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Lightbulb Auto A/C Refrigerant Substitute??

Auto A/C Refrigerant Substitute??

I have, in the past, about 5 years ago (as an experiment), used R22 refrigerant on a R12 charged 911 system. It lasted about 3 weeks before it leaked out. The cooling output was just as good if not better than R12. I did notice that the cylinder output pressures of the R22 were higher than the R12. I believe due to this high pressure the A/C system could not retain the refrigerant for a reasonable period. Of course the system was already leaky . . . . a full R12 recharge would last about 3 months. I had 3-30# containers of the R22 laying around so I gave it a whirl. I have since sold the car but recharged A/C system with R12 before delivering to new owner.

I realize that R22 is used in residential applications though I've read that it has been used in the earliest automotive manufacturing instances. R22, as currently manufactured, as I understand, is quite stable and unlike earlier R22 products were highly flammable. Due to this early flammable R22, I was told, it was not used for automotive (high under hood engine temps).

Questions did arise in my mind since using R22 on my 911.

1) Did I do some permanent damage to the existing system (seals, compressor, drier, etc.)? Was I reckless?
2) If the system was sealed tight, would the R22 refrigerant work without any worries?
3) Is there a proof positive way to use R22 in an automotive application? If so, what steps could be taken to succeed?
4) If not, what is the reason R22 isn't a viable auto refrigerant substitute?

I need the thoughts and comments of you A/C experts out there. Give it to me straight with no holds barred please.

Thanks,
HZ
Old 08-10-2005, 06:09 PM
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R22 damages the NBR nitrile or HBNR rubber parts (hoses and seals) used in R12 and R134a mobile air conditioning systems. The damage manifests itself as popping, blistering, loss of elasticity (ability to seal) and tendency to dryrot. In addition, R-22 is not compatible with the XH-5 or XH-7 desiccants found in R-12 or R-134a systems; the R22 causes mechanical breakdown of the desiccant which can then travel downstream and clog the expansion device (valve, orifice tube, etc.). R22 is intended for use in "hard" plumbed stationary applications with hermetically sealed compressors.
Old 08-10-2005, 07:18 PM
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There you have it from the mouth (err... fingers) of the real A/C expert on Pelican.
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Old 08-10-2005, 07:43 PM
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R22

OK, Jim . . . I was hoping I could get your comments on this and . . . I guess it's not the right choice.

I do have some additional queries . . . . If one were to change the seals and obtain a dryer with compatible dessicant medium, could it be workable?? Would barrier hoses be non-affected by the R22? Seals are available as used on residential systems or flared fittings that do already exist on the auto's A/C system? I'm assuming a R22 type dryer would be available.

I'm not planning such a project but want to know the extent of viability in R22 use. Have you seen any write-ups on anyone attempting (other than me . . .) to do such a scenerio??

Thanks,
HZ
Old 08-10-2005, 08:54 PM
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I would not put a lot of money into adapting your Porsche to run R22 as it is being phased out of world production along with R12. R22 will be replaced with HFA refrigerants (404a, 407c and 410a), as R12 has been replaced with HFA 134a.

The use of R22 in new AC equipment will be banned in 2010, with all R22 manufacture ceasing in 2020. As we get closer to these dates, the cost will increase dramatically, although it will probably still be available from recycled sources for several years thereafter.

Use 134a, it's the environmentally responsible (and less expensive) thing to do.
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:30 AM
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How responsible is the new refrigerant? I have read that all refergerant depletes the ozone at high altitude. I gave up on my AC because I hardly use it and the ozone impacts (I was told it would cost over $2000 to repair). I would consider having it fixed if there were alternatives and the unit weighed less.
Old 08-11-2005, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DG624
How responsible is the new refrigerant? I have read that all refergerant depletes the ozone at high altitude. I gave up on my AC because I hardly use it and the ozone impacts (I was told it would cost over $2000 to repair). I would consider having it fixed if there were alternatives and the unit weighed less.
The chemicals that are currently replacing CFCs are either HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) or HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons such as R-134a). HCFCs have less chlorine in them and are less susceptible to the reactions that release chlorine in the stratosphere. But they are still ozone-depleting chemicals -- they just destroy far less ozone than CFCs.

For example, while CFC-12 has an ozone depleting potential rating of 1.0, HCFCs have ratings from 0.02 - 0.1. HCFCs will eventually be phased out by 2030, as stated in the Montreal Protocol. HFCs do not contain chlorine, so they don't contribute to ozone destruction at all. However, since both of these groups are potent heat-trapping gases, they are a stop-gap measure, the lesser of two evils. Eventually, we are going to need a permanent replacement for all these kinds of chemicals
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:06 PM
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What about HC 12A? Any opinions? www.foxtoolsupply.com supposed to be direct replacement for R12 or R134A with no envitronmental concerns. I was told that the refrigerant is fallabale. howbig an issue is that? Is it stable in car AC system
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by smshirk
What about HC 12A? Any opinions? www.foxtoolsupply.com supposed to be direct replacement for R12 or R134A with no envitronmental concerns. I was told that the refrigerant is fallabale. howbig an issue is that? Is it stable in car AC system

What is the legal status of hydrocarbon refrigerants such as HC-12aŽ and DURACOOLŽ?
It has been illegal since July 13, 1995 to replace CFC-12 with the HC-12aŽ formulation that was submitted for SNAP review in any refrigeration or A/C application other than industrial process refrigeration. The same prohibition for OZ-12Ž took effect on April 18, 1994. Because DURACOOL 12aŽ has the same chemical composition as the HC-12aŽ formulation that was submitted for SNAP review (i.e., Hydrocarbon Blend B), DURACOOL 12aŽ is also subject to the same restrictions.
HC-12aŽ, as reformulated to meet DOT requirements, is not the same as Hydrocarbon Blend B and has not been submitted for SNAP review. OZ Technology is therefore prohibited from marketing this blend as a substitute for any ozone-depleting substance. In addition, any use of this blend as a substitute for CFC-12 or any other ozone-depleting chemical, in industrial process refrigeration or any other refrigeration or A/C end use, is prohibited under the Clean Air Act.

HC-12a is a blend of propane and (I think) isobutane, and it is highly flammable. As for using it to replace R-12, I have pasted in an excerpt from the EPA website, www.epa.gov.

What are HC-12aŽ and OZ-12Ž?
HC-12aŽ and OZ-12Ž brand hydrocarbon refrigerant blends are flammable refrigerants. Their primary components are hydrocarbons, which are flammable substances such as propane and butane. HC-12aŽ and OZ-12Ž are registered trademarks of OZ Technology, Inc. HC-12aŽ has been marketed since 1994. OZ-12Ž was a similar blend marketed until the introduction of HC-12aŽ . Both products have been reviewed by EPA under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. More information about the SNAP program is available from the hotline listed at the top of this page.
Note that EPA refers to the chemical composition of HC-12aŽ as Hydrocarbon Blend B. EPA considers any substance with that chemical composition, no matter what its trade name is, to be Hydrocarbon Blend B and to have the same legal status that HC-12aŽ has.

In order to meet Department of Transportation requirements for shipping HC-12aŽ in six-ounce cans (DOT refers to these cans as DOT 2Q containers), OZ Technology reduced the vapor pressure of HC-12aŽ in June, 1998 by changing the composition. EPA does not consider this reformulated HC-12aŽ to be the same as Hydrocarbon Blend B. The reformulated HC-12aŽ has not been submitted for SNAP review, and thus cannot be marketed or used as a substitute for ozone-depleting substances.


What is DURACOOL 12aŽ? Is there a difference between HC-12aŽ and DURACOOL 12aŽ?
DURACOOL 12aŽ has the same chemical composition as the HC-12aŽ formulation that was submitted for SNAP review and was called Hydrocarbon Blend B. Both HC-12aŽ and DURACOOL 12aŽ are different than the new formulation of HC-12aŽ in six-ounce cans. DURACOOL 12aŽ is the registered trademark of Duracool Limited, the Canadian company that has manufactured DURACOOL 12aŽ since 1997. Duracool Limited and OZ Technology, the manufacturer of HC-12aŽ, are separate, unrelated companies with their own manufacturing facilities and distribution mechanisms.

What is the legal status of hydrocarbon refrigerants such as HC-12aŽ and DURACOOLŽ?
It has been illegal since July 13, 1995 to replace CFC-12 with the HC-12aŽ formulation that was submitted for SNAP review in any refrigeration or A/C application other than industrial process refrigeration. The same prohibition for OZ-12Ž took effect on April 18, 1994. Because DURACOOL 12aŽ has the same chemical composition as the HC-12aŽ formulation that was submitted for SNAP review (i.e., Hydrocarbon Blend B), DURACOOL 12aŽ is also subject to the same restrictions.
HC-12aŽ, as reformulated to meet DOT requirements, is not the same as Hydrocarbon Blend B and has not been submitted for SNAP review. OZ Technology is therefore prohibited from marketing this blend as a substitute for any ozone-depleting substance. In addition, any use of this blend as a substitute for CFC-12 or any other ozone-depleting chemical, in industrial process refrigeration or any other refrigeration or A/C end use, is prohibited under the Clean Air Act.

Since HC-12aŽ, as submitted for SNAP review, is chemically different from HC-12aŽ, as reformulated to meet DOT requirements, and since it has a different legal status under the Clean Air Act, users of any substance marketed as HC-12aŽ should be aware of which HC-12aŽ they have purchased.

Note that the Clean Air Act does not regulate the use of any of these hydrocarbon refrigerants when they are used as replacements for non-ozone-depleting chemicals such as HFC-134a. However, many states prohibit using flammable refrigerants in motor vehicles, regardless of which original refrigerant was used in the vehicle.


May hydrocarbon refrigerants be used to replace CFC-12, commonly referred to as "FreonŽ ," in cars?
No. It is illegal to use hydrocarbon refrigerants like HC-12aŽ and DURACOOL 12aŽ as substitutes for CFC-12 in automobile or truck air conditioning under any circumstances.


Why is it legal to use hydrocarbon refrigerants as CFC-12 substitutes in industrial process refrigeration, but not elsewhere?
EPA has not yet received data that adequately address the safety issues of hydrocarbon refrigerants in applications other than industrial process refrigeration. Flammability risks depend on the type of refrigeration or air-conditioning system. Industrial process refrigeration, for instance, does not include air conditioning, which pipes refrigerated air directly into occupied areas. Industrial process refrigeration generally refers to complex customized appliances used in the chemical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical and manufacturing industries. Direct risk to human health is reduced in industrial process refrigeration; for example, access to areas near the system is typically restricted. In addition, other regulations exist to protect the safety of industrial workers.
EPA will review any additional material that is submitted under SNAP regarding the safety considerations of using hydrocarbon refrigerants in systems other than industrial process refrigeration.


Is sale of hydrocarbon refrigerants legal?
Sale of subtitute refrigerants listed under the SNAP program is not regulated under SNAP. However, statutes and regulations issued by other federal, state, or local agencies may control the sale of these products, including illegal advertising.

May hydrocarbon refrigerants be vented?
No. Since November 15, 1995, the Clean Air Act has prohibited the venting of any refrigerant during the service, maintenance, repair, or disposal of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. When working on a system containing a hydrocarbon refrigerant such as HC-12aŽ or DURACOOL 12aŽ, the technician must recover the refrigerant into a suitable container and safely dispose of it.

What other regulations restrict the use and handling of hydrocarbon refrigerants?
In addition to the prohibition on use described above, and the federal law banning the venting of all refrigerants, there are also state and local statutes and regulations that relate to certain uses of hydrocarbons. As of the printing date of this fact sheet, EPA is aware that the following states prohibit the use of flammable refrigerants in automobile air conditioners: Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
Local fire codes also often restrict the storage of flammable materials. In addition, other federal, state, and local regulatory agencies may have regulations related to flammable refrigerants. Check with these authorities for more information.


Are there other refrigerants that can replace CFC-12?
Yes. Numerous other refrigerants have been found acceptable, subject to certain conditions on their use. EPA's fact sheet titled "Choosing and Using Alternative Refrigerants for Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning" lists these refrigerants and discusses the conditions. Lists of alternatives in other sectors are available online and from our hotline at 800-296-1996.
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Old 08-12-2005, 05:43 PM
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Re: Auto A/C Refrigerant Substitute??

hifeverz,

looks like Jim summarized the use of R22 for you and there is plenty of reading you can do on "approved" alternative refrigerants here: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/fact.html

The most logical refrigerants you can use are either R12 or R134a. You (perse) can still buy R12 or you can switch over to R134a. However as you pointed out, no matter refrigerant you put in your system as it sits, will leak out.

The problem with "alternative" refrigerants is EPA requirements regarding equipment to extract and store the alternatives; ie. you can't recycle "XXXXX" type refrigerant into an R12 or R134a refrigerant service machine or you will contaminate the equipment. Consider the investment a service station makes in a dedicated R134a or R12 service machine, and Joe Who comes along with XXXXX type refrigerant in his system (having standard R12 service valves) and forgets to warn the service station of odd refrigerant.......hmmmm.

So the first step is system integrity (fixing all the leaks).
This usually starts out with a visual system inspection; looking for obvious telltale signs of leaks, such as oil near hose fitting or evap or condensor, a broken hose, etc.

You fix the obvious and put in a new barrier hose set, add a high/low pressure cut out switch to help save the compressor, a new drier and remove the compressor, dump any oil from it, add 6-8 oz of new ester oil (or what ever flavor your compressor mfg. recommends) and some tracer dye. Pull a vacuum on the system, check for gross leaks, charge the system, check for refrigerant leaks with a leak detector. Run your performance test and tweek the system. That's for a "stock" set up. You will have air but not cold air (depending upon your driving climate, car color, a coupe vs. a cabriolet, number of passgs. etc).

If you want to take your car to the next level, providing your compressor is in good shape, you need to add more condenser area. Next comes adding more vents and then a high performance evaporator.

Ta Da!

The short anwer to your four questions are:
1) maybe
2) maybe maybe
3) epa regs. ; and a very narrow market, not worth developing.
4) asked and answered, but its an elastic subject



Quote:
Originally posted by hifeverz
Auto A/C Refrigerant Substitute??

I have, in the past, about 5 years ago (as an experiment), used R22 refrigerant on a R12 charged 911 system. It lasted about 3 weeks before it leaked out. The cooling output was just as good if not better than R12. I did notice that the cylinder output pressures of the R22 were higher than the R12. I believe due to this high pressure the A/C system could not retain the refrigerant for a reasonable period. Of course the system was already leaky . . . . a full R12 recharge would last about 3 months. I had 3-30# containers of the R22 laying around so I gave it a whirl. I have since sold the car but recharged A/C system with R12 before delivering to new owner.

I realize that R22 is used in residential applications though I've read that it has been used in the earliest automotive manufacturing instances. R22, as currently manufactured, as I understand, is quite stable and unlike earlier R22 products were highly flammable. Due to this early flammable R22, I was told, it was not used for automotive (high under hood engine temps).

Questions did arise in my mind since using R22 on my 911.

1) Did I do some permanent damage to the existing system (seals, compressor, drier, etc.)? Was I reckless?
2) If the system was sealed tight, would the R22 refrigerant work without any worries?
3) Is there a proof positive way to use R22 in an automotive application? If so, what steps could be taken to succeed?
4) If not, what is the reason R22 isn't a viable auto refrigerant substitute?

I need the thoughts and comments of you A/C experts out there. Give it to me straight with no holds barred please.

Thanks,
HZ
Old 08-13-2005, 05:02 PM
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HZ,

Have used ES-12 in my cars for the last 4 years with excellent success. It will work in non-modified systems with no problems. If it leaks, fix it first but then it is not as leak prone as R-134 and cools a lot better. I am getting high 30's outlet temps on my cars and its $6 a can.

You might do a search on this in the forum. There are pages upon pages of info on this subject.

JoeA
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Old 08-13-2005, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joeaksa
HZ,

Have used ES-12 in my cars for the last 4 years with excellent success. It will work in non-modified systems with no problems. If it leaks, fix it first but then it is not as leak prone as R-134 and cools a lot better. I am getting high 30's outlet temps on my cars and its $6 a can.

You might do a search on this in the forum. There are pages upon pages of info on this subject.

JoeA

Hey Joe~
I Emailed ChrisM in your area, and he recommended and said you tried the Industrial grade Es12? I just received my first order, and was going to change out my 134a. I was curious if you changed out any other components on your system, or are you still running an essentially "stock" system? I ordered, but have not yet received a ProCooler r/d, and was going to change that out at the same time... You still running a stock evap and compressor?
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Old 08-16-2005, 11:04 AM
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I am about to replace my 134a with 12a and can let you know...Should have it done by Thursday evening depending on the honey do list........

I am running a stock system that has 3 condensers; 1 on the engine deck lid, a belly condenser & one up front which I just discovered. My 134a filled system currently gets to mid 50s when the outside temp is below 90. When it is above 90 outside, the cooling tapers off after about 15-20 minutes and then blows around 70 or so...I figure it is the ineffectiveness of 134 a to release its heat.....I even tried an electric pull fan on the engine deck-lid condenser but it didn't seem to help the 15-20 minutes time limit of coolness....Just cant go anywhere to far away in the heat.....

I could be wrong but its a lot cheaper to try 12a than to start replacing parts.......

Chris
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:02 PM
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I'm using Duracool in my 88 which is stock except for a new Sanden compressor. What are the correct pressures I should see on the high and low side using Duracool? I was seeing about 25 on the low side and 250 or so on the high side the other day and it will get into the 50's if moving along. In heavy traffic, middle of the day I'm happy to see 60 at the vent.
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Old 08-16-2005, 01:03 PM
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"My 134a filled system currently gets to mid 50s when the outside temp is below 90. When it is above 90 outside, the cooling tapers off after about 15-20 minutes and then blows around 70 or so."

Your system may be contaminated with water that after a few minutes freezes and plates out downstream of the expansion valve and on the refrigerant side of the evaporator thereby choking and blocking the flow of refrigerant and cutting the cooling. Regardless of what you decide to use as refrigerant you should likely replace the receiver/drier and give the system a several hour (like three) evacuation with a good two-stage vacuum pump to get the water out.
Old 08-16-2005, 01:57 PM
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Ill give that a try before I recharge my system....

Thanks
Chris
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:10 PM
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3 condensers? that is anything BUT a stock system! I'll share my results with the Procooler and es-12a...
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by PatrickB
3 condensers? that is anything BUT a stock system! I'll share my results with the Procooler and es-12a...
I know the PO didn't do any ac mods & I am only the 3rd owner.....I have literally every receipt since its "birth" incl the original sticker.....Nothing says anything about adding a condenser. Would the original dealer have made a non-factory addition?

#1 Engine lid


#2 Under belly


#3 behind front bumper (unless its for something else)

(its wet from the rain....)

Chris
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:16 PM
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Don't hold me to it Chris, but I don't think the front, and under belly condensor's are factory stock...

You really have to wonder about the benefit of adding more condensors and adding yet another 20 feet of hose for the refrigerant to travel, how much better the system is going to work....
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:31 PM
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Dang if I know.....I would think with so much surface heat transfer area, this thing ought to chill meat ......

I am going to change out the dryer and vac it down to a 20 or 30 atmospheres just to make sure it is tight....Then I'll fill it up with new freon and see if it will actually get & stay cold.....

the worst thing is that it does occasionally work and gets cold...keeps me trying & hoping...kinda like golf..one good hit and you're back next week....

I look forward to hearing how your setup works.....

Chris
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:43 PM
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