As the race to decarbonize gains momentum and interest in electric heat pumps builds, natural refrigerants, such as CO2 (R744), ammonia/NH3 (R717) and propane (R290), are key to long-term success and sustainability, according to clean energy expert Andy Baker, Owner and Project Manager at Seattle, Washington-based YourCleanEnergy.
Synthetic alternatives such as HFCs and HFOs come with a host of “long-term liabilities” that can minimize the positive impacts of transitioning to electric heat pump technologies, said Baker. This goes beyond GWP and includes toxicity, regulation and cost.
“It’s not so much a choice of low GWP versus high GWP,” he said. “I will argue that the real choice today is natural refrigerants versus synthetics,” he added.