October 22, 2019
The research arm of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI), has announced the recent publication of a final report of its Project 9013, Experimental Study on the Consequences of Full-scale Ignition Events Involving the A2L Refrigerant R-454C. The primary objective of this project was to evaluate how that refrigerant disperses in a room under various room-scale release conditions, as well as to evaluate the post-ignition consequences of the R-454C releases, and to compare those ignition consequences to similar tests performed with the A3 refrigerant R-290. All tests were conducted on four-door display cases and treated as near-worse-case scenarios. Charge sizes, leak locations, leak rates, and fan ventilation were all taken into consideration.
Overall, tests showed that ignition consequences were minor under quiescent and low-humidity conditions for R-454C. When releasing “equivalent volume” charge sizes through equivalent leak hole sizes, R-290 ignition events were much more severe.