The Center for Environmental Energy Engineering (CEEE) at the University of Maryland recently released a study indicating that medium temperature commercial refrigeration equipment designed to use hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant HFC-410A performs better in a life cycle climate performance (LCCP) analysis than equipment designed for propane, a flammable hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerant with special safety requirements.

The study showed that a system using HFC-410A achieved lower environmental impact during the entire life cycle of the fluid and the equipment, including power consumption, than a system using R-290, (propane). The LCCP analysis of HFC-410A was 4.2% lower than propane.

Released in March by CEEE, the 31-page study entitled "Comparison of Hydrocarbon R-290 and Two HFC Blends HFC-404A and HFC-410A for Medium Temperature Refrigeration Applications" is available for free download at The study is part of the Global Refrigerant Environmental Evaluation Network (GREEN) analysis of the relative performance potential of R-290 to HFC refrigerants HFC-404A and HFC-410A for medium temperature commercial refrigeration under the auspices of the International Council of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Manufacturers Associations (ICARMA).