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

The next stage of the EU refrigerant regulation / F-gas Regulation 517/2014 will come into effect on 1st January 2020. At present, alternatives to R23 refrigerant, which can only be used under restricted circumstances, for use in deep-freeze systems for environmental simulation have yet to be found. Until now, that is: 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

By the end of the year, the new future-proof WT69 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 to be independently produced and distributed

WT69 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 from production through to filling and right through to sales and transport. WT69 will be freely available on the market and can also be used in other systems as needed.

The chemical principles of WT69

The first stage of development of WT69 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 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

WT69 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 is a normal synthetic refrigerant, no safety review, separate cooling or increased amount of refrigerant are required. WT69 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.