Energy Efficiency Study, Comparing, Commercial Grade Propane/Butane Blend; Refrigerant Grade Propane and Chlorodifluoromethane (CHClF2), Investigated in a Psychrometric Chamber
Keywords:Refrigerants, global warming, propane, cooling capacity
The current use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as refrigerants will be phaseout and phasedown. Hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants were introduced as potential replacements. These refrigerant grade hydrocarbons namely propane (R 290) and isobutane (R 600a) were on sale at premium prices. As Malaysia has capabilities to produce LPG, a study was conducted to find out the suitability of commercial liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to be used as refrigerant. This study compares the efficiencies and cooling capacities of commercial grade LPG to refrigerant grade propane (C3H8) and chlorodifluoromethane (CHClF2) (R 22) in a split unit air conditioner installed in a psychrometric chamber. Results of experiments indicated that the commercial blends in the ratio of 80% propane and 20% butane provided the highest efficiency, but had the lowest cooling capacities; in contrast, the imported refrigerant grade propane despite value being purer, was not reflected in term of its efficiency; recorded the lowest. CHClF2 provided the highest efficiency and cooling capacity. LPG has the potential to replace R22 in split air conditioners despite losing 10 % in cooling capacities but instead gained 2.6% in energy efficiencies.Â
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