gwk switches to R513A: climate-friendly refrigerant, ready for the future

Industrial cooling systems must function safely and efficiently in the long run, and they are faced with increasing demands concerning their environmental effect. Therefore, gwk Gesellschaft Wärme Kältetechnik mbH from Meinerzhagen/Germany now use the refrigerant R513A for their chillers and cooling systems. Aside from a very low greenhouse potential it offers many other application benefits.


The EU directive 517/2014, better known as F-Gas Regulation, is supposed to gradually reduce the amounts of substances which enhance the greenhouse effect available on the market. This also applies to several refrigerants. The so called “GWP” or “Global Warming Potential”, indicated by the “GWP value” serves as an indicator for the climate-damaging potential of a substance. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the reference with a GWP value of 1. The GWP value of the popular refrigerant R134a is 1,430: If one kilogram of R134a is emitted to the atmosphere, it causes 1.430 times as much damage to the climate as one kilogram of CO2 would.


A viable alternative

Consequently, gwk now replaces R134a with a new refrigerant. It goes by the designation R513A and has a GWP value of only 631. With regards to safety, no concessions must be made. According to DIN EN 378, R513A is certified as an A1 refrigerant, as it is neither toxic nor flammable. On request gwk also offers chillers operated with the refrigerant R1234ze. It has an even lower GWP value of only 7. However, due to its specific thermodynamic properties, it can only be used in cooling systems with much larger dimensions as R134a plants of the same cooling capacity. R513A however is a so-called drop-in refrigerant for R134a: The replacement can be made without changing the system properties of the proven cooling technology. This even allows the conversion of existing systems at reasonable expenses if advisable.


Advantageous for environment and operator

Latest legislation rewards the use of climate-friendly refrigerants by linking the intervals for mandatory leakage tests of chiller units to the GWP value in the F-Gas Regulation. The frequency in which leakage tests must be performed on a cooling system depends on the system’s carbon dioxide equivalent, which equals the refrigerant filling weight multiplied by the GWP value of the refrigerant. Therefore, switching from R134a to R153A may double the time interval between the obligatory leakage tests and in some cases even lift the obligation completely. The gwk service team is prepared to check on a case-by-case basis if it is worth replacing the refrigerant in customers’ existing systems to benefit from these advantages.


The R134a era approaches an end: In new cooling systems, gwk now uses the more climate-friendly refrigerant R513A instead.

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