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R290: The Refrigerant Revolution

Picture of Author: Laura Ruiz

Author: Laura Ruiz

Efitherma commercial department

R290: The Refrigerant Revolution

Picture of Author: Laura Ruiz

Author: Laura Ruiz

Efitherma Commercial Department


Higher performance and lower consumption. Discover how the ecological gas R290 optimizes the performance of your heat pump and reduces your energy costs.

What is R290 refrigerant?

R290 is a natural and ecological refrigerant also known as propane.

R290 is classified as a hydrocarbon and has a number of properties that make it highly effective. Its low boiling point, which facilitates its evaporation, and its ability to quickly absorb heat.

Why choose R290 for the heat pump?

When it comes to selecting the right refrigerant for your heat pump system, R290 gas stands out above the rest.

This coolant has gained popularity in the industry due to its numerous benefits. Some of them are the improvement of performance, energy savings and the contribution to a cleaner and more sustainable future.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why R290 gas is a smart choice for your heat pump.

Why is R290 environmentally friendly?

R290 is considered green because it has a very low impact on the environment. It is a hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerant that has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and very low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Unlike fluorinated refrigerants, which are synthetic and artificially created.

The GWP refers to a unit that measures how harmful the gas is to the atmosphere and global warming. The higher the GWP, the more damaging the gas will be.

GWP = Global Warming Potential

PCA = Potencial de calentamiento atmosférico (In Spanish).

The GWP is a value that measures the global warming potential of any substance that can be emitted into the atmosphere, always in comparison with the effect produced by one kilogram of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in 100 years. What is intended is to know to what extent our insta is going to contribute.

The GWP of R290 is 3, while current alternatives such as R410A and R407C are 675, showing that R290 is much more environmentally friendly than other refrigerants. This means that it does not contribute to ozone depletion or greenhouse effects that cause climate change.

Is R290 a viable alternative to F-gas for heat pumps?

R290 refrigerant gas has many advantages over F-gases for heat pumps. Its environmental benefits are obvious, but the advantages do not end there.

R290 is a more energy efficient refrigerant than fluorinated gas. It is designed to work effectively in colder climates. This is because it can work at temperatures down to -25°C and still produce heat from 2 kW to 24 kW and hot water from 22°C to 75°C. Also, it runs quietly, making it suitable for residential purposes.

In general, propane is a promising alternative to F-gases for heat pumps. Their use can help reduce the environmental impact of these systems, while providing efficient heating and cooling.

Advantages of R290 Gas

It is natural and non-toxic

R290, commonly known as propane, is a natural hydrocarbon (HC) byproduct of natural gas refining. It can be used in medium and low temperature refrigeration applications. Since it is non-toxic and environmentally friendly, it does not need to be recovered or recycled during service like other refrigerants.

It is safe

Although R290 is classified as a flammable refrigerant, the amount that can be used in a refrigeration system is restricted to a safe charge limit. In fact, the refrigerant charge required by a heat pump in R290 is 40% lower than that of R134a, due to its high heating efficiency and fast cooling speed. Additionally, safety procedures and regulations must be followed to guarantee proper ventilation and handling of equipment that contains this gas.

It has a high performance

One of the characteristics of R290 that makes it especially effective as a refrigerant is its high thermal conductivity. Simply put, R290 transfers heat much better than other refrigerants. This, in turn, results in a lower refrigerant charge for the same heat transfer, which translates into energy savings. Trials have shown that systems running on R290 refrigerant have electrical energy savings of 30 to 50+% compared to legacy systems using HFC refrigerants. Refrigeration systems that run on R290 also have a lower compressor pressure at the point where the refrigerant leaves. This means that the compressor runs at a lower temperature, which extends its useful life.

It is respectful with the environment

R290 is respectful with the environment since it has a GWP (global warming potential) at 100 years of 3, the F-GAS standard from 2022 prohibited equal to or greater than 1500. It also has a potential to reduce ozone layer (ODP) nil. For all this, it complies with the F-gas regulations, and is exempt from gas tax, achieving a great commitment to the future, totally ecological and with no expiration date.

F-GAS regulations

The refrigerant gases sector is currently in the process of change and improvement. Due to the implementation of the European F-Gas regulation. Its main objective is to reduce the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases (GHG) by 70% by the year 2030. This regulation, together with the application of the tax on fluorinated gases (according to article 5 of Law 16/2013 ), is generating a transformation in the air conditioning sector towards new environmentally friendly gases.

The F-Gas regulation establishes a gradual calendar for the elimination of the use of refrigerants, known as “phase down”. This establishes the marketing quotas for HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). In addition, the use of alternative refrigerants capable of replace HFCs with high Global Warming Potential (GWP), such as R290 gas.

As of January 1, 2022, the marketing prohibitions established in the European Regulations are mandatory. F-Gas (“Regulation (EU) 517/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 16, 2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases”).

Heat pumps with R290 for Domestic Hot Water

For Efitherma, the conservation of our environment is our priority. That is why we are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our product portfolio and the low GWP rating of propane. This is another reason to justify the change to R290. For this reason we have launched our “AQ-Pro Series” range, heat pumps for DHW with R290 gas. Available in the two most used capacities for residential use: 150L and 250L.

AQ-Pro Series is an aerothermal heat pump for the production of domestic hot water. This equipment takes advantage of the free heat of the ambient air for the production of DHW.

With the incorporation of the R290 natural refrigerant gas, you will be able to enjoy maximum energy efficiency and a minimum impact on the environment, among many other advantages that we have named in this article.

Efitherma heat pumps are characterized by their manufacture with top quality components. This is the case of the incorporation of the titanium anode, which prevents corrosion of the equipment and ensures maximum protection for the tank, extending its useful life for much longer.

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Access their website and discover the most efficient and sustainable solutions.