R290 Charge Limit Increase

Date: 01 November 2020
R290 Charge Limit Increase

Last year, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60336-2-89 standard was updated to increase the charge limit for hydrocarbons, including R290, to 500g at the international level. Since then, a CANENA technical harmonization committee has been working to adapt the IEC standard in the US, where the charge limit is still 150g.

NASRC recently co-hosted a member Q&A session on the pending charge limit increase in the US with Charlie Hon, who currently serves as the chairman for the CANENA committee. Here’s a few updates on the status and next steps to increase the R290 charge limit in the US:

  • CANENA - The CANENA committee has drafted an update to the UL 60335-2-89 standard, which would increase the charge limit for hydrocarbons to 300g for self-contained systems with doors or drawers and 500g for other self-contained systems (e.g., open cases) in the US.

  • UL - The draft update has been submitted to UL, and in the next few months it will be sent out for a public comment period and the UL committee will vote to approve it. The standard is expected to be approved by Q1 2021.

In addition to the UL standard update, the following steps must be completed before the larger hydrocarbon charge sizes are allowable:

  • ASHRAE 15 - The ASHRAE 15 standard must be revised to include the larger charge sizes.

  • EPA SNAP - EPA SNAP must accept the larger charge sizes before they can be sold. An application will be submitted as soon as the updated UL standard is approved.

  • Building Codes - National Building and Fire Codes will need to be modified. The next code cycle takes place in 2022.

All of these steps are expected to be completed by 2022 at the earliest, at which point the higher hydrocarbon charge sizes would be approved for use in self-contained equipment.

Find out more on our website about: R290

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