Heat Pump Transitions to Lower-GWP Refrigerants
Daikin is speeding the transition to lower global warming potential with its Atmosphera ductless heat pumps, which use R32 refrigerants.
by Brent Ehrlich
Air-source heat pumps are a great alternative to heating and cooling systems that run on fossil fuels. They offer the promise of significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our buildings and speeding our way to all-electric buildings. The challenge with these systems is that their primary refrigerant—R410a—has a global warming potential (GWP) more than 2,000 times that of CO2. So, you get good operational efficiency, but you also have potential greenhouse gas emissions that somewhat taint their feel-good story.
Having the best of both worlds by going to a low-GWP refrigerant would be ideal, but choosing one that works well for the appliance and its end use is a tricky balance. Use a low-GWP refrigerant in the wrong application, and the heat pump will be inefficient, use more energy, and end up emitting more carbon into the environment over time than a standard product—while making occupants less comfortable.
Published October 10, 2022
Ehrlich, B. (2022, September 21). Heat Pump Transitions to Lower-GWP Refrigerants. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/product-review/heat-pump-transitions-lower-gwp-refrigerants