The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI), the research arm of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), released the results of a benchmarking study on A3 refrigerant R290, which evaluated the potential risks of R290 leaks and ignitions in a whole room scale setting. All the tests were conducted by AHRTI’s subcontractor UL under the supervision of a technical committee consisting of industry experts from AHRI member companies and staff of California Air Resources Board.

“The objective of this project was to test for leaks and ignition of refrigerant R-290, or propane, in whole room scale conditions,” said AHRI Vice President of Research Xudong Wang. “The testing scenario simulated a packaged terminal air conditioner and a mini-split air conditioner in a typical motel room, and a single door reach-in cooler and a three-door reach-in cooler in a convenience store,” said Wang. “Test results demonstrated potential issues on R290 charge quantities set by safety standards and possible resolution to mitigate ignition risk.”

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