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Thermo King the first in North America to make reefers with R452a as standard

Thermo King has made R452A standard on single- and multi-temperature truck refrigeration units manufactured in North America from January 2023. 

R452A has been used in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by Thermo King for several years as well as on selected products in Asia Pacific and North America, where the refrigerant’s temperature control performance and reliability has been proven.

R452A matches the cooling capacity, fuel efficiency and reliability of R404A, making it an ideal transitional refrigerant given that current hardware requires little modification to run R452A.

Drop-in conversions for older R404A refrigeration units are offered by Thermo King, although there is currently no financial or legal imperative for this. 

Many refrigerated transport fleets have their own greenhouse gas reduction targets and refrigerant changes, such as from R404A to R452 can only help.

Sold by Chemours as ‘Opteon XP44’, R452A has a GWP of 2141 which, although high, is almost a 50 per cent reduction on R404A’s GWP of 3922. 

This will decarbonise refrigerated fleets by around 650,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent yearly, the same as 143,000 passenger vehicles, helping Thermo King parent company Trane Technologies to reach its ‘Gigaton Challenge’ of reducing emissions by 1 billion metric tons by 2030.

From 2023 the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requires all transport refrigeration units (TRUs) operating in the state to use refrigerants with a GWP of less than 2200.

The requirements apply to self-powered truck refrigeration units, typically found on class 5-7 trucks. It does not apply to direct-drive truck refrigeration units used on smaller class 1-4 trucks.

In North America the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chiller ban requirement will come into force from 2024. It requires the use of equipment built with compliant GWP refrigerants, with exemptions for R404A in certain military applications only.

“This is another step forward in helping customers meet both current and future regulations,” said Thermo King Americas vice president of product management Chris Tanaka.

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