Title: An assessment of hydrocarbons as an alternative refrigerant: the Mauritian context

Authors: Raj Kumar Dreepaul

Addresses: Faculty of Sustainable Development and Engineering, Université des Mascareignes, Rue de la Concorde, Beau Bassin-Rose Hill, Mauritius

Abstract: Currently, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluoro-carbons (HFCs) are the most commonly used refrigerants in the refrigeration and air condition sector in Mauritius. But due to ozone depletion and their high global warming potential, environmentally friendly refrigerants such as hydrocarbons are under consideration. However, hydrocarbon (HC) technology has only been commercialised in domestic refrigerators so far. In this study, two blends of hydrocarbons HC (95% propane, 5% ethane) and HC (50% propnane, 50% isobutane) are tested as an alternative replacement refrigerant in a bench-type window air conditioner operating on R22 and bench-type car air conditioning unit operating on R134a, respectively. The design approach characteristic of HCs, the retrofitting procedure and safety are discussed. The mass of HC refrigerant retrofitted was about 35% of the original R22 and R134a charge. Results of the tests indicated an improved COP of up to 12.9% when the units were converted from halogenated refrigerant to HC refrigerants. Discharge pressures were considerably lower implying lower energy consumptions.

Keywords: alternative refrigerants; air conditioning; retrofitting; R22; R134a; hydrocarbons; HFC; hydrofluorocarbons; HCFC; hydrochlorofluorocarbons; Mauritius; ethane; propnane; isobutane; design; safety; discharge pressures; energy consumption.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGEI.2016.076346

International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 2016 Vol.39 No.3/4, pp.222 - 240

Received: 11 May 2015
Accepted: 16 Dec 2015

Published online: 04 May 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article