R290 Propane //
Why use R290 Propane as a heat pump refrigerant?
Propane is a gas, it’s flammable, it’s explosive, but it’s a great refrigerant which has a low climate impact because it is not being burnt for heat but used in a vapour compression cycle. Propane is one of the hydrocarbon natural refrigerants and in many ways propane as a refrigerant is similar to CO2. As part of the natural refrigerant classification it is low GWP (global warming potential), will not be subject to regulatory restrictions and is widely available at low cost.
As a pure refrigerant rather than a blend such as an HFO there are two advantages. Firstly, there is no glide which makes for an efficient heat pump. Secondly, the system can be topped up without affecting the refrigerant balance and therefore operation. So far so similar to CO2.
Unlike CO2, propane operates at different temperatures which gives options for system design. It has a maximum flow temperature of 65C but is usually operated at 60C with a 40C return temperature, making it a “mid-range” refrigerant. It’s true that propane is unable to reach the higher temperatures of CO2, but 60C is still useful and can be applied in many retro-fit, new build applications. Even instantaneous hot water is possible depending on the situation.
The efficiency as measured by COP is sensitive to flow temperature and not so sensitive to return temperature which is the opposite of transcritical CO2. Propane heat pumps are mainly used at 60C and below flow where realistic COPs are about 2.8. Higher COPs are possible at lower flow temperatures.
The flexibility on return temperatures, between 30 and 50C, makes propane suitable for poorly controlled, low DT systems. Despite this, nearly all systems will require some modification in heat emitter selection, controls valves and logic. This is true of any heat pump that is replacing a fossil gas boiler.
Unlike CO2, propane is flammable. This means it requires a different approach to design and operations with the appropriate measures being taken to control the risk. Whilst propane can appear to be hazardous when compared to other refrigerants it should actually be compared to other flammable gas installations such as tanks of LPG. Buildings routinely have LPG tanks, gas mains and bottled gas in use without undue concern. With some sensible safety measures the risk can be mitigated. For example, propane is denser than air, so if a leak occurs it will displace air and drop to the lowest point and so should not be sited near drains or vents. When used in a plant or machinery rooms there are predetermined levels which, if detected, will require the heat pump to shut down, ventilate and raise an alarm. These levels are well below the concentration required to cause a fire.
Propane is used in refrigeration and in large scale heating applications and has been well proven over years of use. It is widely cited as the refrigerant of choice for domestic applications because it works at micro scale too. With expert design which applies well understood controls the risks are minimal, certainly less than many other risks we have in our buildings.
If your application doesn’t need the high temperatures of CO2 and is not efficient enough to give low return temperatures then propane is the right choice.
Our R290 Propane Heat Pump
The Aspen is our hydrocarbon CO2 heat pump for smaller applications up to 200KW or multiple units can be used for larger heat demands. Aspen is a more affordable low carbon solution for lower flow temperature but still delivering superb low-carbon heat service and a low GWP refrigerant.
R290 Propane Heat Pump Services
Clade is proud to be a UK industry leader in the transformation to green heating and cooling. Our heat pump services are wide-ranging. From the designing of energy-efficient systems to quality manufacturing to expert installation and ongoing maintenance, we provide full customer support from the first step in the process to the last. Clade supplies propane heat pumps for various sectors to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive impact.
We can help your company achieve ultra-low, more efficient and future-proof heating, whatever the size. Clade is committed to continuing our mission of using our expertise to ensure you have the right high-performing green heating solutions.
We use our years of experience and expertise to design the most efficient propane heat pump. Our experts design our heat pumps for maximum energy efficiency and the highest levels of performance in spaces and properties both large and small.
High-quality products require high-quality manufacturing. We use precise engineering and the highest quality materials to supply propane heat pumps optimised for long-term performance.
Clade is able to provide full installation of your new propane heat pump. Our expert team has many years of experience installing heat pumps with minimum disruption to your property. And we ensure your heat pump is fully functional and working optimally as it should before leaving the site.
We pride ourselves on our commitment, so we provide ongoing maintenance of our propane heat pump. Our maintenance includes regular extensive surveys and repair services. All our customers are able to customise their support through our After Sales Support package.
Our support services include commissioning engineer attendance, 24/7 service engineering support and access to Clade’s technical helpdesk during your propane heat pump warranty period and beyond.
R & D
Clade is committed to its mission to lead and create a carbon-neutral world. Our internal Research and Development team, based in Clade’s Technology Hub in Leeds, stays on top of the newest innovations and technological advancements to continuously improve our services.
“Over the past year TRIOS and Clade Engineering Solutions have worked closely together in delivering service to a range of retail and non-retail customers. Clade has proven to be a reliable partner and demonstrated its ability to react quickly and efficiently to customer requests and problems. Through system usage and great communication Clade has rapidly evolved as a partner of choice to TRIOS. The fact that Clade has both service and installation capabilities has given TRIOS confidence that we can rely on them in every situation, where our customers have a refrigeration or mechanical problem. Clade repeatedly demonstrates its customer focused credentials and continues to give great focus and service to TRIOS and our customers.”
Wm. Morrison Supermarkets Plc
“Clade have completed new installations on large stores, and refurbishment work within our main estate, and have many more planned in the future.
Their communication, efficiency and can do attitude make them a key strategic partner in our future within both M-Local and main estate. The key to their success with Morrisons is their transparency, and honesty. Nothing is hidden, and no conversations are off limits, they, as a team, are willing to bring new ideas to the table to make efficiencies, and also accept learnings from other teams to improve themselves.
I have absolutely no qualms in recommending them for any work, and hope that you consider them as the added benefit they can bring is invaluable.”
“Clade have proved themselves to be a competent and diligent contractor for Marks and Spencer, their work has been delivered to a high standard with quality being the focus. Their deliver of M&S high profile stores has surpassed performance expectations. Clade has proved itself as a growing contractor with a bright future.”
CTS Shopfitting Ltd
“We have worked with Clade on numerous Co-op projects throughout many years and find them to be very professional and reliable with excellent communication both on and off site. The project management team work alongside ourselves and are very proactive when required.”
Key Property Solutions Ltd
“Thank you for the excellent work you did at M-Local Doncaster. It made a refreshing to change to come across a contractor who could adapt to change as speedily as yourselves and reacted pro-actively to anything that was required. I look forward to working with Clade again in the future.”
“Clade Refrigeration (now Clade Engineering Solutions) has worked for The Co-operative Group for over 12 years. In this period they have delivered a large number of projects, some of these being high profile developments which have been installed to a very high standard indeed. Their willingness to help and Give support to the client, associated suppliers and the wider industry is noticeable, whilst they also take the time to give valuable feedback on new innovations and products. They have proved themselves in all instances to be a partner and a contractor that repeatedly delivers to the highest standards.”