transfer to a system it is perfectly acceptable to allow the liquid leaving the container to flash to vapour before entering the system (e. This is done via the dip tube. If the container does not have a dip tube (as in the case of some small refrigerant cylinders) the container should be inverted so that the valve is at the bottom. 4.6 Leak Testing Leak testing of new systems must be in accordance with current Codes of Practice for HFC refrigerants. Should systems require additional refrigerant this can be added without affecting the composition of the blend. It should be returned to the supplier with its residual pressure.Return to contents page 3. d)Flammability. R410A is non-flammable at atmospheric pressure (i. the composition of the vapour differs very slightly from the composition of the liquid. Where not available carbon or stainless steel tube and fittings may be necessary. when the liquid and vapour are at equilibrium i. The only way to remove excess (considered to be more than 50 ppm) moisture from the compressor lubricant is by the use of a filter-drier.2 General Considerations for Near Azeotrope Refrigerants R410A is a near azeotropic refrigerant mixture. nor accumulated in reservoirs. Reference should be made to the Institute of Refrigeration Code of the Minimisation of Refrigerant Emissions”.) and oil containers tightly capped until needed. Maintenance of correct charge in a system is always necessary. expansion valves. In an ideal situation when the last drop of liquid has been removed the container will still have around 5% by weight of its net contents present in the vapour phase. at any saturation Pressure-Temperature condition. • During and after brazing purge with Oxygen Free Nitrogen (OFN) to avoid oxidation. SES Technical Bulletin 17 5 of 7 c) Filter-driers specified for R410A should always be installed. This is to say that.

The end result is that a better quality more consistent joint is produced. the dimensions of the fittings have been modified (see Table 5).2 Flaring Tools Preferably the use of flared joints should be kept to a minimum. is Rose). When recovering Refrigerant It is of critical importance that refrigerant recovery cylinders for use with R410A have the correct pressure rating (minimum 33. Table 5 Conventional and R410A Equipment Conventional High Pressure Manifold Gauge (red) -0.1 to 17 bar g Gauge Connection size 7/16 UNF Charging Hose Normal Pressure 34 bar g Charging Hose Rupture Pressure 172 bar g Charging Hose Material NBR Charging Hose Connections 7/16 UNF Exclusive for R410A -0. Additionally. 5. They must be clearly identified as being for recovered refrigerant (a yellow band). Where they are used care must be taken to ensure a good flare is produced. Special tools are now available and these have two advantages: firstly there is a stop to set the tube in position to obtain the correct flare. Depending on the dimensions of the charging line. 5.01 to 35 bar g Compound Gauge (blue) -0. The filling tube has two connections: one for the conventional refrigerant (7/16 UNF 20) and one for R410A (1/2" UNF 20).5 Refrigerant Recovery Refrigerant cylinders exclusively for R410A must be used and must be labelled with the name of the refrigerant (the conventional refrigerant identification colour. during installation or maintenance tools must be provided for exclusive use with R410A and others for general use. the sizes of the flared joints and hexagon sizes have been changed. marked with the maximum charge content and identified as containing R410A. to prevent accidental charge with another refrigerant type. Skill is needed if conventional flaring tools are being used. the external unit is provided with a three-way valve with schraeder valve (different diameter than R22 equipment) to avoid an accidental charge of the units with another refrigerant type. Additionally.1 Gauges As R410A has a higher working pressure than R22.Return to contents page 5.01 to 53 bar g -0.4 bar g). Because of the generally smaller charges used with R410A systems it is recommended to use an electronic balance to charge R410A to ensure precise charging. 5.01 to 38 bar g 1/2 UNF 51 bar g 274 bar g HNBR (Internal Nylon Coated) 1/2 UNF SES Technical Bulletin 17 6 of 7 April 2004 .4 Charging the System R410A should be transferred as the liquid phase when charging a system from a cylinder (see Section 4. 5. conventional gauges cannot be used. SERVICING SYSTEMS WITH R410A In R410A split A/C equipment. as prescribed by ARI.3 Evacuating the System The use of an oil trap on the suction of the vacuum pump is required to prevent the oil (from the pump) from returning to the filling tube and contaminating the air conditioning circuit. Conventional service hoses cannot be connected to R410A systems because the fitting size on the units is different. and secondly there is a torque limiting device which stops the metal thickness being reduced as the flare is being made.2) 5. a connection of 1/2 UNF 20 with a suitable gasket is required for the filling connection. to increase the pressure strength of copper tubes with a nominal diameter of 1/2" and 5/8". There are other components available such as premanufactured flare joints which can be brazed to the tube and hence make a more reliable joint. Therefore.

This bulletin does not represent a recommendation to use any specific refrigerant fluid for a specific application. The information contained in the Bulletin should be seen as a guide to interpretation of relevant industry standards.2). Kelvin House. 76 Mill Lane. Severe depletion of refrigerant charge due to a leak can substantially affect system performance and then recharge will be necessary (refer to section 4. For some systems.Return to contents page 5. Carshalton SM5 2JR SES Technical Bulletin 17 7 of 7 April 2004 . legislation and statutory information which should be consulted by the relevant competent person responsible for servicing refrigeration equipment. Service Engineers’ Section of the Institute of Refrigeration. the only reliable method of ensuring correct charge level is removal and recharge by weight. for example critically charged systems or where no visual indicators are present. As with all refrigerants overcharging can cause poor performance and may affect reliability. The material in this Bulletin was originally issued as an Institute of Refrigeration Guidance Note in March 2004.6 Leak Detection and System Recharge Reference should be made to the Institute of Refrigeration Code for Minimisation of Refrigerant Emissions for Refrigeration Systems for examples of methods. The Service Engineers’ Section and the Institute of Refrigeration accept no liability for any errors or omissions.