By Steve Schaeber, MACS Technical Editor
Some Chinese vehicles are being shipped to South America with a different type of refrigerant gas than what most technicians are used to seeing. In this case it’s a blend refrigerant called R-415B.
Sightings of vehicles with this refrigerant were first reported to MACS early in 2017 by members in Montevideo, the capital and largest city of Uruguay, South America’s second smallest country.
Marketed in Uruguay as the “Glory”, this 7-passenger, unibody MPV is manufactured by Dongfeng Xiaokang Automobile Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of DFM (Dongfeng Motor Corporation) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Underhood vehicle information label shows it’s powered by the Chongqing Xiaokang 109-horsepower, 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine.
R-415B is an HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) zeotropic blend refrigerant, consisting of 25% R-22 and 75% R-152a. It is a Class-II ODS (Ozone Depleting Substance) with an ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) of 0.013, and as such is controlled under the Montreal Protocol.
It also has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 550, meaning it’s 550 times “more of a global warming gas” than CO2 (Carbon Dioxide).
So far we don’t know much about the system, and we haven’t been able to connect a refrigerant identifier to verify the refrigerant’s composition. We also don’t know about the exact type of compressor oil that they’re using, which is a big question among local technicians. They also want to know if any other vehicles or brands are using R-415B refrigerant, but to date we haven’t heard of any others.
We’ve also been asked if the R-22 component will attack the hoses and seals, but without knowing the specific suppliers and components that are involved, we simply don’t know to whom these questions should be asked. Too many variables are in play, like:
- What type of hoses are being used?
- How are they constructed?
- What is the oil type?
- How does it interact with the refrigerant?
- What material was used to make the seals?
- Who manufactured the compressor?
But we did find out that the service port connectors are the same type as those used for R-134a, and without the proper service equipment (and a supplier for the gas), it’s likely that R-134a will be used as a replacement when necessary.
Technicians should use caution when servicing these systems however, as the R-152a component is flammable.
Please contact MACS at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, or if you have any technical information about this system that you’d like to share with the Society. Thanks!
About MACS Worldwide, the Mobile Air Conditioning Society:
Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for total vehicle climate and thermal management.
Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 1 million service technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for Section 609 certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused, as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues. It is a mission we have been fulfilling for our growing global membership and the industry in the following ways:
- Providing accurate, unbiased technical training, and compliance programs for the mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry.
- Providing a forum for exchange of trade information on a regional, national and international basis.
- Facilitating business between all segments of the industry.
- Providing tangible value for members, such as product marketing, promotion and money-saving affinity programs.
- Disseminating legislative, regulatory and trade information (including data, current developments and training materials).
- Providing information on legislative and regulatory initiatives that affect the industry and advocate for the industry to legislative bodies.
MACS represents a growing global membership, and is affiliated with MACPartners (EU) and Vehicle Air Conditioning Specialists of Australia (VASA)