Propane as a refrigerant. How does that work?
Since propane (R290) does not contribute to the greenhouse effect and achieves high levels of performance, it is increasingly being used – despite its own particular safety requirements – in heat pumps and air-conditioning and refrigeration systems as well as in custom-made large-scale facilities. All this makes propane the refrigerant of the future. It is environmentally friendly and offers users a number of other excellent characteristics.
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The reason that propane has not previously been used as a refrigerant is that key components were not suitable for use with propane – for example, the compressor or parts of the electronics. Thanks to the new refrigerant regulation (F-Gas Regulation), the aims of which include reducing the potential for greenhouse emissions among refrigerants, it is now possible to develop cutting-edge propane heat pumps with new components.
When you're planning a heat pump, you need to think about the fact that there are certain minimum distances that need to be maintained. That applies in the case of lightwells or basement doors, for instance. There is nothing to worry about when it comes to the installation itself – in the case of monobloc heat pumps, the refrigerant circuit is completely enclosed. This means that there is no need for partners to work directly with the propane. In addition, all refrigerant circuits are checked all over for leaks in the factory. For you, this means that you no longer need a refrigerant handling license to carry out installations.
In addition to its environmentally friendly credentials, propane offers a number of other benefits that system operators in particular will appreciate. With propane, it is possible to reach supply temperatures of up to 70°C, which means that the new heat pumps are great for use in upgrades. An additional factor is the high level of DHW convenience. Propane also has outstanding thermodynamic characteristics, allowing high efficiencies and temperatures to be reached even in cold weather (as low as -15°C). System operators can look forward to low running costs all year round. Viessmann will be launching its first heat pumps with propane this year, and more and more products are gradually going to be converted to propane in the future.