Three of the venues for next year’s Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be employing R449A, the lower GWP alternative to R404A, in its refrigeration systems.

Chemours said it has inked a memorandum of understanding with the Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing National Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Sports Centre for use of the refrigerant, which is branded by Chemours as Opteon XP40.

To support the mission of being “green, open, inclusive and clean” and to adopt more sustainable solutions, the venues in consultation with equipment suppliers, design engineers and service providers, selected R449A refrigerant to provide reliable performance at the demanding low temperatures required for operating their facilities. 

R449A is a blend of R32, R125, R1234yf and R134a with a GWP of 1397. It is said to closely match the properties and performance of R404A.

The National Aquatics Centre, known as the Water Cube during the 2008 Olympics, has been renamed the Ice Cube for the Winter Olympics. 

Beijing National Aquatics Centre general manager, Yang Qiyong, said three ice making units of Ice Cube have been charged with Opteon XP40.

“This project saves four per cent of the charge compared to other refrigerants and saves installation costs. During the test games in 2019 and in April 2021, the ice making units performed well and have guaranteed excellent ice surface temperature,” he said.

After redesign and retrofit, ice making units and systems that are charged with R499A have also been installed in the Beijing National Aquatics Centre and Beijing National Indoor Stadium.

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