Koura Klea® 473A wins Refrigeration Innovation of the Year at the 2022 Cooling Industry Awards

September 27, 2022

Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business Koura has won the coveted award of Refrigeration Innovation of the Year at the 2022 Cooling Industry Awards.

At an awards ceremony last night (September 22) at London’s Grosvenor House Ballroom, Koura Klea® 473A was named the winning innovation from a shortlist of five with judges praising the refrigerant’s performance and sustainable industry applications.

Klea 473A is designed as a non-flammable refrigerant to achieve high performance with a significantly lower global warming potential (GWP) than existing refrigerants, R-23 or R-508B, in ultra-low temperature cooling applications such as high value cold chain, vaccine storage, climate test chambers, transportation, and other medical uses. This refrigerant has a unique combination of high capacity and energy efficiency coupled with low temperature glide as compared to other refrigerants developed as non-flammable alternatives for R-23 or R-508B.

Today, manufacturers and users of ultra-low temperature refrigeration systems are forced to choose between acceptable cooling performance and the environmental impact of these systems. Existing non-flammable refrigerants R-23 and R-508B that are used in ultra-low temperature systems have GWP of 14,800 and 13,400 respectively. Klea 473A breaks this trade-off with energy efficiency comparable to R-23, capacity similar to R-508B, and a GWP of 1,830, which is a +85% reduction.

Optimum charge sizes per system are typically slightly reduced compared to R-23, giving a further potential reduction in GWP inventory per system. Customer trials are showing that existing system designs can easily adapt to this new refrigerant with little to no modification. New systems are also being actively designed to take advantage of the refrigerant’s unique properties.

Although Klea R-473A is not the only non-flammable alternative refrigerant proposed for use in very low temperature cascade systems, it has a significantly lower temperature glide, higher vapor pressure, and higher latent heat than other R-23 alternatives, making the adaptation of existing system designs more straightforward. Extensive trialling has also shown that it’s possible to operate climate chamber systems where the delivered chamber temperature is as low as -75C. 

Gregg Smith, President of Orbia Fluorinated Solutions, said:

“We are delighted that Klea 473A was named Refrigeration Innovation of the Year at the 2022 Cooling Industry Awards. This award is fantastic recognition of our ongoing research and development program, and the hard work of all our teams. Koura is committed to innovation, providing customers across a variety of industries worldwide with new solutions and low GWP refrigerants to transform into a cleaner future.

“This product will offer an easy adaptation option for system designers working in the very low temperature application areas who wish to significantly reduce their usage of ultra-high GWP refrigerants and who are contemplating larger system designs where non-flammability is an essential requirement of the refrigerant.”

For more information on Koura, please visit: www.kouraglobal.com

Notes for editors:
 About Orbia

Orbia is a company driven by a shared purpose: to advance life around the world. Orbia operates in the Polymer Solutions (Vestolit and Alphagary), Building and Infrastructure (Wavin), Precision Agriculture (Netafim), Connectivity Solutions (Dura-Line) and Fluorinated Solutions (Koura) sectors. The five Orbia business groups have a collective focus on expanding access to health and wellness, reinventing the future of cities and homes, ensuring food and water security, connecting communities to information and accelerating a circular economy with basic and advanced materials, specialty products and innovative solutions. Orbia has commercial activities in more than 110 countries and operations in over 50, with global headquarters in Boston, Mexico City, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. To learn more, visit: orbia.com.

About Orbia Fluorinated Solutions (Koura)

Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business Koura is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of fluoroproducts that play a fundamental role in enhancing everyday lives and shortening the path to a sustainable, circular economy. Backed by over 35 years of experience, Koura’s products are used in a vast range of applications including electric vehicles and energy storage, urban and rural infrastructure, indoor climate management, food and medicine refrigeration and even in treating respiratory conditions through the development of healthy and innovative low-GWP propellants for metered-dose inhalers. Koura has 1,600 employees and 13 manufacturing facilities worldwide, serving 60 countries through a global sales and distribution network.

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