ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 38

HD vehicles and R-1234yf

Elvis Hoffpauir

Advertiser Index

T

he adoption of R-1234yf continues to gain momentum in auto and light truck sectors, and a rule issued in September last year also lists the refrigerant as acceptable,
subject to use conditions, for limited HD vehicle types, such as medium-duty passenger vehicles, HD pickup trucks and complete HD vans. It allows the use of yf in newly
manufactured medium and heavy duty vehicles with a GVWR of between 8,500 and 14,000
pounds (classes 2b and 3) that are built with an air conditioning system designed to use R1234yf. Whether larger classes of vehicles will eventually use yf depends on a number of
factors. Gary Hansen of Red Dot detailed the issues involved during a MACS forum earlier
this year.
The incentive of carbon credits in the U.S. and the fact that R-134a is not approved for
use starting with Model Year 2021 for automobiles and light trucks have accelerated the
adoption of R-1234yf in those sectors. However, neither of these factors currently exist
for heavy duty or off-highway vehicles. While federal phase 2 GHG regulations, finalized
in October 2016, include an air conditioning refrigerant leakage standard that set a maximum cap for refrigerant leak rate, federal phase 2 standards do not include any requirement or credit incentive for the use of low-Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants.
(A credit incentive for using low GWP refrigerant may be a part of California's future
regulations, but that's yet to be decided.)
Before R-1234yf was approved for autos and light trucks, a detailed risk assessment
had to be performed to demonstrate the refrigerant was safe to use for the vehicles' occupants. Before R-1234yf (or any alternative refrigerant) can be approved for use in heavy
duty vehicles, similar studies would need to be carried out. The diversity of vehicles, vehicle applications, cab sizes, and refrigerant charge levels make risk studies very complex
and lengthy.
Another factor that will be weighed in a decision to adopt an alternative refrigerant in
the HD sector is the cost of the refrigerant. R-1234yf is significantly more expensive than
R-134a.
The longterm driver for refrigerant change in the HD sector may come down to refrigerant availability. The European Union F-Gas Regulation has an HFC Cap and PhaseDown Plan for all HFCs (R-134a is an HFC). The U.S. has a similar proposed plan.
Hansen concluded that a mandatory change away from R-134a in HD vehicles is
highly unlikely before 2023, noting that refrigerant availability and cost along with risk
assessments (estimated to take 2 to 4 years) and other factors seem to support that timeframe.
Hansen also noted that current SAE International standards for R-1234yf components,
equipment, tools and service procedures are focused on the auto and light truck sector and
will need to be reviewed and adapted for HD vehicles.

Elvis Hoffpauir,
Editor-in-Chief
You can reach Elvis at
elvis@macsw.org

38

ACTION * July/August 2017

1-800-Radiator & A/C............................2
Bergstrom.......................................... 30
BVA Inc. ............................................. 33
Chemours .......................................... 13
Dealer Automotive .............................. 10
DENSO .............................................. 23
Everco ............................................... 40
Ford Motor Company Dealer Pats ......... 17
Gates ................................................. 19
Global Parts Distributors ..................... 21
Globus Sistemas Electronics LTDA ......... 35
Honeywell ...........................................9
Johnson ............................................. 27
Liland ................................................ 14
MACS Worldwide ................................ 22
Mahle Service Solutions ........................7
MEI Corporation ...................................6
Omega .............................................. 37
Ritchie Engineering ............................ 39
Robinair ............................................ 25
Santech ............................................. 36
Schrader ..............................................8
Sunair ............................................... 29
T/CCi Mfg. ......................................... 31
Trans/Air Mfg. .................................... 28
TSI Inc./SuperCool ................................3
TTA/A Parts, Inc. ................................. 15
TYC Genera ........................................ 11
Universal Air Conditioner ......................5



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017

Outlook
Service Port
Leonard's Law
Virtual View
Cooling Corner
HD and OTR vehicle Service: Keep it Clean
Positive Pressure dor operator cabins
Industry News
Association News
New Products and Services
Last Watch
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover1
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover2
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 3
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 4
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 5
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Outlook
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 7
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Service Port
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 9
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Leonard's Law
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 11
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Virtual View
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 13
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cooling Corner
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 15
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - HD and OTR vehicle Service: Keep it Clean
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 17
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 18
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 19
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 20
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 21
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 22
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 23
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Positive Pressure dor operator cabins
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 25
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 26
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 27
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Industry News
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 29
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 30
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 31
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 32
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Association News
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 34
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - New Products and Services
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 36
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - 37
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Last Watch
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover3
ACtion Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover4
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