Refrigerant Regulations

Concerns over climate change are leading to new laws restricting the use of refrigerants common in air-conditioning systems. Emerging government regulations at the state, national, and international levels want to phase-out refrigerants with high Global Warming Potential (GWP). Such refrigerants are thousands of times more polluting than carbon dioxide.

These new regulations have emerged within the last year, with a short time window to achieve compliance. This poses a variety of challenges for residential and commercial HVAC equipment manufacturers. This is an issue because firstly, manufacturers are being mandated to develop new and environmentally friendly, Low Global Warming (LGW) refrigerants and cooling systems. Secondly, they must be able to react to and conduct refrigerant leak detection (per, e.g., ASHRAE Standard 15 and UL 60335-2-40) with refrigerant gas sensors. This is because next-generation refrigerants such as R32, R454b are flammable (ASHRAE safety classification 2L or A2L) at certain concentrations in the air.

Refrigerant leak detection with the refrigerant gas sensor is therefore a matter of both safety and environmental protection—one that has made refrigerant gas sensors a rapidly emerging global market.

 

Environmentally-Induced Refrigerant Leaks

The inner workings of an AC unit can experience wide humidity and temperature swings. Most of the sensors on the market today have difficulty maintaining effectiveness in such conditions for extended periods of time. Meanwhile, consumers have come to expect high reliability—the AC should “just work” all the time. Downtime due to faulty refrigerant gas sensors, requiring visits from technicians, is a non-starter. Of immediate need, then, is a sensor capable of dependable, accurate gas sensing in a harsh environment.

NevadaNano’s MPS™ LGW Refrigerant Gas Sensor has been configured to provide just what this emerging market needs: a robust, refrigerant-dedicated sensing solution like that can reliably recognize leaks over a long field life, in real-world environments, without frequent servicing.