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R723 info misleading

R723 info misleading

 

A Cold Link Africa reader in the UK has written the following response to the article published in our March/April edition, entitled ‘Natural and sustainable cooling with R723’.

“In the March/April edition, there is a very interesting article submitted by eurammon, but I felt that it was seriously misleading in three respects and gives a false impression about so-called ‘R723’.

“Firstly, I think it is misleading to use that designation without pointing out to readers that it has not been classified by ASHRAE or ISO and does not have a formal designation or safety class assignment. This might seem like nitpicking, but if application is made, then the azeotrope mixture would not be given a 700-series R number and would be in safety group B3 (not the same as ammonia, as is hinted in the article). There are two reasons why this mixture is not in the 700 series: firstly, it is a mixture, not a single compound, and secondly it includes dimethyl ether as one of the components, which is an organic chemical. ASHRAE 34 clearly states that fluids in the 700-series are inorganic compounds. If someone applied for a classification and it was accepted, it would be allocated the next number in the 500-series (azeotropes).

“Secondly, Bernd Kaltenbrunner is quoted as saying, ‘The relevant authorities treat R723 systems like R717 systems and, therefore, do not require more extensive safety measures.’ The fact that this azeotrope has not been classified by ASHRAE or ISO means that any plant using it is out of the scope of EN378, so a presumption of conformity with European safety directives is not possible. This is a big difference immediately. In addition, if this azeotrope were classified by ASHRAE, it would be in safety group B3, which would result in a maximum allowable charge of 25kg in a typical industrial application (access Category C and location class II).

“Thirdly, on a more technical note, the article says that because the volumetric refrigerating capacity is higher than ammonia, the charge is less and the coefficient of performance (COP) is better. This statement is correlating three things that are unrelated. It sounds scientific, but, in reality, is technical hogwash. This section of the article is particularly poorly written, confusing many concepts that should be kept separate. It is a recitation of buzzwords by someone who doesn’t understand what they mean. One example: ‘Besides its energy efficiency, the azeotropic mixture also features a high-performance coefficient.’ What does this mean?

“It bothers me that articles like this are effectively inviting contractors and end users to ignore our well-established safety standards like EN378, ISO5149 and ASHRAE15.”

What do you think? Let us know where you stand on the topic: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

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