Test results on the energy savings potential of the R22 hydrocarbon replacement HCR188C2 in commercial air conditioning show a 9% energy reduction, with even higher savings expected when used in equipment that have undergone hardware changes to optimize performance.

During June, 2011 Jerico Energy conducted tests to quantify the amount of energy saved by switching from the hydrochlorofluorocarbon HCFC-22 (R22), to HCR188C2, a pure hydrocarbon (HC) formulation developed by inventor and entrepreneur Richard Maruya of A.S. Trust & Holdings. Performance data were collected over the past month from the mutually exclusive operation of the HC circuit and the R22 circuit, both in operation in comparable heat load conditions.

An improvement in Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of 5% showed that the power usage improvement is not at the
expense of cooling capacity.

The tests took place using the two compressor systems of a Carrier 50D104 Weathermaker IV, installed in the Cal Expo facility in Sacramento, CA. The test results to date substantiate the compatibility of HCR188C2 as an energy efficient replacement refrigerant for R22 charged systems.The Carrier Weathermaker IV system was charged with 129 lbs (pounds) of R22 refrigerant in one circuit and the second circuit was evacuated and charged with approximately 49 lbs of HC188C2, only 38% of the original R22 by weight. Results show a 4F improvement in cooling of HCR188C2 over R22. With just R22 in the circuit the air temperature differential at the evaporator was 9F, but when just HCR188C2 was in the circuit, the temperature differential was 13F. Moreover, the HC188C2 charged unit system power-usage (kW) efficiency increased by 9% over the system using R22. At the same time, an improvement in Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of 5% showed that the power usage improvement is not at the expense of cooling capacity. Jerico believes that if hardware changes had been made it could have demonstrated even greater system performance improvements and reduced power usages (in kilowatts) close to 40%.

The HCR188C2 tested by Jerico is the second pure hydrocarbon formulation developed by A.S Trust and Holdings. The first, HCR188C1 has received the official ASHRAE designation R441a, and was designed to replace HFC refrigerant R123. Jerico Energy provides a variety of energy reduction services for cooling systems such as commercial air conditioners.

Richard Maruya received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Achievement Award in 2008 for his work in developing HCR188C2. However, the refrigerant is still under EPA review. There are questions related to the refrigerant's flammability, which supporters (including Greenpeace) say are minor. The product is being blended and marketed in Japan by Azuma Inc.

See a video on Maruya's work at: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/8532891/kaneohe-man-develops-eco-friendly-refrigerant

Follow Terry McIver at www.twitter.com/TerryMcIver