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Title: Using natural refrigerants (hydrocarbons) in air conditioning systems

Refrigerant 134a has emerged as the new refrigerant for the automotive and commercial A/C industry that has a zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) value. However, R-134a's greenhouse warming potential (GWP) is relatively high among the newly developed hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) which seems to be an obstacle for the furtherance of the use of R-134a, especially in European countries. Hence, many countries are looking for other refrigerants that do not contribute to global warming. There are many refrigerants that are currently available naturally. Examples of the so called natural refrigerants are: ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, water, helium, air, etc. Hydrocarbons are receiving attention these days as their thermodynamic and thermophysical properties are similar to that of R-12 and R-134a. Hydrocarbons are highly flammable that have zero ODP and negligible GWP. In Europe, some countries have started using hydrocarbons for refrigerators, freezers, automobiles, and for commercial applications like supermarkets. Currently, limited information is available in the open literature on the performance and design of the air conditioning and refrigeration systems using the hydrocarbons. Most of the work reported in the literature on the hydrocarbon refrigerants has been conducted by the researchers in Europe and Australia. In the United States, due to the productmore » liability, the manufacturers have not been receptive to the idea of using hydrocarbons as the refrigerants. In this paper, the author has simulated the thermodynamic performance of a typical air conditioning system using hydrocarbons. The performance of the air conditioning system has been simulated by using Propane (R-290) and Isobutane (R-600a) as the working fluids. REFPROP computer program developed by NIST has been used to determine the thermodynamic properties for R-290 and R-600a. The author has also presented the single phase (liquid and vapor), pool boiling, two-phase, dry- out region, and condensation heat transfer coefficients for R-290 and R-600a. The system performance and the heat transfer coefficients for R-290 and R-600a have been compared to systems with R-22, R- 134a, and R-12. The environmental impact of R-290 and R-600a has also been discussed. The information outlined in this paper can be used for designing residential, commercial, and automotive air conditioning systems.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20000311
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 33rd Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Colorado Springs, CO (US), 08/02/1998--08/06/1998; Other Information: 1 CD-ROM. Operating system required: Windows 3.x; Windows95/NT; Macintosh; UNIX. All systems need 2X CD-ROM drive., PBD: 1998; Related Information: In: Proceedings of the 33. intersociety energy conversion engineering conference, by Anghaie, S. [ed.], [2800] pages.
Publisher:
American Nuclear Society, LaGrange Park, IL (US)
Research Org:
Zexel USA Corp., Decatur, IL (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; AIR CONDITIONERS; REFRIGERANTS; MATERIAL SUBSTITUTION; DESIGN; PROPANE; 2-METHYLPROPANE; THERMODYNAMIC PROPERTIES; PERFORMANCE; HEAT TRANSFER; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION