AB Systems warns of false economy refrigerant

Process cooling experts, AB Systems, is bringing the differences in efficiency of chiller refrigerants to the attention of engineers, urging them to take a closer look at the refrigerants they are using in their chiller systems. A chiller filled with a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, high quality refrigerant, such as R407, could potentially save manufacturers thousands of pounds annually in running costs and make a significant difference to the life cost of the chiller. Yet, according to AB Systems, refrigerant efficiency is often overlooked, usually because the less efficient R410 refrigeration gas is typically sold with new chiller systems.

R407 refrigerant boasts a Coefficient of Performance (CoP) value between 5.2 – 5.8, so offers substantial operating savings when used in chillers in comparison to R410 refrigerant, which has a much lower CoP value of just 3.5. For example, explains Jeff Day, Managing Director of AB Systems; “A 60 kW chiller filled with R410 refrigerant could cost as much as £15,000 a year in running costs, while the same chiller filled with R407 refrigerant would cost significantly less to run, at around £7,000 a year. This is a massive saving – more than 50% – and why AB Systems choose only to specify R407 refrigerant.”

Mr Day concludes that one of the reasons why R410 refrigerant is so prevalent in the chiller market is because many engineers remain unaware of the long-term cost saving benefits of R407 and so opt for R410, as the latter requires a smaller initial investment. “R410 refrigerant is cheaper than R407, so chillers are often supplied with it – it makes a quote appear more competitive. However, engineers need to be aware that they will be paying a lot more in the long run by using R410, so we’re urging them to pay close attention to any quotes they receive and to look into the cost-saving advantages of R407 refrigerant.”

Indeed, R407 is generally more expensive than its cheaply made counterpart, however return on investment is fast – often less than a year – allowing manufacturers to continue benefiting from ongoing significant cost and energy savings over the life of the chiller.

Jeff Day, Managing Director at AB Systems commented, “It’s easy to overlook the refrigerant used in chillers, but manufacturers can save a significant amount of money every year using a refrigerant with a higher CoP value, such as R407. It’s a small change that will go a long way to driving down the running costs of chillers, as well as contributing to CO2 reduction targets.”