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Title: Evaluation of Alternative Refrigerants for High Ambient Applications in a Mini-Split AC Unit

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1237149
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference, Orlando, FL, USA, 20160123, 20160127
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Abdelaziz, Omar, Shrestha, Som S, Munk, Jeffrey D, and Linkous, Randall Lee. Evaluation of Alternative Refrigerants for High Ambient Applications in a Mini-Split AC Unit. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Abdelaziz, Omar, Shrestha, Som S, Munk, Jeffrey D, & Linkous, Randall Lee. Evaluation of Alternative Refrigerants for High Ambient Applications in a Mini-Split AC Unit. United States.
Abdelaziz, Omar, Shrestha, Som S, Munk, Jeffrey D, and Linkous, Randall Lee. Fri . "Evaluation of Alternative Refrigerants for High Ambient Applications in a Mini-Split AC Unit". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1237149.
@article{osti_1237149,
title = {Evaluation of Alternative Refrigerants for High Ambient Applications in a Mini-Split AC Unit},
author = {Abdelaziz, Omar and Shrestha, Som S and Munk, Jeffrey D and Linkous, Randall Lee},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2016},
month = {Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2016}
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • The phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) refrigerants in developing countries is currently underway according to the Montreal Protocol. R-22 is one of the most commonly used HCFCs in the developing nations. It is extremely well suited for air conditioning and refrigeration (AC&R) in high ambient temperature environments. Non-Article 5 countries have already gone through the phase-out of HCFCs and settled on using R-410A as the refrigerant of choice for AC applications. Previous studies have shown that R-410A results in significant capacity and performance degradation at higher ambient temperature conditions. As such, there is a growing concern on finding alternative refrigerants tomore » R-22 that would have zero ODP, lower GWP, and at the same time maintain acceptable performance at higher ambient temperatures. Furthermore, the developed world s transition through higher global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants like HFC and HFC blends resulted in significant direct CO2 equivalent emissions. It is imperative to develop a bridge for developing nations to avoid the transition from HCFC to HFC and then from HFC to alternative lower GWP refrigerants. This paper summarizes data from an experimental campaign on alternative refrigerant evaluation for R-22 and R-410A substitutes for mini-split air conditioners designed for high ambient environments. The experimental evaluation was performed according to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37 and the performance was rated at test conditions specified by ANSI/AHRI 210-240 and ISO 5151. Additional tests were conducted at outdoor ambient temperatures of 52 C (125.6 F) and 55 C (131 F) to evaluate their performance at high ambient conditions. Alternative refrigerants, some of which are proprietary, included R-444B, DR-3, N-20b, ARM-20b, R-290, and DR-93 as alternatives to R-22 and R-32, DR-55, L41-2, ARM-71A, and HPR-2A as alternatives to R-410A. The units performances were first verified using the baseline refrigerant and then drop-in refrigerant evaluation followed including soft optimization to ensure refrigerant performance is adequately represented. The soft optimization included: 1) charge optimization, 2) lubricant change, and 3) flow control. The paper presents the relative performances (efficiency and capacity) of the alternative refrigerants compared to the baseline refrigerants at the different operating conditions. Paper concludes with remarks about the suitability of alternative refrigerants for R-22 and R-410A applications in high ambient temperature regions.« less
  • The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) High-Ambient Temperature Testing Program for Low-GWP Refrigerants aims to develop an understanding of the performance of low-Global Warming Potential (low-GWP) alternatives to Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in mini-split air conditioners under high ambient temperature conditions. This interim working paper describes the parties involved, the alternative refrigerants selection process, the test procedures, and the preliminary results.
  • The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) High-Ambient-Temperature Evaluation Program for low– global warming potential (Low-GWP) Refrigerants aims to develop an understanding of the performance of low-GWP alternative refrigerants to hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in mini-split air conditioners under high-ambient-temperature conditions. This final report describes the parties involved, the alternative refrigerant selection process, the test procedures, and the final results.
  • Oak Ridge National laboratory (ORNL) recently conducted extensive laboratory, drop-in investigations for lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants to replace R-22 and R-410A. ORNL studied propane, DR-3, ARM-20B, N-20B and R-444B as lower GWP refrigerant replacement for R-22 in a mini-split room air conditioner (RAC) originally designed for R-22; and, R-32, DR-55, ARM-71A, and L41-2, in a mini-split RAC designed for R-410A. We obtained laboratory testing results with very good energy balance and nominal measurement uncertainty. Drop-in studies are not enough to judge the overall performance of the alternative refrigerants since their thermodynamic and transport properties might favor different heatmore » exchanger configurations, e.g. cross-flow, counter flow, etc. This study compares optimized performances of individual refrigerants using a physics-based system model tools. The DOE/ORNL Heat Pump Design Model (HPDM) was used to model the mini-split RACs by inputting detailed heat exchangers geometries, compressor displacement and efficiencies as well as other relevant system components. The RAC models were calibrated against the lab data for each individual refrigerant. The calibrated models were then used to conduct a design optimization for the cooling performance by varying the compressor displacement to match the required capacity, and changing the number of circuits, refrigerant flow direction, tube diameters, air flow rates in the condenser and evaporator at 100% and 50% cooling capacities. This paper compares the optimized performance results for all alternative refrigerants and highlights best candidates for R-22 and R-410A replacement.« less
  • According to the Montreal Protocol, developing countries have started the phase out schedule of the ozone depleting substances, including HCFC refrigerants, in 2015 and expect them to reach 35% reduction in 2020. This commitment to the start the phase out of HCFC refrigerants, especially R-22, in developing countries is seen as an opportunity to introduce lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants. Furthermore, this paper summarizes an investigation into the performance of lower GWP refrigerants in high ambient temperature environments, experienced in some of the developed countries, in mini-split air conditioning units.