The new WT69 (now R469A) refrigerant replaces R23

Award-winning refrigerant – WT69 / R469A wins innovation award

The jury of the German Innovation Award (GIA) has honoured WT69 / R469A twice: In the category chemical industry with the prize in gold on the 1st place and in the category energy solutions as “winner”. Since 1954, the German Design Council has been awarding the prize to innovations that have a lasting effect.

And at the German Innovation Award (DIP) of WirtschaftsWoche, Accenture and EnBW, WT69 / R469A was among the best 3 in the category medium-sized businesses.

The new WT69, now R469A, refrigerant replaces R23 in deep-freeze applications down to -70°C and reduces GWP by more than 90%.

The latest stage of the EU refrigerant regulation / F-gas Regulation 517/2014 will came into effect on 1st January 2020. Until now, alternatives to R23 refrigerant, which can only be used under restricted circumstances, for use in deep-freeze systems for environmental simulation had not been found. However now, Weiss Technik is proud to present its completely newly developed WT69 refrigerant in a ClimeEvent climate test chamber. WT69 has a GWP reduced by 90% to 1357 and is the ideal solution for use in deep-freeze systems reaching temperatures as low as -70°C. It makes no compromise in terms of performance, use and cost-effectiveness, reliably delivers comparable test results and is non-flammable, non-toxic and non-corrosive.

A new standard refrigerant for ClimeEvent test chambers

The new future-proof WT69/R469A refrigerant will be used in all compact ClimeEvent standard climate test chambers with a cooling rate of between 3 and 5 Kelvin. From 2020, special models such as vibration cabinets and larger climate test chambers with temperature-changing rates of up to 20 Kelvin will also change over to this new refrigerant. With this development, Weiss Technik is yet again, setting new standards for the use of environmentally friendly refrigerants.

WT69/R469A to be independently produced and distributed

WT69/R469A is the result of several years of development work carried out by Weiss Technik in collaboration with Dresden University of Technology. It will be independently produced and distributed by the company Technische Gase und Gastechnik GmbH (TEGA), which will ensure the safe and professional handling of WT69/R469A from production through to filling and right through to sales and transport. WT69/R469A will be freely available on the market and can also be used in other systems as needed. This will come about in the future and Weiss Technik Germany should be contacted directly about this. Special refrigerant circuits, components and software is required for the use of WT69/R469A. 

The chemical principles of WT69/R469A

The first stage of development of WT69/R469A involved investigations into whether a naturally occurring pure substance could be considered as an alternative to R23 for climate technology requirements. Given that this was not the case, tests were carried out to determine which CO2 compound would meet the stipulated requirements while providing the advantages of hydrocarbons. The mixture needed to reach very low temperatures but also remain chemically and thermally stable in the case of temperatures exceeding 180°C. Within this context, the parameters of freezing temperature, combustibility and vapour pressure curve had to be optimised in order to ensure that WT69/R469A remains non-flammable and non-explosive throughout the entire temperature range and can be used under the same system pressure as that of the existing systems. These properties were confirmed in more than 100,000 test hours in 20 system configurations over a period of three years.

An overview of all of the benefits of WT69/R469A

WT69/R469A has a GWP that is more than 90% less than that of R23 (1357). It is independently certified and meets all requirements for a future-proof refrigerant for applications down to -70°C. All test profiles can continue to be used and the results remain comparable. Given that WT69/R469A is a normal synthetic refrigerant, no safety review, separate cooling or increased amount of refrigerant are required. WT69/R469A is reliably available and has no ozone-depleting effect. It is non-toxic (confirmed by an approved safety data sheet), non-flammable (A1/approved as A1 by ASHRAE), non-corrosive and chemically stable.

Background information on the refrigerant regulation

The refrigerant regulation for fluorinated greenhouse gases significantly tightens the restrictions placed on manufacturers of systems using FC refrigerants and stipulates new requirements for operators of existing systems with regard to their testing and documentation obligations. R23 will also become scarcer and more expensive due to the quota system. As one of the world’s leading specialists for environmental simulation testing systems, Weiss Technik identified these impacts at an early stage and started to develop its own refrigerant for deep-freeze systems.

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