Bluon Energy’s Refrigerant Compared To R20
Bluon Energy’s Refrigerant TdX 20 In Depth Look
Back in 1987, the Montreal Protocol was finalized, an agreement among all countries to protect the ozone layer by discontinuing the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The ozone layer, as you may already know filters out harmful UV rays, which are associated with reduced agricultural productivity, disruption of the marine ecosystems and even skin cancer. Ozone-depleting substances come in various forms and they are commonly used as refrigerants in heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Chlorofluorocarbons or CFS are the most notorious of the bunch and were the first to be phased out. Hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs were the next in line and the process is expected to come to an end in 2020. At this point, no HFCS will be manufactured or developed anywhere on the globe. In regards to residential and commercial HVAC systems, this refers to the refrigerant R-22.
This effort has already started to restore the ozone layer, but a new and concerning issue has risen along the way. According to the physicist Peter Capuciati who has specialized in research on alternatives to overcome the limitations in HVAC efficiency, the refrigerants currently on the market, while they do not deplete the ozone layer, they actually take a toll on HVAC systems performance. As a result, energy consumption has increased anywhere between 5 to 30 percent, depending on the refrigerant.
The primary goal of phasing out R-22 is to have environmental benefits, and so, the alternatives are actually backfiring since they have an adverse effect on it due to their increased energy consumption. With an aim to hamper this, the physicist co-founded Bluon, a relatively new refrigerant manufacturer.
According to statistics, HVAC-R systems use around 40 percent of all electricity. Considering the fact that electricity is responsible for over 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, the HVAC-R share of global warming is at a staggering 12 percent, which is just about half of all the vehicles on the road. Well, 2020 which is the deadline for doing away with R-22 approaches and building owners will be scrambling to replace their HVAC refrigerants with one of the few that are approved so far.
Well, after years of research and experimentation, the company Bluon developed a refrigerant that is quite unique. It is known as TdX 20 and it reduces energy consumption by 5-25 percent depending on the application. This refrigerant achieves these numbers by carrying more heat at a lower pressure, thus reducing system losses while maximizing the use of the whole coil.
Peter Capuciati, who is now the executive chairman of Bluon Energy’s board of directors states that they tried hundreds of formulas, testing each on various systems in the lab and in the field, with an aim to find one that would increase energy efficiency. The experimentation took three years and they finally stumbled upon something that was not showing up in the models. If they stacked five or more refrigerants together, it would give results that lowered electrical consumption and increase productivity from the coil.
Learn More about Refrigerant
Here is a summary of each refrigerant in TdX 20 and how it functions:
1. Tetrafluoroethane R134a
This is a high-temperature substance that get rids of moisture from the compressed air and prevents electric discharges. Also, upon vaporization, it absorbs a substantial amount of thermal energy.
2. Difluoromethane R32
This refrigerant has a high thermal stability and is insoluble in water.
3. Pentafluoroethane R125
This substance leads to the formation of near zeotropic mixture. It’s ideally a fuel isolate as it absorbs heat energy thus suppressing fire.
4. Hexaflouraopropane R227
This refrigerant is seen as a chain reactor isolator and it’s an organic compound also known as organ fluoride. Its primary function is to hamper electric discharges and can ideally be used as a displacement drying agent.
5. Heptafluoralpropane R326fa
This ideally works as a fire suppressant by isolating oxygen.
6. Proprietary Lubricant
This is the product’s trade secret that brings all the refrigerants together in order to create a homogeneous liquid blend.
Tremendous Support From Bluon
By late 2016, the product TdX 20 had cleared all the regulatory issues at the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies, thus receiving the official ASHRAE designation, which is the final phase to penetrate the marketplace. Douglas Reinke, the CEO and President of Bluon Energy stated that is was not too soon, not only because of the approaching 2020 deadline and the urge to fight climate change but because the refrigerant R-22 had suddenly raised in price. Since new supply is drying up and the end of its production is looming, those who have been stocking up R-22 are taking advantage which ends up creating a demand and supply dynamic that’s very unfavorable to both building owners and end users.
The End of Inefficiency and Skyrocketing Prices
As the production of TdX increased, the company was able to reduce its price to around $13 per pound wholesale, while the price of R-22 continues to surge, going beyond $25 per pound. By the year 2020, it is expected that the price of R-22 per pound will cost $40 or even more.
When the Montreal Protocol was composed, the vision was that people would invest in new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that would run on a different form of refrigerant. However, that did not turn out to be economically feasible for many, and that is why there are still so many R-22 systems out there, even as we get closer to the 2020 deadline.
Today, over 60% of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems still operate on R-22 and it’s estimated that they require around 200 million lbs of refrigerant replacements a year for maintenance and repair reasons. With the price of this refrigerant increasing, everyone is searching for other options, but unfortunately, every alternative, with the exception of Bluon TdX increases the energy bills as they are less efficient. Fortunately, with the availability of TdX 20, HVAC systems can run at compressor temperatures and at low pressures, allowing them to last longer and call for fewer repairs. At the end of the day, these factors make a strong business case for the end user. Visit http://www.bluonenergy.com
Bluon Energy’s client list has grown dramatically during its relatively short existence. The company’s approach has resulted in deals with big real estate firms such as PMRG and CBRE, healthcare institutions such as Kaiser Permanente, corporations like ESPN and energy management providers like Schneider Electric. In the spring of 2017, the environmental activist but popular as a movie star Leonardo DiCaprio came on board both as an investor and advisor. This is a testament to the company’s innovative ozone-layer depletion solution.
The director of engineering at PMRG, one of the biggest commercial real estate companies, Rich Hopkins, can attest to the efficiency of the refrigerant TdX 20. He says that it is not just a concept on paper but actually works as advertised in the real world conditions. He attests to the efficacy, having tested the product for over 2 years in the Anaheim Pacific Center. He did a side by side comparison of TdX 20 and R-22 and tracked the results for almost a year. He used all sorts of sensors and gauges in the units and found that the temperature and pressure dropped substantially on the TdX 20 one, which is the best way to increase the longevity of an HVAC system. He ideally noticed about a 15% drop in energy use which not only saves their utility costs but also reduces their carbon footprint.
The engineer is now working on installing the product on over 18 million sq feet of real estate in the west, from Arizona to California as well as Hawaii.
Here is a summary of TdX’s 20 Benefits:
-Equipment that runs on the refrigerant consumes 20 percent less energy on average.
-TdX 20 minimizes electricity usage during utility peak times.
-The product reduces amperage draw by 5 to 25 percent and daily operation time from 20 to 90 minutes.
-It preserves or rather increases cooling capacity when compared to R-22.
-It runs in low, medium as well as high temperature systems and it’s well-optimized for the last two.
Equipment and Installation Benefits
-TdX 20 extends the life of your equipment through lower compressor operating temperatures and also lowers the pressures.
-It works with conventional compressor oils including MO, POE, and AB. No oil change is needed.
– It also works with conventional metering devices. That saves you on changing expansion devices.
-Avoids a substantial monetary investment in new R-410A equipment.
-It runs on all R-22 heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
-No ozone depletion
-TdX is non-toxic and non-flammable
-It helps building owners gain points towards Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design(LEED) certification.
-A 100,000 square feet property replacing current refrigerant with Bluon Energy TdX 20 is able to reduce their carbon footprint by about 60 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
As you can see, TdX 20 has a lot of benefits other than being affordable. It’s certainly worth considering as a building owner as 2020 approaches.