Carolina Cooler - Food Service Equipment & Supplies, Charleston SC

Carolina Cooler

R-290 (HC) Hydrocarbon Refrigerant Models
(CARE 40)


What is hydrocarbon refrigerant?

Hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants are natural, nontoxic refrigerants that have no ozone depleting properties and low global warming potential. Hydrocarbons are one of the most climate-friendly and cost-effective refrigerants to cool and freeze.

R290 (HC) refrigerant is highly refined propane that is a safe, environmentally friendly alternative for the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants R134a in refrigerator applications and R404a in freezer applications.


Why is hydrocarbon refrigerant better?

Current HFC Refrigerants (R134a and R404a) have extremely high Global Warming Potential (GWP) that is harmful to the environment. GWP is the relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. The lower the GWP the better a substance is for the environment. By comparison, R290 Hydrocarbon has a very minimal GWP.

  GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL OF REFRIGERANTS R290’s thermodynamic properties are superior to both R134a and R404a. R290’s heat capacitance is approximately 90% greater than R134a and 140% greater than R404a with lower viscosity. This means that R290 can absorb more heat, faster, resulting in quicker temperature recovery and lower energy consumption.



Installation and maintenance

To ensure the safe installation and maintenance of R290 systems it is recommended the following guidelines are followed.
The machine room ventilation must be turned on whilst technicians and operators are working in said room;


Tubing and connections should be welded;

Welding must be performed with a shielding gas (dry nitrogen);

Expansion valves must be specifically designed for R290;

To test for leaks and for high-pressure tests, the use of dry nitrogen is recommended. If dry air is used for the test, the compressor must be isolated during this procedure (the service valve must be closed);

The system and the compressor must be labelled with the safety warnings;

Regular inspection of safety devices (at least once a year) is essential

Prior to recharging, the system must be purged with nitrogen and should a new filter drier installed;

Oil changes must only be performed with warmed oil and reduced pressures, followed by purging with nitrogen.



Refrigerant grade R-600a (isobutane) Residental Use and R-290 (propane) for commercial use only, are two of the new hydrocarbon refrigerants that are growing rapidly in use at the OEM level due to their efficiency and low environmental impact. R-290 and R-600a are highly flammable and only acceptable for use by the EPA in small charge applications. 

These products should not be used for retrofit applications.​​