Delphi is working with automakers to develop air conditioning technology that uses the new refrigerant R-1234yf, with a Global Warming Potential of 4, compared to 1,430 to R-134a.
Honeywell, in collaboration with DuPont (earlier post), developed HFO-1234yf in response to the European Union’s Mobile Air Conditioning Directive, which requires that all new vehicles produced starting in 2011 use a refrigerant with a global warming potential (GWP) below 150. This new refrigerant is part of a larger platform of low-GWP refrigerants and blowing agents that Honeywell is developing.
Europe is holding firm on requiring compliance with the new refrigerant regulations; European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen recently warned carmakers selling vehicles in the EU that non-compliant vehicles will be banned from sale. The US Federal Government is pushing forward with legislation and regulation through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that will encourage using the new refrigerant for the US in a similar timeframe.
R-1234yf has been endorsed by several regulators and technical associations including the EPA, Society of Automotive Engineers and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. We also believe R-1234yf is both a cost-efficient and effective refrigerant option. Most importantly, Delphi’s R-1234yf solutions are expected to be ready to meet the 2011 legislation timeframe.—Steve Kiefer, Delphi Thermal Systems director of engineering, Delphi Corp.
Because R-1234yf can be used with the low-pressure air conditioning systems used in today's vehicles, proactive redesign of Delphi’s HVAC systems enables near drop-in replacements for current systems, the company says.