skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: R290 (propane) and R600a (isobutane) as natural refrigerants for residential heat pump water heaters

Abstract

Growing awareness of the potential environmental impacts of various refrigerants has led to the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants and to initiatives replacing HFCs with hydrocarbons or other environmentally friendlier fluids. Here, this study evaluated the performance of R290 (propane) and R600a (isobutane) as substitutes for R134a (a HFC) for heat pump water heating (HPWH). A component-based model (calibrated against the experimental data) was used to predict the performance of the HPWH system. Key performance parameters such as unified energy factor, first hour rating, condenser discharge temperature, thermal stratification in the water tank, and total refrigerant charge were investigated. Analysis results suggest that both alternative refrigerants could provide comparable system performance to that of the baseline system containing R134a, with one caveat. Finally, as a drop-in alternative, R290 was found to be a better substitute for R134a, whereas R600a is expected to provide similar performance if the compressor size is increased to provide similar heating capacity. Significant reductions in system charge and lower condenser discharge temperatures were identified as additional benefits.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1394289
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Applied Thermal Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 127; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1359-4311
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; Heat pump; Water heater; Hydrocarbons; Alternative refrigerants

Citation Formats

Nawaz, Kashif, Shen, Bo, Elatar, Ahmed F., Baxter, Van D., and Abdelaziz, Omar. R290 (propane) and R600a (isobutane) as natural refrigerants for residential heat pump water heaters. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.08.080.
Nawaz, Kashif, Shen, Bo, Elatar, Ahmed F., Baxter, Van D., & Abdelaziz, Omar. R290 (propane) and R600a (isobutane) as natural refrigerants for residential heat pump water heaters. United States. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.08.080.
Nawaz, Kashif, Shen, Bo, Elatar, Ahmed F., Baxter, Van D., and Abdelaziz, Omar. Sun . "R290 (propane) and R600a (isobutane) as natural refrigerants for residential heat pump water heaters". United States. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.08.080.
@article{osti_1394289,
title = {R290 (propane) and R600a (isobutane) as natural refrigerants for residential heat pump water heaters},
author = {Nawaz, Kashif and Shen, Bo and Elatar, Ahmed F. and Baxter, Van D. and Abdelaziz, Omar},
abstractNote = {Growing awareness of the potential environmental impacts of various refrigerants has led to the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants and to initiatives replacing HFCs with hydrocarbons or other environmentally friendlier fluids. Here, this study evaluated the performance of R290 (propane) and R600a (isobutane) as substitutes for R134a (a HFC) for heat pump water heating (HPWH). A component-based model (calibrated against the experimental data) was used to predict the performance of the HPWH system. Key performance parameters such as unified energy factor, first hour rating, condenser discharge temperature, thermal stratification in the water tank, and total refrigerant charge were investigated. Analysis results suggest that both alternative refrigerants could provide comparable system performance to that of the baseline system containing R134a, with one caveat. Finally, as a drop-in alternative, R290 was found to be a better substitute for R134a, whereas R600a is expected to provide similar performance if the compressor size is increased to provide similar heating capacity. Significant reductions in system charge and lower condenser discharge temperatures were identified as additional benefits.},
doi = {10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.08.080},
journal = {Applied Thermal Engineering},
issn = {1359-4311},
number = C,
volume = 127,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}