MTL Cool, a Quebec, Canada-based manufacturer of refrigerated point-of-purchase display systems, has created an energy-saving display unit operating with a hydrocarbon-blend refrigerant.
In April 2015, MTL Cool began testing HCR188C/R441A, a pure hydrocarbon blend refrigerant, in a standard commercial 46-inch-wide, two-door unit. To do so, technicians replaced the original Tecumseh compressor, rated for R134 (a coolant being phased out worldwide due to its high global-warming-potential), with an equal-capacity compressor rated for R290 (the traditional coolant commonly known as propane), then filled the system with the new HCR188C/R441A blend.
The refrigerated display case has now been running non-stop at rated temperature for more than a month, with test results already showing significant energy savings compared to operation with propane.
MTL Cool says the test unit only needed 3.9 ounces of HCR188C/R441A compared to 4.9 ounces of R290, saving more than 20 percent in charge rate amounts. In addition, power drawn was down 18 percent. Another advantage of this blend is that it can reduce component size – specifically the evaporator and condenser, using smaller diameter coils – as well as the air volume needed across the coils.