In 2018, Panasonic has announced a full switch to R32, consolidating all its residential and commercial air-conditioning ranges, including its newly designed RAC floor consoles, split, multi-split and cassettes, to be compatible with this eco-friendly refrigerant technology.
In the air conditioning industry this affects single split air conditioning systems containing less than 3kg of fluorinated greenhouse gases, that contain, or that rely upon for their functioning, fluorinated greenhouse gases. The refrigerant with this system must be less than 750 GWP by the year 2025.
Panasonic is ready now, in 2018, to supply any kind of residential single split and multi split system with up to five ports in addition to commercial splits of up to 14kW.
For many years, R32 has been used as a component part of the R407C and R410A refrigerant blends. On its own, however, R32 offers a number of significant advantages over blended refrigerants.
Firstly, R32 has a much lower impact on global warming when compared to its blended predecessors - its Global Warming Potential (GWP), is significantly lower than that of R410A. When considering future legislation and the anticipated reduction in the availability of concretionary refrigerants, plus a drive towards the use of lower GWP refrigerants, Panasonic products will be relatively future proofed.
R32 is also a more efficient alternative to R410A, with realistic efficiency increases of up to 10 percent, leading to significant energy savings for building services managers.
As R32 is already a familiar component of R410A, the switch does not present any new challenges to installers. Procedures including piping and testing remain the same. There may be a need for slightly different tooling, such as recovery systems and leak detectors, but again this should not present a significant challenge. As with all refrigerants, R32 must be safely handled at all times and spaces properly ventilated when it is being charged and recovered from air conditioning units.