The R290 refrigerant
The R290 refrigerant is known under the common name of propane. It is a colourless, odourless, organic, compound, which belongs to the group of saturated hydrocarbons naturally occurring in natural-gas deposits. Propane is an agent distinguishable by its minimum impact on the environment and safety of use, thanks to its high flammability limit.
Air-conditioning units take advantage of the physical properties of refrigerants to transfer heat, and, consequently, to cool down or heat up rooms. The portable air conditioners from KAISAI use the modern and environmentally-friendly R290 refrigerant – propane. Propane-based devices have been successfully distributed in many countries of the European Union for many years. The popularity of the R290 refrigerant is constantly increasing, due to its low environmental impact, while maintaining very-good thermodynamic properties. R290 has a zero ODP value, which means that there is no negative impact on the ozone layer, and an extremely low GWP value, which indicates a minimal impact on the global-warming effect. This makes propane is an environmentally friendly agent, at the same time maintaining good working parameters in air-conditioning units.
It is worth noting that R290 is not the popular propane-butane mixture used in LPG systems, and the agent itself is a lot safer to use. Propane is a combustible gas, and its flammability limit is 2.1% by volume in the air. Compared to a propane-butane mixture, it is up to 40% higher, which makes R290 much safer to use. This also means that propane is safe to use even in confined spaces, thanks to the fact that Kaisai units use only 230g of the R290 agent, and their special fireproof protection. It is not possible to obtain a sufficient propane concentration in the air to ignite in rooms with an area of more than 4m², assuming an average air density of 1.2kg/m³ and a room height of 3m. However, it is recommended to increase this safety margin – so do not use mobile air conditioning in rooms with a total area below 12m², in accordance with EU requirements.
R290 has a low sensitivity to moisture, and does not cause corrosion, so it can work in refrigeration systems equipped with both hermetic and semi-hermetic compressor units. This prolongs the service life of the equipment and allows it to be used indoors, throughout the year.
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