by Jacques Gordon
Last March at the Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen announced their intention to convert their vehicle fleet to R-744 refrigerant over the next few years, presumably to meet the European Commission’s 2017 deadline for refrigerants with a Global Warming Potential of no more than 150. Today Reuters reports that Volkswagen “may order large amounts” of R-1234yf because, at this point, EU rules prohibit them from using carbon dioxide refrigerant. VW has reaffirmed their intentions to use R-744 once the rules are “adjusted to allow it.”
Several other German manufacturers have announced their intention to develop A/C systems that use R-744, and the EC has stated they have no opinion on this option because the only legally binding obligation is for the manufacturers to stop using R-134a in new platforms now and phase it out completely by 2017. However there are other (non vehicle) regulations governing pressure vessels and systems that operate at pressures higher than 40 BAR (CO2 system pressures can top 135 BAR). Thus VW, who is planning to release new platforms before 2016, may have no option but to begin using R-1234yf.
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When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Meet me at MACS! will take place February 5-7, 2015 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center.