Koura claims that a new alternative to CO2 could provide greater efficiencies and lower operating pressures in mobile air conditioning systems and domestic heat pumps.
The new development refrigerant, LFR3, is said to be non-flammable and, crucially, possesses a GWP below the 150 limit for MAC systems.
The constituent(s) of the refrigerant have not been revealed and Koura has not yet submitted the new gas to the ASHRAE classification process. However, Koura claims that it is non-flammable. It also claims that it is 20% more efficient than CO2 and also has an operating pressure 15-20% lower than the “natural” refrigerant it seeks to compete with.
Koura’s promotional literature says: “LFR 3 is designed to achieve a lower environmental impact and better performance than CO2 across a range of ambient temperatures – it will be suitable for a range of cooling applications across the industry.”
The potential applications it lists are vehicle and passenger transportation air-conditioning, heat pump systems, cold chain refrigeration and transport refrigeration, as well as commercial refrigeration applications.
However, the same literature suggests its primary market is seen as the MAC sector. The literature compares LFR3 with CO2 under MAC tests to the Society of Automotive Engineers’ J2765 standard.
Under its former Mexichem name, Koura had developed a blend refrigerant, AC6 (R445A), as a replacement for R134a in MAC systems. It received very positive reviews, and was said to be less flammable than R1234yf, but, coming after yf, it could not gain a foothold in the market.